Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, New York City

4.2
#43 of 53 in Historic Sites in New York City
History Museum Historic Site
The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, formerly the Abigail Adams Smith Museum, is a historic antebellum residential building at 421 East 61st Street, near the East River, in New York City. It is open to the public.HistoryOne of only eight surviving pre-1800 buildings in Manhattan, the hotel was originally built as a carriage house and stable in 1799 for a nearby estate. Owner Joseph Coleman Hart converted it into a hotel in 1826. The Mount Vernon Hotel operated in a city experiencing huge commercial growth after the opening of the Erie Canal. Its location offered guests a respite from the dirt, noise, and bustle of city life. In the 1830s, the commercial shipping and business districts of New York City lay below City Hall, while private residences extended as far north as modern-day Chelsea, and it was common for upper- and middle-class residents and visitors to take day trips to the then-rural setting that is now midtown Manhattan. One of over 50 day hotels in or near New York City, the Mount Vernon attracted middle-class guests with leisure activities like boating trips, unusual exhibitions, reading, and making new friends. In a city without public parks or public libraries, these day hotels offered “gentlemen and their families” and other guests new ways to have fun. They could escape the explosive growth of New York City's population and the ensuing urbanization (the population of New York City, 123,706 in 1820, had grown to 202,589 by 1830) and spend a quiet day near the river and be home downtown by sunset.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
40 reviews
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4.2
TripAdvisor
  • This should have been a much better experience than what we had. Where other reviewers mentioned being able to spend over an hour and taking their time, our guide was strange indeed,. She spoke fast, ...  more »
  • I have lived by for years and watched this historical house evolve into a truly lovely experience...the docents are very knowledgable and the furniture/ house itself quite interesting. For a low price...  more »
  • A very old place and smart space. To the old place was clean and well preserved. And here he is pretty friendly. There was a 3 hour. The Park was clean, cosy atmosphere. Wanted to for a long long time and space. It's really clean and beautiful place. real good.
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  • The Murdee Mystery event I attended here was well organized and the Museum is well kept.
  • One of only 8 buildings in Manhattan built pre-1800. This one was built in 1799 and was turned into a hotel in the 1820's. It's a great way to see relics and rooms from that time period.
  • Structure itself is amazing. Furniture and many aspects of the interior are not original to the building but rather of the period. This is a place that is good for learning about the life and times of the Mount Vernon Hotel as a hotel, rather than about the structure and building itself. The mandatory video and guided tour didn't help. Walk by and marvel, no need to go in.
  • Historic house that was owned by Abigail Adams family. Period rooms, furniture and other accessories on exhibit, and a small yard/garden. Any historic house in New York is a great resource, especially because of the slash and burn building occurring everywhere. That something 200 years old was preserved, maintained, and open to the public is worth 5 stars, but since this is carefully preserved by people interested in New York and American history is even better.
  • Constructed in 1799 as a carriage house and turned into the Mount Vernon Hotel in 1826, this stone building sits on land originally owned by Colonel William Stephens Smith, and his wife Abigail Adams Smith - the daughter of John Adams. There are event offerings throughout the year. I attended a murder-mystery event at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum last week and had a great time. I would very much come back for another event, possibly for one of the summer concerts.

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