Just up the street from the 59th Street Bridge, tucked between towering apartment buildings and a mini storage, sits a little-known New York City relic, the Mount Vernon Hotel. For 213 years, the city has grown around the small stone building, built in 1799 at 421 East 61st Street as a barn for the estate of William T. Robinson. Today, it remains a garden oasis and a historic architectural gem. ScoutingNY points out the best part is how the building incorporates the natural bedrock into its design.
To get to the second story, there's a staircase built into the stone, which leads visitors to the top of a large chunk of schist rising about 10 feet. The bedrock nestles close to the building, and a path leads to a small bridge and the door to the upper level, where, apparently, a complete skeleton was discovered in the early 1900s. If you'd rather avoid the ghosts, there's also a small dirt path that leads to a secluded secret garden.