Monday, April 16, 2018

The past and future of the Merchant's House Museum

The Wall Street Journal's real-estate section (Mansion!) checked in with a feature on The Merchant's House Museum on Fourth Street, NYC's only 19th-century family home preserved intact.

The story is behind the paper's paywall. Here's an excerpt:

For nearly 100 years it was the residence of hardware merchant Seabury Tredwell and his family. Equally significant, it is the only such building to have intact servants’ quarters, giving a rare glimpse into the everyday lives of the Irish immigrant girls. The late Federal/Greek Revival residence was among the first 20 buildings to be landmarked under the city’s new landmarks law in 1965.


The story of the house begins in 1831. Hatter and real-estate speculator Joseph Brewster bought two adjacent lots for $3,550 and $3,000 in the booming Bond Street area to build two townhouses. He sold one home and moved into the other at 29 E. Fourth St. in 1832. Three years later he sold his townhouse for $18,000 to Seabury Tredwell — about the time Mr. Tredwell was leaving the hardware business for other ventures at age 55. He moved in with his wife, Eliza, and seven children. Their eighth child, Gertrude, born in 1840, was the last occupant. She lived there until she died impoverished at 93. The other townhouse was demolished in 1988.

The Journal asked asked broker Peter Sommer to estimate the listing price if the home were to go on the market today as a single-family residence with six bedrooms, one full bathroom and three half-baths. The answer: $6 million, maybe $9 million with a renovation.

The article doesn't address the pending development next door — an 8-story hotel. Museum officials and preservationists worry that the construction may cause damage to the historical home here between the Bowery and Lafayette.

The developers have promised to take extensive measures to ensure that the neighboring structure will not be harmed during the hotel construction.

As previously reported, CB2 held a public meeting (standing-room only, apparently) last Wednesday evening to discuss the proposed construction. The Board will make its decision on May 9. (Will update time and place later.) You can read the Merchant’s House call to action here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Concern again for Merchant's House Museum as developer moves forward with hotel next door

Image from 2008 via Wikipedia Commons

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