Tag: Exploring Manhattan Block by Block

Merchant’s House Museum                                                         29 East 4th Street                                                                     New York, NY 10003

Merchant’s House Museum 29 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003

Merchant’s House Museum

29 East 4th Street

New York, NY 10003

(212) 777-1089

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm/Monday-Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm

Admission: Adults $15.00/Seniors (over 65) and Students $10.00/Members are free/ Special Guided tours are $20.00

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d285699-Reviews-Merchant_s_House_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html

The Merchant House at 29 East 4th Street in NoHo

The Historic Plaque

The house is part of the NYCParks system

(from the museum’s pamphlet):

The Merchant House Museum, the former home to four generations of the Treadwell family, was built in 1832 and is designed in the late Federal style of brick and marble. When the house was built, elegant Greek Revival style rowhouses of red brick and white marble flanked the tree lined streets of this fashionable residential enclave, known then as the Bond Street Area.

The house was the home of wealthy merchant, Seabury Tredwell, his family and their four servants. Over the next 98 years, the family lived there and saw the neighborhood and the city grow, change and prosper. In 1936, after the death of the last living relative, the house opened as a museum, complete with Tredwell family’s original furnishings and personal possessions.

At the Midcentury, cast iron made its first appearance and commercial buildings and factories came to dominate the area. By the century’s end, it would be a commercial district with the Tredwell’s being the last holdouts of the area. The house was saved by the last relative’s grand nephew who bought the home to preserve it as a museum.

The home is now part of the NoHo Historic District that includes about 160 buildings, 11 of which are distinguished as individual NYC landmarks

The Entrance Hallway where you would be greeted when you enter the house

The Merchant House Kitchen ready for dinner to be prepared

the Dining Room was set for the Dutch New Year gathering

The Christmas holidays were not a big tradition in the early 1830’s when the house was built. The Dutch tradition of visiting on New Year’s Day and making calls to your friends was what many fashionable families would do to socialize with their neighbors. Tea, Coffee and punch would be served along with cakes, sweets and savories. These calls would only last about ten to fifteen minutes before you would move onto the next house. This tradition continued until Victorian times when homes were spread further apart and the family Christmas celebrations with gift giving and a Christmas tree came into fashion due to Queen Victoria and the spread of English and German traditions.

The punchbowl ready for guests on New Year’s Day

Refreshments ready for the New Year’s Day gathering

The broken pieces of the china collection of the Treadwell family. There is not a full collection of china that the family had to entertain with for formal affairs. They also did not have any china or silver of the family’s. I think that this might have been passed down to the heirs.

The Parlor of the Merchant House Museum

The piano in the Parlor of the home

The fireplace in the Parlor

The Parlor is where the family would gather after meals for entertainment and to converse with guests. This would be the main part of the house for socializing as the formal dining room and living rooms would be used for more formal affairs.

The Living Room in the Merchant House

The stairs are rather narrow and steep when you are heading upstairs to the bedrooms so you have to hold on to the rails. The bedrooms are normal size by today’s standards but back then they were pretty big plus people had their own rooms. They were nicely furnished with family heirlooms and antiques.

Mr. Treadwell’s bedroom

The portrait of Mr. Treadwell in his bedroom

Mrs. Treadwell’s bedroom

In Victorian times, the wealthy would have separate bedrooms for the husband and wife. Bedrooms would not just be a place to sleep but they were also a place of business where the family members would do their paperwork, write correspondence and arrange social events. Also, in the case of birthing, the child would be in the bedroom with their mother.

The “Valentine’s Day Card” exhibition “19th Century Valentines: Confections of Affection” on the second floor is part of the house’s extensive collection. ‘Delicate and lacy, these expressions of love celebrate the whimsy and romance of the Golden Age of Valentines’ (from the pamphlet).

The Children’s bedrooms on the third floor were closed off and used as offices for the staff so I made my way up to the Servant’s Quarters on the top floor. These people really got their exercise climbing those stairs up and down every day. The stairs seemed to get more narrow as you headed higher and God forbid there ever be a fire. You would be trapped up there with no way out.

The Servants Room on the fourth floor

The Servants Room on the fourth floor was pretty spare

Looking for the paranormal

Looking for a ghost on the fourth floor

During October, the museum hosts “Gaslight Ghost Tours”, where you tour the home by candlelight. There have been strange noises in the house ever since Gertrude Tredwell passed in 1934. She had been born in the house in 1840 and lived here until she was 93. She had never married and now it is said that her spirit is still part of the home (museum pamphlet).

After viewing the Servants Quarters and not finding any ghosts, I headed back downstairs to the main hallway leading into the house. There I saw the timeline of the family and all the family members that had lived in the house. It seemed that the last living relative, Gertrude, died in the house in 1934 and her grand-nephew bought the house and all its debts at the height of the Depression to preserve the home as a museum. Talk about insight! The nephew knew how important this home would be one day.

