Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #474

Since Gramercy Park is within the Gramercy Park Historic District, a major focus of the GPBA is historic preservation. We thought the following article in the "Daytonian in Manhattan" describing the extensive history of Nos. 3 and 4 Gramercy Park West might be of interest.
Daytonian in Manhattan
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nos. 3 and 4 Gramercy Park West

 

Left to right: Nos. 4 and 3 Gramercy Park West
 
At the end of his term as 65th Mayor of New York, James Harper moved into No. 4 with his second wife, Julia. With him came the mayoral lampposts.
 
In the days of the Dutch Burgomasters, two lantern bearers would escort the Burgomaster home at night.  The lit lanterns were then left outside the resident as a sign that Burgomaster was at home and boisterous citizens should not disturb him.  The custom evolved into two gas lanterns which adorned all New York mayors' residences for life.
 
John Harper, Sr. died in 1869; but the family continued living on in the Gramercy Park mansion.  In the meantime, next-door neighbor Benjamin Franklin Lee was making a name for himself in legal circles.