The 1826 country resort still there on 61st Street

When this Georgian-style stone carriage house—built in 1799 on today’s 61st Street off of York Avenue—became the Mount Vernon Hotel in 1826, it must have been a beautiful place for a country vacation.

“The Hotel advertised itself as ‘free from the noise and dust of the public roads, and fitted up and intended for only the most genteel and respectable’ clientele,” reports the Colonial Dames of America.

“In those days, one could take the stagecoach or steamboat up to 61st street and spend the day at the hotel sipping lemonade in the ladies parlor or playing cards in the gentlemen’s tavern.”

The hotel, complete with a one-mile racetrack, didn’t exist very long.

In 1833, it was sold and made into a country house for the Towle family (left; below, 61st Street and the East River).

Family members occupied it into the 1900s, by which time the area had become crowded and industrial, in the shadow of the new Queensboro Bridge.

Today it’s a historic site called the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Gardens—formerly the Abigail Adams Smith Museum, named after President John Adams’ daughter, who with her husband built the carriage house before the 19th century.

[Middle and bottom photos: from the Colonial Dames of America, which runs the museum]

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9 Responses to “The 1826 country resort still there on 61st Street”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    It’s amazing that such an old place was left alone to stand, and in midtown, too.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I know. Surrounded by Bed Bath and Beyond and a storage facility, no less.

  3. Rachel Gruber (@rachgrub) Says:

    I live off York and recently walked by this place. I vowed to look it up when I got home later that night, but then forgot the name. I am so glad you covered this- I’ve been wondering about it for weeks!

  4. p Says:

    one of the few pre-grid survivors

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    That gives me a great idea for an app Petey: a pre-grid New York map.

    • Jean Says:

      I’m a little late to the party, but I would LOVE that app. In fact, I proposed a related app to my fiance a bit back: for any structure in NYC, you could use the app to learn its age (and maybe the circumstances that led to its construction, and other neat details). He just laughed at me. But I would love such an app! I don’t currently have a single app I’ve paid for, but I would pay for that, for sure!

      • Somebuddy Says:

        Completely agreed! I can’t tell you how many times I walk by a building and think – I need to memorize that address and look up its history when I get home!

  6. holiday Says:

    Wonderful, what a webpage it is! This weblog provides helpful data to
    us, keep it up.

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