2nd Presidential Mansion

Alexander Macomb House


At 39–41 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, New York City, served as the second U.S. Presidential Mansion. President George Washington occupied it from February 23 to August 30, 1790, during New York City's two-year term as the national capital.

Constructed, 1786

Alexander Macomb was an Irish-born American merchant and land speculator. He built the four-story city house on the west side of Broadway in 1786–1788. Macomb leased it to the French Minister Plenipotentiary, the Comte de Moustier, who occupied it until his return to Paris in early 1790.'It was one of a block of three houses erected in 1787 and was four stories and an attic high, with a width of fifty-six feet. From the rear of the main rooms glass doors opened onto a balcony giving an uninterrupted view of the Hudson River. On entering, one found a large hall with a continuous flight of stairs to the top of the house. On each side of the hall were spacious, high-ceilinged rooms, used for the levees and dinners and always referred to by Washington as "public rooms."'

Occupied, Feb 23, 1790

President Washington purchased furniture, mirrors and draperies from the departing Minister with his own money, including American-made furniture in the French style. Some of these items survive at Mount Vernon and elsewhere.The presidential household functioned with a staff of about 20, composed of wage workers, indentured servants and enslaved servants. Slavery was legal in New York, and Washington brought 7 enslaved Africans from Mount Vernon to work in his presidential household.

Moved, Aug 30, 1790
Converted, 1821

In 1821, the Macomb House was converted into Bunker's Mansion House Hotel: "Bunker's Mansion House, a famous hotel, was situated at No. 39 Broadway, and was a large double-brick house, erected in 1786 by General Alexander Macomb as a residence for himself. It was a most comfortable and well-conducted hotel, and was patronized largely by Southern families. Bunker, who was noted for his affability to his customers, grew rich rapidly, and eventually sold the property and retired from business."In 1861, Daniel Huntington painted a fanciful depiction of the interior. "Mr. Huntington has in his famous painting of the Republican Court made the Macomb home on Broadway the background of his picture. This was a much more commodious house, to which the President and his family removed in the spring of 1790."

Dedication, 1739

In 1939, the Daughters of the Revolution erected a bronze plaque at 39 Broadway.

Destroyed, 1940

The house was demolished in 1940.

Related People

Related Sites