At 18 Bowery in Chinatown (on the corner of Pell Street) stands the Edward Mooney House. It was built between 1785-1789. The land was seized from British Loyalist James Delancy and sold at auction for around $50,000. Edward Mooney was a wealthy merchant and ran a wholesale meat business and was a race horse breeder. He lived in the house until his death in 1800.
In the 1820s it became a tavern and has had many transformations – a general store and hotel, a pool parlor, a brothel and then a restaurant and a Chinese club. Most recently it was a bank. In 2013, this Revolutionary War era property sold for $5.4 million and will be converted back to a residence (read on this site).
Built in Georgian with some Federal style, it’s a rowhouse that still has it’s original hand-hewn timbers inside.
To give you an idea of how old this place is – Collect Pond existed, George Washington was sworn in as President in 1789 and he drank at the Bull’s Head Tavern which stood at 50-52 Bowery where a new hotel is being built. The notorious slum Five Points didn’t exist yet. Mooney house is about a block south from the old Bull’s Head.
In 1966, NYC designated it a landmark and in 1976 it was added to National Register of historic Places.
The Mooney House is one of the last survivors of the Colonial Era.
This little building is a block away from where I grew up. After all these years it has a name! Was very happy to find it’s story. I’ve been reading into the history of Five Points (think Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York), the notorious slum that use to exist in the Civic Center/Chinatown area in the 1800s. My goal is to find out what buildings stood and still stand today from that era and before. And this house has seen it all.
*The Edward Mooney House was around during the infamous days of “Five Points,” the notorious slum which existed around the 1820-1890s. America’s original melting pot, the first African American settlement, a neighborhood that invented tap dance, a neighborhood very rich in history. The African Americans, Irish, Germans, Anglos, Jewish, Italian and Chinese have all left their mark. Five Points is now part of the Civic Center and Chinatown area. The old slum is another childhood passion seeded by my Dad. I’ve been mapping what streets and buildings exist and/or look the same when Five Points used to exist.