75th Anniversary of The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden – 2013
This year marks the 75th anniversary of The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, which was first opened to the public in 1939 to coincide with the New York World’s Fair. In 1924 The Colonial Dames of America rescued the building (c. 1799) and site from deterioration and neglect and restored it as a new cultural institution, which serves as the focal point of the CDA- owned property on E. 61st Street in New York.
Pictured: standing, left to right, Mary Ann Caton, former director, Mt. Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden Sharon Vaino, President General, The Colonial Dames of America; seated: l to r, Ford Bell, President, American Alliance of Museums, Frank Barry, Director of Public Affairs, Office of Mayor Bloomberg, New York City.
The Museum’s name changed from the Abigail Adams Smith Museum to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden in 2000 after a NEH-funded reinterpretation project focused on its life as a country day hotel from 1826-1833. The Museum is one of only ten 18th-century buildings remaining in Manhattan and the only surviving example of the many country day hotels that flourished in New York City after 1825. Major research on trade, travel, leisure, education, urban development, popular music, and gender and race relationships of the 1820s-30s give thousands of visitors and school groups a taste of life at the Mount Vernon
Hotel and in the bustling commercial world of New York. To mark the anniversary, every member of The Colonial Dames of America is now automatically a member of the museum. In 2013 a Board of Proprietors, representing all CDA chapters, was organized to publicize, promote and support the MVHGM.