Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sights to See: Merchant’s House Museum, NYC


Merchant’s House Museum  29 East Fourth St./Lafayette St. near Bowery, in NoHo, (212) 777-1089.  Thur-M 12-5pm, Thur to 8pm.  $15, seniors+students $10, under 12 free.  Tours, including a Ghost Tour, are available.  When it was built in 1832, this 4-story late Federal-style row house, built with red brick and white marble, was quite fashionable, and the neighborhood was known as the Bond Street Area.  It was the home of a prosperous middle-class hardware merchant and his family.  Visitors today are provided with a loose-leaf binder that guides you through the house and provides information about each room.  The last time it was extensively redecorated was in the 1850s.  Then, after being a home for 98 years, it became a museum in 1936.  With its careful preservation both inside and out, including original furnishings, it offers a rare glimpse into the past.  A narrow, creaky staircase leads to the upper floors, though the children’s rooms are now staff office space.  At the very top, the “Irish girls’ room” in the attic was lived in by a succession of servants and shows a simpler life style.  Today, the neighborhood is fashionable once again, though now it is filled with high-rise apartment buildings and condominiums, boutiques, and restaurants.  Be prepared to leave your purse and bags at the reception in an unlocked space.  Ironically, the attendants expect you to trust them with your valuables but don’t trust you not to steal if they let you carry your own bags, using the excuse of tight spaces.  This policy was almost enough to be a deal breaker for my visit, but I did give in to it, and though I was very uncomfortable leaving my purse with a stranger, and I did remove my wallet and cell phone to carry with me, I enjoyed exploring the premises though I did not enjoy the previous premise.  


front exterior of Merchant’s House Museum in NYC
front exterior of Merchant’s House Museum in NYC


hallway at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC
hallway at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC

Imari china breakfast set at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC
Imari china breakfast set at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC


kitchen at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC
kitchen at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC

bedroom at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC
bedroom at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC

back yard at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC
back yard at Merchant’s House Museum in NYC

back exterior of Merchant’s House Museum in NYC
back exterior of Merchant’s House Museum in NYC


The perfect place to have lunch before or after is at Lafayette.  


More small museums of NYC.

More things to do in NYC.  

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.


images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

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