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