by Jessica Allen
Several U.S. presidents have spent significant time in New York, including Grover Cleveland, who used to hang out in a mansion in Brooklyn; Bill Clinton, who opened his office in Harlem after he left the White House; and Ulysses S. Grant, who’s buried in Riverside Park. But only five have really and truly made the city their home. Read on for everything you need to know about their NYC residences.
123 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10016
Before being becoming vice president under James Garfield, Chester Arthur practiced law in New York City and lived on Lexington Avenue. Arthur was at his Kips Bay row house when he received word that Garfield had died from an assassination attempt and he was sworn in as the nation’s 21st president in the wee hours of Sept. 20, 1881, in its parlor. Unfortunately, any architectural details from Arthur’s day have been lost to the sands of time. Today, the multistory building boasts private residences on top and an extraordinary grocery store on the bottom floors.
142 West 109th Street #3E
New York, NY 10025
As a college student at Columbia University, Barack Obama, then known as Barry, lived in several apartments in Morningside Heights, including a two bedroom that came on the market in 2014. Its most recent rent, $2,300 per month, was more than 12 times what Obama paid in 1981. Then again, according to his memoir, he left the apartment because it didn’t have any heat. He and his old roommate would apparently sometimes get eats on the cheap at Tom’s, a nearby restaurant that became famous as Monk’s on “Seinfeld.” Grab a booth, but don’t expect a big salad.
28 East 20th St.
New York, NY 10003
Theodore Roosevelt is the only U.S. president to have been born in Manhattan—thus far. A reconstruction of his childhood home, on the site where he was born in 1858, is full of rich decorations and period details about the sickly boy who would grow up to be the nation’s 26th president, as well as a lifelong nature lover, conservationist and adventurer. Add to your understanding by heading to the American Museum of Natural History, whose Roosevelt Memorial Hall commemorates Teddy’s contributions and features a snowy owl he collected and mounted as a kid.
725 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10022
Here’s a problem most of us probably don’t have: when some nine buildings bear your name, how do you choose where to live? Among the Trump properties in New York are the Trump Palace, full of luxury condos, and Trump World Tower, home to a penthouse so grand it boasts its own waterfall. Donald Trump headquartered his presidential campaign in midtown’s Trump Tower, some 30 floors beneath his personal residence in that building’s topmost floors. From there, the 45th president can look out over Central Park, the five boroughs and New Jersey.
65 Jumel Terrace
New York, NY 10032
For about five years, New York served as the capital of the young United States. George Washington lived with his family in a few buildings in Lower Manhattan, including the Osgood Mansion and the Alexander Macomb House, destroyed in 1856 and 1940, respectively. Don’t despair, however—you can still get your fill of historic sites related to the first president. Inside Federal Hall, for example, you can view the balcony on which Washington stood and the bible on which he promised to be a lawful leader during his swearing-in ceremony. Then, make your way uptown to the Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in Manhattan. It was here that Washington quartered with his troops and strategized during the fall of 1776.