Carl Schurz Park is the largest waterfront park on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Spanning almost 15 acres along the East River, the park offers beautiful views from its riverfront promenade of the Triborough Bridge, Wards Island and the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse. Before becoming a park, the land was used during the Revolutionary War due to its strategic position at a narrow inlet on the East River. The property for Carl Schurz was designated and set aside as park land as early as 1876. The famous New York City architects Samuel Parsons and Calvert Vaux designed the landscape of the park, which was completed in 1902. Gracie Mansion, also located inside Carl Schurz, has been the Mayor of New York City’s official residence since 1942.
The historic Federal style home was originally constructed 1799 by Scottish shipping merchant Archibald Gracie. The picturesque two story building features a symmetrical façade with a porch ornamented by tall white columns. Tours of the estate are offered regularly through the Gracie Mansion Conservancy. The New York Parks Service and the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy currently maintain the property. In the fall, the site hosts the Halloween Howl Dog Costume Contest, where pets and owners can compete for thousands of dollars in prize money for the best dressed dogs. East End Avenue and 87th Street, Manhattan. http://www.carlschurzparknyc.org/