Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

421 East 61 Street

The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden (formerly known as the Abigail Adams Smith Museum) presents the period of the Mount Vernon Hotel (1826-1833). Constructed in 1799 as a carriage house for a 23-acre estate, and converted into the Mount Vernon Hot... more

The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden (formerly known as the Abigail Adams Smith Museum) presents the period of the Mount Vernon Hotel (1826-1833). Constructed in 1799 as a carriage house for a 23-acre estate, and converted into the Mount Vernon Hotel in 1826, this stone building sits on land originally owned by Colonel William Stevens Smith, and his wife Abigail Adams Smith, daughter of John Adams.  This fashionable country resort was popular among New Yorkers who wished to escape the hustle and bustle of the city which at that time extended only as far north as 14th Street. The Hotel advertised itself as “free from the noise and dust of the public roads, and fitted up and intended for only the most genteel and respectable” clientele. In those days, one could take the stagecoach or steamboat up to 61st street and spend the day at the hotel sipping lemonade in the ladies parlor or playing cards in the gentlemen’s tavern. In 1833, the house became the home for three generations of a New York City family. In 1905, as the area became more industrialized, the building was purchased by Standard Gas Light Company (today’s Con Edison).  The Colonial Dames of America, a woman’s pa... more

The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden (formerly known as the Abigail Adams Smith Museum) presents the period of the Mount Vernon Hotel (1826-1833). Constructed in 1799 as a carriage house for a 23-acre estate, and converted into the Mount Vernon Hotel in 1826, this stone building sits on land originally owned by Colonel William Stevens Smith, and his wife Abigail Adams Smith, daughter of John Adams. 

This fashionable country resort was popular among New Yorkers who wished to escape the hustle and bustle of the city which at that time extended only as far north as 14th Street. The Hotel advertised itself as “free from the noise and dust of the public roads, and fitted up and intended for only the most genteel and respectable” clientele. In those days, one could take the stagecoach or steamboat up to 61st street and spend the day at the hotel sipping lemonade in the ladies parlor or playing cards in the gentlemen’s tavern.

In 1833, the house became the home for three generations of a New York City family. In 1905, as the area became more industrialized, the building was purchased by Standard Gas Light Company (today’s Con Edison).  The Colonial Dames of America, a woman’s patriotic society purchased the building in 1924. After extensive restoration to the structure, the Colonial Dames opened the site to the public in 1939.  The building endures as a rare reminder of an important era in New York City’s history.

The Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art and artifacts, and the historical research of objects and subjects pertaining to the interpretation of the Mount Vernon Hotel, and related information in America in the first half of the 19th century, particularly the hotel industry, the pursuit of leisure, travel, and the customs of Americans within the context of the history of New York City. The Museum promotes dissemination of historical knowledge through tours of its historic rooms, education programs, exhibitions, publications, lectures, symposia, and any other means deemed appropriate by the Board of Managers of the Colonial Dames of America.


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Upper East Side Description

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden is located in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. How best to describe one of the most famous neighborhoods in the United States? Aside from the extreme concentration of the rich and the famous, their opulent dwellings, and the army of doormen, butlers and chauffeurs who serve them, the Upper East Side is also a showcase for some of America’s finest cultural establishments.

Walk along Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile which features a veritable plethora of artistic and cultural institutions. For some of the best contemporary art collections, visit the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the recently renovated cylindrical wonder that is the Guggenheim. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim has always prided itself on being home to innovative and at times controversial works of art since its inception in 1959. There’s also the Jewish Museum, one of the world's largest and most important institutions devoted to exploring the remarkable scope and diversity of Jewish culture.

Of course, no visit to Museum Mile would be complete without to the city’s crown jewel, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Many special exhibits complement the permanent displays at the Met, yet the collection is so vast that the huge storage areas under Central Park are bursting with pictures, sculptures and other objects d’art. From rare, ancient Egyptian relics to medieval coats of armor to a costume gallery that spans seven centuries it’s almost impossible to see everything in one visit, so multiple trips may be necessary. In addition, visit the nearby Whitney Museum of American Art and see thousands of works of art including collections by seminal artists such as Edward Hopper, Alexander Calder and Reginald Marsh. The Asia Society Museum, and Frick Collection are also nearby.

The official residence of New York City’s mayor, Gracie Mansion, is at the northern end of Carl Schurz Park on 89th Street. The main floor of the mansion is open to the public and is a showcase for art and antiques created by New York designers, cabinetmakers, painters and sculptors. Tours must be reserved in advance however.

From glamorous Fifth and Park Avenues to the fashionable townhouses in the East Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, there are too many noteworthy addresses to list, but a veritable Who’s Who of American society can be found here and if you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of it. For your best bet, try dinner at Elaine’s. While the food is essentially secondary to the patronage, it remains a great spot for celeb-spotting. Named after its famed, cantankerous owner who can still be spotted their nearly every night attending to customers, the casual bistro is a frequented by a high celebrity clientele and counts Woody Allen, Michael Caine and Jackie Onassis among its devotees. Good luck getting a reservation. If it's fresh seafood you're craving try Atlantic Grill. Sample the daily selection of oysters and clams on the half shell from the raw bar. Or try their unique take on sushi and sashimi. Restaurant Daniel is another great dining option renowned for its award-winning French cuisine and elegant atmosphere.

The Upper East Side is also home to some of the most luxurious hotels in New York. There's the classic Carlyle, which has been called home by leaders in world affairs, business, society, entertainment and the arts since its debut in 1930. The Carlyle remains a landmark of elegance and refined taste. Other prestigious hotels in the area include The Mark, which has been cited as one of the top 100 U.S. and Canada hotels in a Travel + Leisure's readers' poll and the sophisticated Lowell. A bit further south at the southeastern corner of Central Park, of course there's the most legendary hotel of them all, The Plaza, which set the standard for luxury when it opened over a century ago. The tradition continues following a recently completed $400 million, two-year renovation. The passion and uncompromising service, which made the hotel a legend, has returned with a new and contemporary spirit.

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Info

421 East 61 Street
New York, NY 10021
(212) 838-6878
Website

Editorial Rating

Admission And Tickets

$8 - Adults
$7 - Students and Seniors
Children under 12: Free
Members: Free

This Week's Hours

Tue-Sun: 11:00am-4:00pm

Closed New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Nearby Subway

  • to Lexington Ave
  • to Roosevelt Island
  • to Lexington Ave
  • to 59th St -- 0.4

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