Complete with the family’s original furnishings and personal possessions, the house offers a rare and intimate glimpse of domestic life during the significant era of the 19th-century when New York City was transformed from a colonial seaport into a thriving metropolis.
Period rooms display the family’s furniture from New York’s best cabinetmakers, high-style decorative objects, china and glassware, utilitarian household items, as well as clothing, books, and other personal memorabilia. 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 parlors with black-and-gold marble mantelpieces, Ionic columns, mahogany pocket doors, and elaborate ornamental plasterwork. Matching gas chandeliers from the 1830s 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 Merchant's House Museum is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Old Merchants House, Inc., and is a member of the Historic House Trust.