New NoHo Building Proposal Could Threaten Merchant’s House Museum

GVSHP is very concerned about a proposed new 9-story building at 27 East 4th Street (Lafayette/Bowery) abutting the venerable Merchant’s House Museum.  Because the site is within the NoHo Historic District, the design must be approved by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is scheduled to hear it on June 19.

The Merchant’s House Museum is an incredibly precious and important resource for Lower Manhattan and all of New York City.  An interior and exterior New York City Landmark within an impeccably preserved 1832 house, the museum is New York’s only 19th century family home preserved both inside and out.  Demolition and construction next door, if done incorrectly, could damage or even destroy the Museum, forcing it to shut its doors or even causing irreparable damage.  This should not be allowed to happen

That’s why GVSHP has written to the Parks Department (which owns the house), the Department of Buildings, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission to urge that they ensure that no work takes place next to the Merchant’s House without full assurances that the museum will be protected from any damage.  Because the museum is owned by a city agency and the work next door must be approved by two other city agencies, the City is in a unique position to be able to assure that this potential damage does not take place – but only if they act, which they have not yet.

GVSHP is also concerned about the design of the proposed new building, the scale of which could overwhelm the Merchant’s House and which includes large dark plate glass windows that we believe are inappropriate for this historic district.  Read more about and see images of the proposed development on GVSHP’s Landmarks Applications Webpage HERE.


June 5, 2012