Merchant's House Museum

Art & Culture | History

Lots of history (and a little haunting) at Manhattan's first landmark

merchants house garden noho

About Merchant's House Museum

 & why it made the Carpe City list

The “Merchant’s House Museum” is a gracious brick and marble row house from 1832 that shows its age… in a good way! It’s the only family home in New York City to survive intact from the 19th Century, sporting original furniture, art, and family heirlooms!

We’re not the only ones who think it’s extraordinary! The Merchant’s House Museum was among the first group of buildings designated under the 1965 Landmarks Law. Additionally, it was selected both as an interior and exterior landmark… which means it’s spectacular any way you view it!

It’s also a little “spook-tacular” since Merchant’s is a self-proclaimed haunted house! Here’s the deal: The Treadwell family bought the House in 1835, and it seems some of them never moved out! The first Treadwell was the fabulously named “Seabury Treadwell.” Only three of Seabury and Eliza Treadwell’s eight children got married. And three of the Treadwell sisters lived their entire lives at 29 East 4th Street.

The youngest, Gertrude Treadwell, was born in the House in 1840 and died there in 1933. She was the last member of the family to occupy the home. The House then became a museum in 1936, and she’s been an attraction ever since! These days, the Merchant’s House Museum invites you to “Meet Gertrude” on their popular candlelight ghost tours.

Additionally, the Treadwell Costume Collection includes over forty pieces of original 19th Century dress. You can also hit up “events to die for” in October, hear a Christmas carol read by candlelight during the holidays, and even experience “Love in the Parlors” for Valentine’s Day! Merchant’s House provides a splendid look at life in “Gaslight New York” that you can’t see anywhere else in the city, but it’s being threatened!

Even though it’s landmarked, the demolition and development next door could irrevocably damage the building and force the museum to close for up to two years. Right now, there’s a legal defense fund for Merchant’s House!

By: Lucie Levine

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