Tucked unassumingly between the towers of Midtown and in the shadow of the Queensborough Bridge is a tiny piece of Manhattan history. The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum is managed by the Colonial Dames of America, even though the building itself just missed the excitement and destruction of the Revolution. But its historical credentials are still sound, with connections to the daughter of John Adams, it contains one of the best collections of recreated colonial- and federalist-style rooms in the city.

free from the noise and dust of the public roads, and fitted up and intended for only the most genteel and respectable clientele
- 1830 Advertisement for Mount Vernon Hotel

What You Will See

The museum name can be confusing. The building is over 200 years old and served many purposes over the centuries. The museum is designed to celebrate the short period between 1826 and 1833 when the city was energized by the opening of the Erie Canal. While difficult to imagine now, at the time this was a country escape from the filth and bustle of a city which ended around 14th-street. For seven years genteele Manhattanites took the long carried ride up to rest and relax in the luxury of the Mount Vernon Hotel. Rooms are restored to period conditions, accompanied by short histories of the home.

Why You Should Go

Only a few buildings remain in Manhattan built before 1800, and while the Mount Vernon Hotel does not have the Revolutionary Fame of Fraunces Tavern or the Morris-Jumel Mansion, its own proud and interesting history is still worth exploring. The manicured grounds are a rare respite of green in the neighborhood and host a variety of summer concerts and interesting lectures. Stop by and remember a time when 61st street was a country retreat.