By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Lower Manhattan‘s Merchant’s House Museum is marking its 85th anniversary this year.

It opened to the public as a museum on May 11, 1936, after 98 years as a home to a single family.

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It was among the first 20 buildings designated in 1965 under the city’s new landmarks law and the very first in Manhattan.

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A volunteer says since they reopened a few weeks ago, there’s been plenty of interest from people just discovering the museum.

“I think we’ve had a lot of people waiting in the wings to get into the house,” said Dennis McAvena, a 12-year volunteer and interior designer. “They had no idea that it is one of the first buildings landmarked in New York City. They had no idea that it is still totally intact with original family furniture.”

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The museum is open to visitors by appointment on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Six visitors are allowed at a time. For more information, visit

CBSNewYork Team