The Treadwell family tree in the hallway downstairs

The last part of the tour was the gardens in the back of the home. It was not a formal yard but a well landscaped walled in garden with a small fountain in the back of the gardens. The flowers were just starting to come up and there were crocuses and daffodils One of the curators was the Master Gardener for the property and did a nice job landscaping the property.

The back of the Merchant House Museum in the late Winter in the Gardens

The Gardens of the Treadwell house in the late Winter

The fountain at the gardens was off but now means to come back in the late Spring

There is a more formal tour a couple of times a day of the home but that is by reservation only and there is a separate fee.

The museum is currently having a fight to keep construction away from the home. The ten year battle to keep a hotel from being built has been a problem for the museum. The foundation and structure of the home are in danger due to the fragile state of the building. The Landmark Preservation Commission of New York is researching and looking over the proposal.

The museum is a perfect way to see how residents of a Upper Middle Class family lived in Pre-Victorian times and show the last vestiges of the neighborhood when it was a fashionable section of the City.

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Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site                                                                           28 East 20th Street                                                                      New York, NY 10003

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site 28 East 20th Street New York, NY 10003

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

28 East 20th Street

New York, NY 10003

(212) 260-1616

https://www.nps.gov/thrb/

https://www.facebook.com/TheodoreRooseveltBirthplaceNHS

Open: Temporarily closed for renovations

Admission: Free: part of the National Park System

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d143273-Reviews-Theodore_Roosevelt_Birthplace_National_Historic_Site-New_York_City_New_York.html

The Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site at 28 East 20th Street

History of the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site:

From Wiki/National Park Service Pamphlet):

The house is a replica of the birthplace and childhood home of the 26th President of the United States. The house originally stood on the site was built in 1848 and was bought by the Roosevelts in 1854. Theodore Roosevelt was born there on October 27th, 1858 and lived in the house with his family until 1872, when the neighborhood began to become more commercial, and the family moved uptown to 57th Street.

The plaque of the original house

The original home was demolished in 1916 to make way for retail space but upon the death of the President in 1919, the lot was purchased, and the house rebuilt by the Women’s Roosevelt Memorial Association, which eventually merged with the Roosevelt Memorial Association in 1953 to form the Theodore Roosevelt Association. Noted female American architect Theodate Pope Riddle was given the task of reconstructing a replica of the house, as well as designing the museum, situated next door, that serves to complete the site.

Theodore Roosevelt Sr.

Mrs.Alice Roosevelt, Theodore’s mother

The row house next door at number 26, which was the twin to the Roosevelts, was used as a model and some architectural elements from it were incorporated into the replica. The twin house was demolished to make space for the museum. The restoration recreated the house as it was in 1865.

The house is furnished in a mixture of period pieces that would have decorated the house at that time period along with Roosevelt family heirlooms. The was decorated as best as the family at that time could remember. This includes the Living Room, Dining Room, Parlor, the two bedrooms along with the children’s wing. The house had changed over the years so things are not exactly the way they would have been.

The recreation of the Roosevelt Living Room

The Roosevelt Parlor Room

The Roosevelt Dining Room

The Roosevelt Bedroom

The Roosevelt Library/Office in the bedroom area

The Roosevelt Bedroom

The house was rededicated in 1923 and was subsequently refurbished with many furnishings from the original house by the President’s widow, Edith and his two sisters. The widow and sisters also supplied information about the interior’s appearance during Roosevelt’s residency. The Theodore Roosevelt Association donated the birthplace to the National Park Service in 1963.

The lower level of the house is where the gift shop is located and the gallery room with pictures of President Roosevelt and his family and in government events. They also have the original “Teddy Bear” created for the President and the shirt that the President wore when there was an attempt on his life. There is also a series of family portraits as well.

The “Teddy Bear” is located in the display gallery in the first floor

The shirt the President was wearing when there was an attempt on his life

Try to get to the site during one of the tours and the rangers will give you a detailed talk both on the house and on the family. It is also self-guided so you can take your time to walk the house before it closes for the evening.

The renovation of the house and the displays

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling                                                              880 St. Nichols Avenue                                                           New York, NY 10032

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling 880 St. Nichols Avenue New York, NY 10032

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

880 St. Nichols Avenue

New York, NY 10032

(212) 335-0004

https://www.sugarhillmuseum.org/

Open: Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm/Monday-Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Admission: Adults $7.00/Seniors-Students with ID-Children 9-17 $4.00/Children 0-8 Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

The entrance of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling building

The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling is located on the first floor and basement level of 880 St. Nichols Avenue. This unique little museum caters to small children and their families with lots of interactive programs for the children.

The Children’s Gallery in the First Floor of the Museum with the gift shop.

Children’s Room Exhibition on the first floor

Children’s Room Exhibition on the first floor

My favorite piece in the Children’s Room exhibition

Children’s Room Exhibition

The Galleries:

There were two exhibitions going on at the museum was I visited in March of 2023, Melvin Van Peebles “Blue Room” exhibition which was narrated by his son, Mario. This featured a lot of his artwork in his East Village apartment. I never realized that he was an artist on top of a filmmaker.

