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“Remarkable little museum”

Merchant's House Museum
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Revolutionary War Era Walking Tour
Ranked #136 of 1,080 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only 19th century home preserved intact, with original family furnishings and personal belongings.A unique survivor of Old New York, the House offers a rare and intimate glimpse of how a prosperous merchant family and their Irish servants lived from 1835 to 1865, when New York grew from seaport to thriving metropolis."The distinction of the Merchant's House -- and it is a powerful one -- is that it is the real thing. One simply walks through the beautiful doorway into another time and place in New York."The New York Times
New York, NY
Level Contributor
333 reviews
176 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Remarkable little museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2012

I can't believe I lived here for five years before visiting this little museum in my neighborhood. Turns out it's really great. It's an old house that has been maintained/restored. From the moment I walked in the front door, I felt like I was in a small town museum - I was personally welcomed by a docent and given a binder with a self-guided tour inside and instructions on where to go to start the tour. The binder was very thorough and filled with interesting information. Allow two hours to absorb everything and get a good look around. Then the docent was available for questions afterwards. I happened to visit Merchant's House a few weeks after I went on the Gracie Mansion tour. Both houses are restored to about the same time period and the tours complemented each other well. I recommend visiting the Merchants House for a glimpse into old school, wealthy New York.

Thank julie248
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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South Orange, New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2012

While many of the streets in Greenwich Village still have their early 19th century charm, most of them have been broken up into smaller apartments. A the Merchant's House Museum you can actually experience what it was like to live in the Village and in NYC in the mid 1800s. If you love historical houses, this one is a must. Also, not many people visit it, so it's one of the few tourist attractions in the City that's not overrun.

Thank Marvin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
1 review
“A unique and colorful place to visit while in NYC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

Loved this place! It doesn't hurt that I'm an antebellum-aphile. But what made it special was seeing all the furnishings that belonged to the family. The exhibit was fascinating, and I read that they have great programs -- lectures, concerts and such. They also seem to be a museum with a sense of humor -- I read about an upcoming concert called "Death and Enchantment." If I were local I'd become a member. Go! It's a great break from everything else you'll visit in NYC.

Visited November 2011
Thank DPFlambe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
366 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 297 helpful votes
“Great little museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2012

This is a lovely example of preservation; a three floor town house of 19th century origin, maintained almost as it was when the original residents lived in it (some things have been moved for exhibitions or for expositional purposes). While we were visiting, the basement was undergoing restorative treatment, which meant the rear garden had some unsightly scaffolding, but it was still pleasant.

The house offers a great insight into the living standards of the upper middle classes and their servants a century and a half back, and is well worth visiting. Note that it's easy to miss - the entrance doesn't have a huge sign declaring its presence, and you need to ring a bell in order to be admitted - you can't just open the front door and walk in off the street. Possibly unsuitable for small children as there's no interactivity, and steep stairs mean it's no good if you have a stroller.

Visited August 2011
Thank MrCushtie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
349 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2011

This elegant row house standing close to Washington Square was built in 1832 as a home for a prosperous merchant trading family who lived here for almost 100 years. Now a 'living museum' it is complete with the family's furnishings and personal possessions, the house offers a rare, and intimate glimpse of domestic life among the more privileged in NYC during that period in direct contrast to that other excellent living museum The Lower East Side Tenement Museum,

For $10 (or $5 Senior Citizens) you get a conducted tour around the house with helpful commentary. The house is undergoing considerable restoration at present and so it is advisable to check the museum's website before going along.

And the ghosts? Supposedly it is the most haunted house in Manhattan with visitors, staff, even passers-by reporting seeing, hearing or smelling things that weren't there which all adds to the fascination of this attraction.

Visited May 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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