2019 Past Programs



NEW YEAR’S DAY, Tuesday, January 1, 2 to 5 p.m.
‘Come Calling’ on New Year’s Day
Paying calls on friends and family on New Year’s Day was one of Old New York’s most cherished customs. The Tredwells’ elegant parlors are decorated with swags of evergreens, brilliant holly berries, white mistletoe, and red-leafed poinsettias – and a table top tree festooned with ribbons and candles.

Join us for tours of the house, walking tours of the NoHo neighborhood, 19th century readings about New Year’s Day celebrations, and hot cider and cookies, as we continue the 19th century tradition of renewing, reviving, and reaffirming friendships. Exhibition on view: At Home with the Tredwells: A 19th Century Christmas.

“New York seemed to enjoy a general carnival. Broadway, from one end to the other, was alive with private carriages, omnibuses, cabs, and curricles, and lines of pedestrians fringed the carriageways.” From the Diary of Philip Hone, 1844.

$20, FREE for MHM Members.
HOLIDAY RAFFLE drawing at 4:30 p.m. Win Two Tickets to HAMILTON on Broadway, and lots and lots more! All proceeds go to our Legal Fund to defeat the developers.

Exhibition Open Friday, November 23, through Monday, January 7
At Home with the Tredwells: A 19th Century Christmas
Step back in time to the 1850s and join Seabury and Eliza Tredwell as they celebrate the season with elaborate holiday parties, festive food, and gift giving. Their elegant parlors are decorated with swags of evergreens, brilliant holly berries, white mistletoe, and red-leafed poinsettias – and a table top tree festooned with ribbons and candles. In the kitchen, the Irish servants are preparing the plum pudding, shucking the oysters, and readying the punch bowl. Upstairs in the bedrooms, the gifts for relatives and friends are set out and the Tredwell daughters are dressing in their finest silks.

Discover how many of our modern holiday traditions, from table-top Christmas trees, to presents and stockings, Christmas carols and songs (and Santa Claus, too) originated in mid-19th century New York. Included with regular admission.

Exhibition Open Friday, November 23, through Monday, January  7
Charles Dickens Performs ‘A Christmas Carol’ in New York, December 1867
In December 1867, Charles Dickens arrived in New York City for a month of sold-out performances of his beloved 1843 holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Dickens performed at the 2,500 seat Steinway Hall on 14th Street, the center of cultural life in the city, and just a few blocks from the Tredwell home. And the critics raved: “The Christmas Carol becomes doubly enchanting when one hears it performed by Dickens.” (New York Herald, 1867)

Wednesday, January 9, 6:30 p.m.
The NEW New York: Immigration, 1820s-1880s – An Overview
Cooper Union’s Frederick P. Rose Auditorium
41 Cooper Square at 7th Street 
Immigration in the 19th century brought diverse cultures together, illuminating global struggles, triumphs, and movements, and made our neighborhoods what they are today. This talk will focus on the microcosm of Bond Street, an exclusive area east of Washington Square, developed in the 1820s by John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant. The neighborhood was a residential enclave for wealthy merchant families, notably the Tredwells on East 4th Street, whose roots ran deep in English soil. Their lifestyle was assured only by the existence of domestic servants, many of whom were Irish immigrants.

SJ Costello will explore the motivating push-pull factors that led Irish, Germans, Chinese, Eastern Europeans, and Italians to emigrate. In the coming months, each of these immigrant groups will be explored in depth.

SJ Costello is a Senior Educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, illustrator, and general story-teller. SJ’s work focuses on public history and narratives centered in 19th and 20th century America.
Co-sponsored with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
Hosted by The Cooper Union.
FREE. Reservations are required. Click here to register.

Opens Thursday, January 17, through Monday, April 15
Exhibition: “Finest Surviving:” Ornamental Plasterwork at the Merchant’s House Museum
The 1832 Merchant’s House is one of only 120 buildings in New York City distinguished as an exterior – and interior – landmark. Its intact original ornamental plaster work is considered the “finest surviving” from the period. Learn how the plaster walls, ceilings, and ornamentation in the Merchant’s House were created in the 19th century. On display, original 1832 plaster fragments and molds and plaster casts created by sculptor and ornamental plasterer David Flaharty, who used the same methods as the early 19th century artisans during a house-wide restoration in the 1970s. Included with General Admission.