Artist Melvin Van Peebles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvin_Van_Peebles

The works were quirky and unique I have to say that and they did stand out.

Melvin Van Peebles “Blue Room” exhibition

The artist/filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles “Blue Room” exhibition

The Melvin Van Peebles “Blue Room” exhibition

The “Hot Dog” sculpture in the “Blue Room” exhibition

The other exhibition that was on display was the “Caribaby” exhibition by artist Bony Ramírez. The artist is a Dominican born American artist who is self taught. His works are large, childlike and offer a look at life in the Caribbean with a twist of the influence of European Colonialism in his work. The works had unusual contours and had a distinct island feel to them.

Artist Bony Ramirez

https://bonyramirez.com/

“Caribaby” exhibition

The artist Bony Ramirez exhibition “Caribaby”

The exhibition room with Bony Ramirez’s works

Bony Ramirez’s work

Bony Ramirez’s work

The Bony Ramirez exhibition

Bony Ramirez’s work

I could see by the artworks featured by both artists that the museum show pieces that were colorful and somewhat interactive which would be perfect for a child to relate to. The two galleries were small so that the works did not overwhelm children whose attention spans were not long but make it interesting for adults as well to have such unique works by contemporary artists.

At the top of the stairs near the entrance, they had the Children’s Gallery where art students from the museum showcased their works. In some cases, the works looked pretty sophisticated. The museum is perfect for small children and their families to get involved with the interactive art and projects that the kids were doing together in the ‘Living Room’ area of the museum.

The museum galleries were broken up into the Legacy Gallery where the Melvin Van Peebles exhibition was located and the Salon where the Bony Ramirez exhibition was shown.

Mission of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling:

(From the museum’s website)

The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling provides our culturally rich neighborhood with a space where children and their families grow and learn about Sugar Hill and about the world at large, through intergenerational dialogue with artists, art and storytelling.

A spider sculpture at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum

Designed to nurture the curiosity and creative spirit of three- to eight-year-old children, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling provides opportunities to grow as both author and audience as children engage with the work of accomplished artists and storytellers and create and share their own.

Another interesting work at the museum

Another work in the main hall

The History of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling:

(From the museum’s website)

Developed by the Broadway Housing Community, The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is the cultural heart of the Sugar Hill project.

Led by founder and executive director Ellen Baxter for over 30 years, BHC has pioneered high impact solutions to the challenges of deep generational poverty and homelessness in the underserved communities of Upper Manhattan with an innovative model leveraging the synergies of housing, education and the arts to creating lasting change for underserved children, families and communities.

Together with a devoted group of community members and advisers led by Steve Seidel, Director of Harvard University’s Arts in Education Program, BHC conceived of Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling not only as a stimulating space for neighborhood families to gather and share in cultural programs but as a setting to actively address the educational needs of the community’s youngest children, many from families challenged by poverty, little formal education and a lack of proficiency in the English language.

This painting looked like girl’s earrings

Recognizing that young children are natural artists and embracing their love of stories, the Museum planning team envisioned a place that tapped into children’s intrepid curiosity and wide-ranging imaginations; where they would not only see art and talk current research on the impact of early childhood education in the arts, 3 to 8 year old’s were identified as Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling primary audience the age cohort identified as most open to learning through the arts. Through transformational experiences in art and storytelling. Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling would foster the creative intelligence and cognitive skills that prepare children for social and academic success, positively impacting the outlook for their future and the future of their community.

The Sugar Hill Project marks the geographic center of the legendary Sugar Hill historic district, home to the Harlem Renaissance. Celebrating the important history of this landmark neighborhood and signaling BHC’s commitment to the community, internationally acclaimed architect David Adjay was selected to design Sugar Hill as a beacon of opportunity. David’s architectural practice-grounded in the philosophy that social purpose and design are intertwined and mutually reinforcing was a great fit for the vision for the Museum as a vibrant arts space that reverberates with the social and cultural milieu in which it is located.

A place that celebrates learning, creativity and culture, the story of Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is now part of the Sugar Hill neighborhood too.

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight The Private Members Night at the Met  February 14th, 2023

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight The Private Members Night at the Met February 14th, 2023

Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Private Members Night.

The “Private Members Night” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art makes you want to be a member!

Touring the “Lives of the Gods-Divinity in Maya Art”

mywalkinmanhattan

Our special ‘Members Only” nights at the Met are a lot of fun!

I had just finished Finance class at NYU and I needed a break. I could tell that my Professor wanted to leave early as well and the whole class was lost on learning the Income Statement so it was a perfect time to end the class for the evening.

I had signed up for the ‘Private Members Night’ on Valentine’s Day thinking that people would not attend this event on Valentine’s Day. Boy was I wrong! The museum was packed with people all over the museum. Since the whole museum was not open (the Roman and Greek Galleries on the first floor with the American Wing to the back being open and upstairs it was the Special Galleries and the Impressionist Wing), the areas of the museum including the restaurants and gift shops filled with members dining…

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