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Chronicles: Chester A. Arthur Home

Chester_a_arthur_home.JPGThe Chester A. Arthur Home in New York City was the home of the 21st President of the United States, both before and after his time in the White House. The townhouse located at 123 Lexington Avenue in New York City, is where Arthur spent most of his adult life. It is also to this home where, while serving as Vice-President for President James Garfield, he retreated after the July 2, 1881 attempted assassination of Garfield. Arthur spent over two months in the home waiting on the health of Garfield to improve but on September 19th, the President died and Arthur took the oath of office for the first time in his home just past midnight. The second time was two days later after he returned to Washington.
Though Chester A. Arthur is not often cited as one of the more memorable Presidents, nevertheless, this New Yorker played a pivotal role history. As a champion of civil rights, Arthur was one of the attorneys who successfully represented Elizabeth Jennings Graham, who sued New York City after being denied seating on a streetcar due to her race. This successful case contributed to the desegregation of New York City public transportation. Sadly, Arthur also makes it into the history books for being the last incumbent president not to receive his party’s nomination for re-election- this was due to his unfortunate, visible illness.

This former Presidental home was designated a National Historic Landmark on January 12, 1965 but don’t expect to come here for a tour. The building now houses a Mediterranean grocery store on the first two floors and apartments on the top three. The parlor where we swore in our 21st President is no more.
Chester A. Arthur Home
123 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 10016

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