Explore New York City

10 Historic Homes to Tour in New York City

Learn about the fascinating—and sometimes strange—history of New York City by stepping into the preserved homes of famous figures.

In a city constantly erecting new structures, there’s something magical about the old—elegant estates and mansions, along with the socialites and wealthy merchants who lived there. Visitors can travel back to glorious Old New York at these preserved historical homes.

1. Edgar Allan Poe Cottage—Theodore Roosevelt supported early preservation efforts of this American poet’s home. 2640 Grand Concourse, at E. Kingsbridge Rd., Bronx, 718.881.8900 

2. Merchant’s House Museum—There have been reports of paranormal incidents since this spot opened to the public in 1936. 29 E. 4th St., btw Bowery & Lafayette St., 212.777.1089 

3. Van Cortlandt House Museum—George Washington stayed at what later became NYC’s first historic house museum. Van Cortlandt Park, Broadway, at W. 246th St., Bronx, 718.543.3344

Nicholas Roerich Museum
Nicholas Roerich Museum (Courtesy Nicholas Roerich Museum)

4. Nicholas Roerich Museum—Built in 1898, this town house displays 150 paintings by a Russian artist known as “The Master of Mountains.” 319 W. 107th St., btw West End Ave. & Riverside Dr., 212.864.7752

5. Lower East Side Tenement Museum—More than 7,000 people lived in this tenement, which now offers an authentic glimpse of immigrant life. 103 Orchard St., at Delancey St., 212.982.8420

6. Alice Austen House—The former home of a pioneer photojournalist contains her images of NYC from the 1880s to the 1950s. 2 Hylan Blvd., at Edgewater St., Staten Island, 718.816.4506 

Morris-Jumel Mansion
Morris-Jumel Mansion (©Tom Stoelker)

7. Morris-Jumel Mansion—The oldest house in Manhattan may be haunted by former resident Eliza Jumel, who was the wealthiest woman in NYC at the time of her death in 1865. 65 Jumel Terr., at Sylvan Terr., 212.923.8008   

8. Mount Vernon Hotel Museum—This 19th-century “country resort” offered an escape from the crowds below 14th Street. 421 E. 61st St., btw York & First aves., 212.838.6878

The Frick Collection
The Frick Collection (©Michael Bodycomb)

9. The Frick Collection—The Rembrandt self-portrait in the West Gallery depicts the artist as prosperous, even though he had declared bankruptcy two years earlier. 1 E. 70th St., at Fifth Ave., 212.288.0700 

10. Bartow-Pell Mansion—Pelham Bay Park’s only remaining grand country estate features 1840 Greek Revival interiors. 895 Shore Rd., Bronx, 718.885.1461