4. The House is Fighting for its Survival

Courtesy of the Merchant’s House Museum

The Merchant’s House Museum is currently threatened by a new construction project planned for next door. In December of 2020, the developer filed an application for a new building at 27 East 4th Street. The new structure would be much taller than the historic home and more massive than a hotel originally proposed for the site.

Construction from the new project brings with it the risk of irreversible damage to the landmark. The Museum fears it could even lead to the collapse of the fragile 189-year-old home. In December, Community Board 2 voted unanimously to reject the developer’s latest application, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission declined to vote on the application at a meeting on February 2nd. The commission requested that the developers and their consultants work with the Merchant’s House, the Parks Department, and the Historic House Trust to develop a more comprehensive protection plan for the landmark. You can learn more about the proposal, donate to the Merchant’s House Museum’s legal fund and sign a petition on their website. Half of the proceeds from our virtual tour of the Merchant’s House will be donated to the Museum!