New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is often out at press conferences and on the streets of Manhattan, fighting for his people. However, once the day’s work is done, the politician retreats to his charming mansion in Albany.

For years, the Democrat split his time between Albany, Manhattan, the Hamptons and Westchester, where he and longtime girlfriend Sandra Lee had their massive love nest. The two reportedly lived in the house — technically purchased by Lee — for more than 10 years, until 2019 when they put it up for sale and parted ways, per Curbed. 

The quaint home at 4 Bittersweet Lane was nicknamed “Lily Pond” for the body of water in the front yard. It was “originally built in the 1940s and spans 4,129 square feet, with six bedrooms and six bathrooms,” per Architectural Digest. When Cuomo and Lee’s home hit the market in May 2019, one broker told the New York Post that “it need[ed] a lot of work on the inside.” The reason? The former Food Network star had made sure to decorate everything in neutral shades, gold accents and floral patterns. According to Curbed, there was even a “walk-in holiday closet.” 

Andrew Cuomo had a picture-perfect home

Sandra Lee and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo initially asked $2.3 million for Lily Pond, but the brokers decided it was too high, and cut it down to $1.7 million, per Curbed. In February 2020, Town & Country reported that the home was on sale for $1.6 million. 

“We don’t need the house,” Lee told the New York Times in May 2019, explaining the sale. She said that since Cuomo’s three daughters are now grown, the mansion was too big for just the two of them. Instead, she told the outlet that the two would split their time between Lee’s apartment in New York City, the Hamptons, and the governor’s mansion in Albany.

Just a few months after putting the house on the market, however, Lee and Cuomo announced their separation. These days, Cuomo lives alone in the governor’s mansion, which is also known as the New York State Executive Mansion. The mansion, which was built in 1856, is located at 138 Eagle Street in downtown Albany. Over the years, it’s served as the official residence for “32 of New York’s 56 Governors,” according to the New York State website. Per the site, “It is a house that is eclectic in style, filled with history and rich with tradition.” 

Andrew Cuomo is honored to live in this mansion

According to the New York State website, the New York State Executive Mansion has been named a historic landmark. Additionally, it’s also been made “green” — meaning it uses clean, renewable energy — by the government. While it is located in a somewhat secluded part of Albany, the interior is quite lavish. The Victorian mansion has 40 rooms, per The New York Times, as well as a tennis court, several gardens and two swimming pools (one outdoor and one indoor), which were “installed by Franklin D. Roosevelt to ease his polio symptoms.” 

Many governors before Andrew Cuomo Cuomo have rejected the home, trading it for their own properties, but the New York politician — born from humble beginnings in Queens — has always cherished it. In an interview with The Times, he called the mansion a “magical place,” and even detailed his favorite spots. “The dining room is special,” he said. “The dining room table. The fireplace in that room is beautiful. And the view looking into the living room.”

Cuomo believes that living in the governor’s mansion is an honor for whoever is serving the state, and it makes him sad that previous leaders have rejected it. “It gives you a sense of the importance of state government and what it was all about, and how seriously it was taken.” 

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