Friday, January 25, 6:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Dark Days of Winter Candlelight Ghost Tour of “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” (The New York Times)
Doors slam, floorboards creak, voices call into the dead of night. Venture into the shadows of history to see the house where seven family members died and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them.
“#1 Most Haunted Place in NYC” (TimeOut New York)
50-60 minutes. $30, $20 Members. Click here to purchase tickets.
Upcoming Ghost Tours: Friday, February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19.

Saturday, January 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Behind-the-Ropes: Insider’s Tours of the Merchant’s House
First in a Series – The Architecture of an 1832 Landmark (Manhattan’s First)
Next up:
Saturday, February 23:
Changing Tastes in 19th Century Furniture
Saturday, March 30: 100 Years of Domestic Lighting
Join us for a series of rare off-hours tours of the Merchant’s House. We’ll explore in detail the architecture of the 1832 Merchant’s House, one of only 120 buildings designated an interior and exterior landmark in New York, and examine the finer points of the original Tredwell family collection of furniture and domestic lighting.

We’ll gather in the 1850s kitchen (bring your own coffee) for an overview of the landmark Merchant’s House and intact collection of more than 3,000 objects owned by the Tredwell family. We’ll then tour the house, including the rarely seen bedrooms on the 3rd floor (now staff offices), even peek up into the attic. We’ll pull out drawers to show furniture construction details, remove shades of lamps to see the workings, open locked doors … and more. From late Federal to Greek Revival, Duncan Phyfe to Rococo Revival; whale oil to gas to kerosene, you’ll gain new perspectives on these unique insider’s tours, learning about changing period styles and technologies and how they reflect the attitudes and values of the merchant class in mid-19th century New York City.

Anthony Bellov: Bachelor’s in Architecture from Pratt Institute, Graduate in Museum Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, long-time volunteer and board member of the Merchant’s House Museum and an aficionado in 19th Century American Decorative Arts and Architecture.

$30, $25 Members. Limited to 20 participants. Click here to purchase tickets.

Wednesday, January 30, 6:30 p.m. 
Illustrated Lecture: Just Another Brick in the Wall: The Mating of Brick and Terracotta in Six Great New York Buildings 
Brick and terracotta are the chocolate and peanut butter of architecture. Fine each on its own, together they create something uniquely delicious. In some cases, the combination was a means of achieving sumptuous effects without the use of expensive stone. Stanford White was the master of this approach. In other cases, the materials were used for their own beauty. Little sets the architecture buff’s juices flowing as does elegant brickwork, and New York architects’ wildly varied uses of terracotta have given this city some of its most exquisite and exuberant decoration.

This illustrated lecture will explore the properties of these materials, and architects’ uses of them in combination, through a look at six buildings: Babb, Cook & Willard’s DeVinne Press Building (right at the Merchant House’s corner), Bruce Price’s St. James Building, William B. Tuthill’s Carnegie Hall (one of the most underrated buildings in New York), Ralph Walker’s 60 Hudson Street, McKim, Mead & White’s Judson Memorial Church, and Henry J. Hardenbergh’s Schermerhorn Building (just down the street from the Merchant’s House).

A collaboration with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.
$30 General Public, $20 MHM & ICAA Members.
SOLD OUT. Email nyc1832@merchantshouse.org to join the wait list.
Seating is limited. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Francis Morrone is a renowned architectural historian and writer. The author of eleven books, including, most recently, “Guide to New York City Urban Landscapes” (W.W. Norton, 2013). Morrone has also written highly regarded architectural guidebooks to Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. His writings have appeared in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New Criterion, City Journal, Humanities and the New York Sun, where he was an art and architecture critic. He teaches architectural and urban history at New York University, and is the recipient of the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Travel + Leisure magazine named him as one of the 13 best tour guides in the world. Other awards include the Arthur Ross Award of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.


The Merchant’s House Museum will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 14, for that evening’s Love in the Parlors concert.

Thursday, February 14, 7 p.m.
Love in the Parlors — A Valentine in Concert
The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society presents a gala concert of lush, romantic vocal music  performed in the Museum’s elegant Greek Revival double parlor. Singers Anthony Bellov, Amy Gluck, Jane Elizabeth Rady, and Dayle Vander Sande perform rarely heard gems by the world’s greatest 19th-century composers: Schumann, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Amy Beach, Johann Strauss II, and others. Chosen by NBC Online and TimeOut NY as a top pick for Valentine’s Day.
90minutes. Very limited capacity.
General admission $50, VIP (first 2 rows) $65
MHM Members $30, VIP $45. Click here to purchase tickets.