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Construction of a Hotel Threatens One of NYC's Oldest Landmarks

by Chris Williams
Merchant's House Museum

Simon Schwager, flickr

Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on hotel proposal.

The Merchant's House Museum on East 4th St preserves the three-story row house as it was 180 years ago. 
The plaster ceilings, chandeliers, and rich carpeting give visitors a sense of what life was like for the original owners. 
Now, a developer is trying to build a hotel next door. 
The museum's executive director Pi Gardiner says the new hotel goes against the house's authenticity. 
"Imposing this nine-story glass building that looks like it wandered down from midtown Manhattan would destroy that experience, that 19th century vision."
Gardiner also says she's concerned construction would cause structural damage to the house inside and out.
"The level of vibration from construction could damage the plaster irrevocably and it's irreplaceable."
The hotel's design team is presenting their final plan at a public hearing on Tuesday. The Landmarks Preservation Committee will then decide if the plan is right for the neighborhood.




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