Built in 1832, the Merchant's House Museum is a unique survivor of old New York. It is New York City's only family home preserved intact - inside and out - from the 19th century. Home to a prosperous merchant family for almost 100 years, it is complete with its original furniture, decorative arts, clothing, and personal memorabilia.
Architecturally, the Merchant's House is considered one of the finest surviving examples of the period. The exterior façade is late-Federal, with dormer windows and a fanlight above the front door. Inside, one of the most exquisite Greek Revival interiors can be found. The formal parlors feature identical black-and-gold marble mantelpieces, a stunning Ionic double-column screen, and mahogany pocket doors separating the rooms. The matching plaster ceiling medallions are among the finest such designs extant. When built in 1832, the house included all of the modern technological conveniences of the era, including piping for illuminating gas, a 4000-gallon cistern, and a bell system that summoned the four live-in servants. Three floors of the house are available for viewing.
The importance of the Merchant's House has been recognized by numerous landmark designations. In 1936, it was documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey; in 1964, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark ; on October 14, 1965, it was designated as a New York City Landmark; on December 22, 1981, it was designated as a New York City interior landmark; and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The interior is filled with the family's furniture and belongings, including pieces from New York's finest cabinetmakers, such as Duncan Phyfe and Joseph Meeks, along with opulent decorative accessories. Personal possessions - unfinished needlework, family photographs, a shaving mirror, and sewing boxes - leave the impression that the family has just stepped out for a minute. Costumes belonging to the Tredwell women along with gloves, hats, shoes, parasols, shawls, and undergarments are displayed on a rotating basis.
Admission And Tickets
Telephone: (212) 777-1089
Address: 29 East Fourth Street
Cross Streets bet. Lafayette Street and Bowery
- to Bleecker St
- to Astor Place -- 0.2
Hours And Additional Info
On Saturdays and Sundays, guided tours are given;
tours on weekdays are self-guided.