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Merchant's House Museum

Merchant's House Museum

29 East Fourth Street
New York, NY 10003
Between Lafayette & Bowery
(212) 777-1089

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Merchant's House Museum has been reviewed by ZTrend.
These programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Merchant's House Museum
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The Merchant's House Museum offers visitors a historical perspective of Manhattan that few have ever seen. The self-guided tours allow guests a first-hand look at what life was like for a wealthy merchants family in the mid-19th century.


* While ZTrend strives to write fact-based pieces about New York City's small boutiques, "splash visit" profiles may contain inaccuracies, as "splash visits" are merely the interpretation of the writer's first-hand experience and should not to be relied upon as fact.


The home of the Tredwells tells more than just a story about when people began migrating into Manhattan to escape the growing congestion of Long Island. It was a time when today's section of Manhattan, once known as "The Bond Street Area," was a part of beautiful suburbia, and East 4th Street was a respectable tree-lined neighborhood with pristine row houses.

As a prominent hardware merchant of the 1840's, Seabury Tredwell raised his family in the beautiful Federal-style home. It is because of Gertrude Tredwell, the youngest child - who had lived in the home until her passing in 1933 - that a piece of history has been preserved.

The Greek Revival interiors of the home have undergone few renovations since being built in 1832. During Gertrude's lifetime (1840 - 1933) the interior and exterior architecture have remained largely unchanged. The parlor floor is a perfect example of a Greek Revival interior, and genuine period furnishings and decorations dress the high-ceilinged rooms. Operating as a museum since 1936, the home has been preserved with the original family furnishings, hardware, and possessions, allowing the visitors to experience the history of a wealthy merchant family and how they lived from day-to-day.

The museum has received interior and exterior landmark status from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. While in some areas of the home the original wall treatments remain flawless, there are other areas in need of a fresh coat of paint. To ensure that the color is matched, samples have been meticulously collected and analyzed, and the museum awaits the formal color restoration process.

Much has changed since the quiet, tree-lined street was alive with culture, but despite the neighborhood's transition, the museum has remained a home. Visitors are granted the opportunity to learn about the pretty young girl born to a wealthy merchant, affording a simple yet privileged lifestyle known to few at the time. There are many interesting details surrounding the Tredwell's family life, and it is up to the individual to visit the Merchant House Museum and discover what a grand life it must have been. The knowledgeable museum staff is kind and enthusiastic, answering whatever questions come to mind.

Throughout the year, the museum presents seasonal performances, presentations, lectures, and exhibits depicting life in the 1800s. Events include period story telling, reenactments and celebrations.

The museum accepts donations, as well as gifts to be sold in the museum gift shop or auctioned off at events. There is a nominal admission fee, and members receive complimentary admittance, invitations to private events, and special pricing on other scheduled events. Those visiting with a group of 10 or more are advised to contact the museum in advance.

Daily tours are self-guided and include a book filled with historical family facts and details. Visitors are asked to remain courteous, turning off cell phones and allotting a generous amount of time for guests to complete their tours.

Written by George Morales | Edited by Rebecca Benison
“Spirited” Fall Events at “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House”

NEW YORK – October 13, 2011 – This fall, the Merchant’s House Museum, “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” (according to The New York Times), offers a series of sophisticated, spine-tingling, and historically accurate events for the Halloween season. Kicking off with an exhibition of spirit photography from the 19th-century and today (open through November 28), visitors will also have the chance to take a Candlelight Ghost Tour, participate in an 1865 Funeral Reenactment, listen to Spine-Tingling and True stories of the supernatural, and attend a concert of Songs of Death & Enchantment.
     Starting Monday, October 17, the house will be set up as though patriarch Seabury Tredwell has just died, complete with a deathbed scene in the bedroom and funeral in the parlor. Costumed interpreters available for filming.
Last Update: 2013-01-09 09:55:24


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