Built in 1832, this row house was home to the Tredwells, a prosperous merchant-class family, and their Irish servants for nearly 100 years.
Complete with the family's original furnishings, household objects, personal possessions, and even their clothing, the Merchant’s House provides an intimate glimpse of domestic life during the period when New York transformed from a mercantile seaport into a thriving metropolis and the center of U.S. commerce.
Visitors are given a unique opportunity to experience, with unparalleled authenticity, what daily life was like for the wealthy families who lived in this neighborhood, and also for their Irish servants, immigrants who fled famine and hardship in Ireland, and without whom the comfortable lives of their employers was impossible.
Period rooms display the Tredwell family’s furniture from New York’s finest cabinetmakers, high-style decorative objects, china and glassware, and utilitarian household items, as well as clothing, books, and other personal memorabilia. The fourth floor servants’ quarters is considered to be the oldest intact site of Irish habitation in New York City.
The late-Federal and Greek Revival building is among the finest surviving examples of the architecture of the period. Highlights include the formal Greek Revival double parlor with black-and-gold marble mantelpieces, Ionic columns, mahogany pocket doors, and elaborate ornamental plasterwork. Matching gas chandeliers from the 1850s hang from the 13-foot ceilings.
The museum’s collection of 19th century costumes and textiles is among the most significant in New York City and includes more than 30 dresses from the 1820s to the 1880s, documented as having belonged to the Tredwell women.
The Museum offers educational programs on 19th-century life and culture for adults and schoolchildren, and hosts guided tours, lectures, readings, concerts, exhibitions, performances, and other events throughout the year.
"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
The Merchant’s House Museum is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Old Merchant's House, Inc., and is a member of the Historic House Trust.