A Call to Arms!

Illustration by SJ Costello

SAVE THE MERCHANT’S HOUSE! Illustration by SJ Costello


The Merchant’s House is Fighting for Its Survival!

For six years, the Merchant’s House Museum has been fighting to stop proposed construction of an eight-story hotel next door at 27 East 4th Street that would dangerously compromise the structural stability of the museum’s 1832 landmark building, risking complete collapse. 

The Merchant’s House is a federal, state, and city landmark. It is one of the city’s first designated landmarks and one of only 120 buildings (and one of only six residences) that is both an exterior and an interior landmark. Remarkably, landmark status does not guarantee protection from adjacent construction.

The Latest News: It’s Down to the Wire

Because the planned eight-story hotel violates the City’s Zoning Resolution, the developers have applied for a series of special permits. The seven-month public review process, the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), began last April.

On August 25, the City Planning Commission rejected the recommendations of both Community Board 2 and the Manhattan Borough President and (unbelievably) voted to approve the application.

The developers’ application is now with the City Council.
Please ATTEND the public hearing on September 17!

City Council Public Hearing
Monday, September 17, 9:30 a.m.
250 Broadway, 16th Floor

The City Council must REJECT the developer’s application.

Why Oppose the Proposed Hotel!

  • The Merchant’s House would suffer catastrophic structural damage and likely collapse during construction.
  • The developers’ application for a zoning text amendment is illegal “spot zoning” – benefiting the developers alone.
  • The proposed eight-story hotel is undesirable and unnecessary at this location. The community neither wants nor needs another hotel on 4th Street.
  • The developer could shift the hotel project around the corner to 403 Lafayette Street, which is connected to the East 4th Street site, thus removing all risk to the Merchant’s House.

How You Can Help

  • ATTEND the public hearing on September 17, 250 Broadway, 16th floor, 9:30am and voice your opposition!
  • WRITE the City Council urging them to REJECT the developer’s application.
    Click here for an easy online form.
  • SIGN our petition — Click here.
  • DONATE to the MHM Legal Fund (see below).
  • SPREAD THE WORD! Ask your friends and colleagues to help!

The Merchant’s House is a vital – and irreplaceable – New York City cultural institution. Open to the public since 1936, it is New York City’s only family home preserved intact, inside and out, from the 19th century.

“If the Merchant’s House can’t be protected, no landmark is safe.
No historic district is safe.
No natural resource is safe. No community or neighborhood is safe.”
Michael Hiller, land use, zoning, and preservation lawyer

We can’t save the Merchant’s House without your help!
Please consider a donation. Any amount will make a difference.


#SaveTheMerchantsHouse    #DefeatTheDevelopers
#StopTheMadness   #DontMessWithGertrude



“In my estimation, the Merchant’s House is without a doubt
the most important historic house in this city, and
it’s now probably the most endangered one.”
Michael Devonshire, Architectural preservationist and
Commissioner, Landmarks Preservation Commission


“… New York City has plenty of boring eight-story hotels, but we only have one Merchant’s House.”
Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director, Historic Districts Council