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Bill de Blasio and family to call Gracie Mansion home

The exterior of Gracie Mansion, which is located

The exterior of Gracie Mansion, which is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. (Oct. 7, 2013) Credit: AP

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his family are moving to Gracie Mansion, trading the modest Park Slope row house where they share one bathroom for the opulent Upper East Side mayoral residence and its eight bathrooms.

The family announced their decision Wednesday after weeks of weighing their love of Brooklyn -- where de Blasio has lived for more than 20 years -- against security and logistical concerns.

"We'll miss Brooklyn, but we are incredibly gratified to the people of New York for the opportunity to live in the mayor's residence," the statement by de Blasio, his wife, Chirlane McCray and their children Dante, 16, and Chiara, 19, said.

The de Blasios will be Gracie's first residents since Rudy Giuliani vacated the mansion in Carl Schurz Park 12 years ago.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose to live in his Upper East Side town house, but he renovated and used the Federal-style mansion, built in 1799, for ceremonial functions.

Bloomberg had opened Gracie fully to the public, but it will now be partly closed, with the de Blasios living on the second floor.

De Blasio said he'd return regularly to his favorite Brooklyn haunts, including the Purity Diner and Bar Toto, as well as the Park Slope Armory YMCA, where he hosted thousands for his Nov. 5 inauguration celebration. The de Blasios said they will be keeping their Brooklyn house, which they bought in 2000.

"You might take the Mayor out of Brooklyn, but you CAN'T take Brooklyn out of the Mayor!" Outgoing borough president Marty Markowitz said of de Blasio.

De Blasio will be the first mayor from Brooklyn since Abe Beame took office in 1974. De Blasio has said that Bloomberg emphasized Manhattan over the outer boroughs during his tenure.

Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf said de Blasio's move to Manhattan doesn't mean he won't devote attention to the outer boroughs. "All this does is it sticks the outer boroughs into Gracie Mansion in a very direct way," he said.

Dante de Blasio will have a considerably longer commute to Brooklyn Tech High School. His sister Chiara attends college in California.

The family visited Gracie during the Thanksgiving holiday, when Chiara was home from school. They won't move to the mayoral residence on Jan. 1 -- when de Blasio takes office -- but will do so in a couple months.

"We are humbled to join that great tradition," the family wrote. "After all, a home is more than just bricks and mortar -- it's the place you are with the people you love."

Bloomberg spokesman Marc La Vorgna declined to comment on the de Blasios' move.

An NYPD spokeswoman declined to discuss security at Gracie and in Park Slope.

With Ivan Pereira

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