Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden

An artistic depiction of guests at the 18th-century Mount Vernon Hotel in New York City. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
An artistic depiction of guests at the 18th-century Mount Vernon Hotel in New York City. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

I recently discovered the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden while hurrying to an appointment on East 68th Street. It’s just north of the Queenborough Bridge in Manhattan.

Cozy and Charming

Amongst office and coop buildings sat this beautiful, ancient stone building. Once I saw it, I stopped and could hardly take my eyes off this cozy, charming, well-maintained, 18th-century hotel. 

18th Century Hotel

Its locked gates and imposing stone wall were mysterious, and I knew I must get inside to see the gardens and building. How marvelous that an 18th-century hotel survived to stand so firmly in 21st-century New York’s Upper East Side. Fortunately, The Colonial Dames of America (CDA) purchased the building in 1924. It was built in 1799.

Sidewalk view of the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Sidewalk view of the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

The Hotel sign and outdoor spaces at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

The Hotel sign and outdoor spaces at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

You can explore this hidden gem, too! A QR code on the entrance wall brought me to their website, where I purchased museum tickets for the following day. 

Riverside Country Escape

As I entered the gate and ascended the steps to the covered porch, city sounds receded into the background. Once inside the door, the warm wooden floorboards, molding, period furniture, and accessories invited one to rest a spell and immerse themselves in this riverside country escape for city dwellers from lower Manhattan.

Friendly Guides

After a quick video and discussion in the parlor, the friendly, well-informed staff guided me through the property. It was a delightful and welcome step back in time to Manhattan’s bucolic countryside, steps away from the clamor of downtown.

Entry door to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Entry door to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Colonial Dames of America

I found on their website that the Hotel was advertised as “free from the noise and dust of the public roads and fitted up and intended for only the most genteel and respectable” clientele. “In 1833, the house became the home for three generations of a New York City family…the Colonial Dames of America (CDA), a women’s lineage society committed to historic education and preservation, purchased the building in 1924.”

Delightful Interiors

Here are some photos to give you a sense of the property’s features, delightful interiors, and comfortable gardens:

Game Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Game Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Food Preparation Area at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Food Preparation Area at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Dining Table at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Dining Table at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum _1565 Photo by Valerie Blanchard Large

Great Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Great Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Bedroom at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Bedroom at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Bookcase at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Bookcase at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Needlepoint at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Needlepoint at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Living Space at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Living Space at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Living Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Living Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Music Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Music Room at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard


Sofa and Staircase at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Sofa and Staircase at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Welcome area and Fireplace at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Welcome area and Fireplace at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Keyboard at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Keyboard at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Furnishings and Picture at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Furnishings and Picture at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Corner Table at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Corner Table at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard


Plant beds at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Plant beds at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Plantings at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Plantings at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Rear entrance at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Rear entrance at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Gardens at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Gardens at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Garden Entrance to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Garden Entrance to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

View of the Queensborough Bridge from the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

View of the Queensborough Bridge from the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Entry to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Entry to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Photo by Valerie Blanchard

Immersive Experience

I highly recommend a visit to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden. It is a welcome, quiet respite from the sounds of the city with an immersive experience providing an interesting perspective on life and leisure in New York City in 1890.

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden

421 East 61st Street
New York, NY 10065

Tickets and Information

The Museum Tour takes about one hour. Reservations are required; tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, $5 for children, and under age 12 are free.

For information, go to mvhm.org

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Tea Around Town, Kurant Wine Bar, BalthazarCopinette French RestaurantHutong New York, and The Palm Midtown.

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden

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