Top Attractions

Historic Houses in NYC

by Annie Bergen, 04/23/2013

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  • Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
    Pelham Bay Park, 895 Shore Rd., 718-885-1461, Pelham Manor, Bronx
    For 50 years the Bartow family enjoyed gracious country living in the Bronx on land settled by their ancestor Thomas Pell. Robert Bartow was a wealthy publisher and printer. He built the Greek Revival mansion, completed in 1842, on a sloping lawn overlooking the Pelham Bay inlet, surrounded by orchards and pastures. The grand gray-stone two-story main house provided spacious accommodation for his wife and seven children. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia used the mansion as a summer office in 1936. A grand spiral staircase, on the left side of the entrance hall, leads to interiors restored to their 19th-century splendor with period furnishings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The mansion offers garden talks, concerts on the first Fridays of each month and various educational programs.

    Don't Miss: the master bedroom, with its dramatic early 19th-century bed made by French-born American cabinetmaker Charles-Honoré Lannuier.

    Holiday Fun:
    December 6, 5:30–8:30pm
    Holiday First Friday! with the MetropoliTones
    Shop, sip refreshments and enjoy a holiday performance by female a cappella group the MetropoliTones. Registration is preferred; call 718-885-1461 or email

    December 7, 10am–10pm
    Annual Holiday Family Day: A Storybook Christmas and Holiday Evening Celebration
    Early on, families will be treated to holiday story time, while photos with Santa, shopping and crafts continue throughout the day. For the adults, a party featuring cocktails, caroling and an auction begins at 7pm. Registration is required; call 718-885-1461 or email

    December 14, 6–8pm
    Holiday Candlelight Tours and Victorian Carolers  
    Take a twilight tour for a glimpse of the museum's Victorian past, and hear a performance of holiday tunes by the Bronx Arts Ensemble and Singers. Tickets are required for the concert; call 718-601-7399.

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