Merchant’s House Museum

On 4th Street between Lafayette and the Bowery stands a historic 5-story building–once a private home and now a museum–built in 1832. 183 years years ago. When I think about what the city looked, sounded or smelled like back then–yet alone what it cost–my mind reels. The fact that you could buy a 5-story, 10+ bedroom home with a backyard for $18,000 causes my eyes to involuntarily shed buckets of tears. I went to the Merchant’s House Museum today with my parents and implore anyone who likes stepping back into the times of yore to spend an hour or two there.

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 My pops getting a closer look.

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Everything was so detailed back then. Very impressive.

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photo 4 My amateur camera skills make the bedroom and “parlor” pictures look especially creepy and shadowy. I promise it’s not as haunted-looking in person.

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That molding. Also, the ornate apparatus hanging from the ceiling is not a chandelier as I originally thought, but a gasolier. (The lights are fueled by gas.) Who knew!

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Two 21st century gals taking mass transit home from the museum.

Our insanely sweet tour guide, Bill, told us that the 1-story garage abutting the museum’s western side is being turned into an 8-story hotel. The very act of building that hotel threatens the structural integrity of the 183-year-old building. I really hope that the panel reviewing the architectural plans takes that into consideration so the museum isn’t destroyed in the process. These beautiful old buildings are what makes NYC so rich with history and culture. If they’re all ruined in the pursuit of commercialism, our city is doomed.

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