Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 27, 2022

Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

New York State Announces Expansion of Grant Cottage State Historic Site

Area to provide space for expanding educational programming and events 

National Historic Landmark plaque unveiled 

The former Mount McGregor State Correctional Facility's four-acre exercise yard has been transferred to Grant Cottage State Historic Site, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Office of General Services announced today. The transfer was announced at a ceremony celebrating the site's dedication as a National Historic Landmark. 

"We've seen growing interest in the educational programs and events at this National Historic Landmark," State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. "This parcel provides room for more visitor services, while helping to preserve the historic site's landscape setting and integrity. I'm grateful to our state agency partners at the Office of General Services and Empire State Development for making the transfer of jurisdiction a priority." 

Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, "The Office of General Services is proud to play a role in the preservation and expansion of the Grant Cottage Historic Site at Mount McGregor. Working with our partners at State Parks and ESD, our combined efforts will increase the opportunities for visitors to learn more about the history of New York State and the nation." 

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "Historical and cultural attractions, like the home where Ulysses S. Grant spent his later years, tell the story of New York's unique people, places and heritage and are an important tourism draw to the region.  As the State continues to drastically reduce its incarceration rate, finding new uses for shuttered facilities like Mount McGregor State Correctional Facility is important for the health and vitality of the communities that surround them and we are thrilled that that this parcel will serve as a historical and educational draw to the region." 

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci said, "We are always gratified to partner with our sister state agencies on the goal of benefitting New Yorkers by identifying new uses for parts of facilities that have closed. In this case, we are thrilled to help make the Grant Cottage Historic Site more accessible for visitors." 

Friends of Grant Cottage President Tim Welch said, "We are grateful to our partners in New York State for the transfer of this land to our National Historic Landmark site. This acquisition represents an important opportunity to better accommodate our visitors and expand our programming, enabling us to carry out our mission of bringing Grant's story to a wider audience." 

The newly transferred land will accommodate new site amenities, including an outdoor pavilion for programs and events, accessible parking and historical interpretation of the original Hotel Balmoral, the first development on Mount McGregor. 

On Wednesday, to celebrate Grant's 200th Birthday and promote the opening of the 2022 season, State Parks and the Friends of Grant Cottage unveiled a National Historic Landmark plaque, which is inset into a boulder at the base of the flagpole in front of the Cottage. The site was named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in January 2021, making it one of only 275 properties to receive the designation in New York State. National Historic Landmarks are historic properties that illustrate the heritage of the United States. 

The Cottage, on the hotel grounds, was offered as a residence to President Ulysses S. Grant to complete his memoirs at the end of his life. Before his death in July 1885, Grant spent the last five weeks of his life at the cottage, writing his memoirs while battling cancer. The Cottage, which has since been inextricably linked to the 18th President, became a historic site in 1890 and remains essentially the same as during his stay.