Merchant's House Museum

Top choice museum in SoHo & Chinatown

Built in 1832 and purchased by merchant Seabury Tredwell three years later, this red-brick mansion remains the most authentic Federal house in town. It's as much about the city’s mercantile past as it is a showcase of 19th-century high-end domestic furnishings. Everything in the house is a testament to what money could buy, from the bronze gasoliers and marble mantelpieces to the elegant parlor chairs, attributed to noted furniture designer Duncan Phyfe. Even the multilevel call bells for the servants work to this day.

Many believe that the ghost of Gertrude Tredwell – Seabury's youngest child and the building's last resident – haunts the old mansion, making cameo appearances late in evenings and sometimes at public events. At a Valentine’s Day concert a few years back several attendees witnessed the shadow of a woman walk up to the performers and take a seat in the parlor chairs. Appropriately, the museum offers ghost tours after dark (usually in late October), as well as lectures, special events and historical walking tours of NoHo. Check the website.