The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, which is located in the center of Pelham Bay Park, is a monument to the Bronx’s lengthy history. This magnificent 1836 mansion, which once housed illustrious New York City families, has been converted into a museum that gives visitors a glimpse into the past.
Robert Bartow, a well-known businessman from New York City who made his fortune in shipping and trading, constructed the mansion. He bought the property in 1836 and hired John McComb Jr., an architect who was in charge of creating some of New York City’s most recognizable buildings, including City Hall and Gracie Mansion.
The 1842-built mansion is a magnificent illustration of Greek Revival design. Columns, pediments, and other elaborate exterior decorations from the time period are present. Inside, a grand foyer welcomes guests and leads to exquisitely decorated rooms, such as a parlor, dining room, and library.
The mansion has had several owners over the years, and each of them has made their mark on the building. The Pell family bought the mansion in 1888, and they gave it a modern, Victorian-style interior by building a new wing onto the property.
The mansion was purchased by the City of New York at the turn of the 20th century, and it is now a part of Pelham Bay Park. It served as a golf course clubhouse before becoming a park ranger station.
The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York restored the mansion to its former splendor in the 1930s. They opened the mansion to the public as a museum after restoring the interior to its original Greek Revival design.
Visitors can now tour the mansion and discover the background of the Bronx and its inhabitants. The museum hosts a variety of events and programs all year long, such as concerts, lectures, and guided tours.
The museum’s annual Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Picnic Jazz Series is one of its most well-attended events. The series includes a picnic under the stars and live jazz music, and it is held on the lovely grounds of the mansion. It’s a well-liked occasion for locals and guests alike and a wonderful way to enjoy the mansion’s lovely grounds and gardens.
A variety of both ongoing and one-time exhibits about the Bronx’s past and the residents of the mansion are also located there. The “Grandes Dames of the Pelham Parkway” exhibit, which tells the tale of the women who contributed to the development of the Bronx and the neighborhood, is one of the most notable displays.
The history of the mansion itself and the restoration projects that have been undertaken over the years are also available for visitors to learn about. The museum is home to a collection of images and artifacts that show the evolution of the mansion and its surroundings.
Beyond the mansion itself, the museum serves as a focal point for neighborhood programs and events. Several gardens, including a formal garden, a herb garden, and a vegetable garden, can be found on the museum’s grounds. The gardens, which are cared for by volunteers, provide visitors with a tranquil retreat in the middle of a busy city.
The museum also offers a variety of educational activities for kids and adults, such as workshops, talks, and shows. Visitors have a special opportunity thanks to these programs to discover the Bronx’s history and the people who have shaped it over the years.