Office of Borough President James P. Molinaro
Staten Island, New York
In the heart of Rosebank is the historic home of Antonio Meucci, the true inventor of the telephone, and Giuseppe Garibaldi, a legendary hero who championed the unification of the Italian state.
Meucci’s home was built around 1840 in the Gothic-revival style. Meucci and his wife
Ester began renting it in 1850. That same year, Garibaldi arrived in New York City
seeking refuge. Garibaldi moved in with Meucci and the two worked in Meucci’s candle
factory until 1854, when Garibaldi returned to Italy to lead the victories that unified Italy and won him world wide fame.
When Garibaldi died in 1884, a committee was formed to commemorate his stay in
Staten Island. Meucci was on hand that year when a marble plaque was placed over the
front door of the house. After Meucci’s death, the house was turned over to the Italian
community to be preserved as a memorial to Garibaldi.
By 1907, on the centennial of Garibaldi’s birth, the house was moved to its present
location, where a pantheon was erected over it. In 1919, the Garibaldi Society turned over the house to The Order Sons of Italy in America. The Order has restored and maintained the house ever since. With the assistance of the cultural department of the Italian Embassy, artifacts were collected from around the world. In May of 1956 the house was opened to the public and rededicated as The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum.
Today the museum is a National Landmark owned and operated by the Order Sons of
Italy in America. The Garibaldi-Meuicci Museum preserves the legacy of Antonio
Meucci. Visitors can view Meucci’s models as well as numerous drawings and
photographs depicting his life.
The Garibaldi Meucci Museum offers historical tours, programs, exhibitions, lectures and
even concerts. Past events include a Joe DiMaggio exhibit celebrating the life of the
legendary baseball star, Prisoners in our Own Home: The Italian American Experience as
Enemy Aliens which depicts the life of Italian Americans during WWII, and the annual
Carnevale of Venice Family Fun Day during the ten days leading up to Ash Wednesday.
A variety of programs suited to school class trips, such as educational plays which the
children design and act in, and educational programs for children and adults are also
available, as well as Italian Language classes for adults and teens.