New York City is home to numerous world-famous museums but if you need a break from classics like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the MOMA, do check out some of the City’s smaller, off the beaten path museums. In this series, we’ll be rounding up unique house museums in each borough. They cover history, art, and nature, and are usually free of the throngs of visitors crowding into the galleries of the City’s more well-known institutions. Below, we begin by exploring five house museums located in the Bronx.
The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum is located in Pelham Bay Park and is hidden gem. The Greek Revival house was constructed in 1836 by Robert Bartow (The second half of the museum’s name in honor of Thomas Pell, who had purchased the land from the Siwanoy Indians in 1654. In 1888, the Bartow family sold the house and its vast grounds to New York City to be a part of what would become Pelham Bay Park. Over the following decades, the house served as a home to numerous private and charitable organizations. In 1936, Mayor LaGuardia used the Mansion as his Gracie Mansion. The house opened to the public as a museum in 1946 and remained open ever since. It is currently part of the Historic House Trust. In addition to the house, its grounds, gardens (and even cemetery) are well worth a visit.