Secrets of the Seaport Museum

For its most recent visit, the Columns Club went on a behind-the-scenes tour of Schermerhorn Row, the last remaining complete row of early 19th-century countinghouses in New York City and currently home of the South Street Seaport Museum. 

William Roka, historian and public programs manager at the Seaport Museum led the group up onto floors nestled beneath steeply-pitched eaves, spaces that have been largely unused since Hurricane Sandy and are usually closed to the public. The Columns Club also gained access to the hidden hotel and saloon rooms made famous by New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell in his book “Up in the Old Hotel,” spaces strangely preserved in time. Roka also guided attendees through the current exhibition Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914, which explores the defining differences between travel for wealthy Americans and those immigrating to the United States in that period.

After our visit we retired to the historic Paris Cafe, one of the oldest bars in New York City, for drinks and socializing. 


Contact Brad Vogel at with questions or to see if your membership is up to date.

Above: Schermerhorn Row; Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons