Overview: From modest farmers’ cottages to grand mansions, New York City’s historic houses chronicle 350 years of our history, culture,... more »
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From modest farmers’ cottages to grand mansions, New York City’s historic houses chronicle 350 years of our history, culture,... more » architecture—and food!
At this year’s festival, we’ll be celebrating our unique heritage through culinary delights from around the world and across time at historic houses throughout
New York City.
The Historic House Trust’s Executive Director, Franklin Vagnone, and his “gang” will hop in an a Toyota Prius hybrid (one of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s fleet) with his smartphone and the EveryTrail app and stop at all 23 historic sites in our collection. They will enjoy the food and events of the festival while photographing and blogging all along the way.
Join them in this search for what makes New York City so diverse and tasty! less «
By 1786, James Seguine had purchased a large parcel of land overlooking Prince’s Bay. His grandson, Joseph Seguine, built the current Greek Revival-style house in 1838. In addition to operating the family’s thriving oyster harvesting business, Joseph helped establish the Staten Island Railroad Company, founded the Staten Island Oil and... More Candlemaking Company on his own property, and owned extensive farmland in the surrounding neighborhood.
The Seguines’ home reflects their prosperity. On the grand facade facing the water, six monumental square columns support a second floor gallery and classical pediment with a sweeping fanlight. Inside the house, Greek Revival mantels and plasterwork grace the spacious rooms, all of which feature tall windows and doors to circulate cool ocean breezes throughout the house. A wide, sloping lawn opens a broad vista to the bay.
Financial reversals forced the family to sell the property just after the Civil War, but descendants repurchased the house and the 10 surviving acres in 1916. After a long search for an appropriate buyer, Elizabeth Seguine Aug sold the house in 1981 to George Burke, who arranged for its transfer to the City of New York in 1989.
Today, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation operates the Mansion as a historic house museum. The Mansion and its elegant gardens are open to the public for scheduled tours led by the Urban Park Rangers during the spring, summer, and fall.
Seguine Mansion is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Lemon Creek Park
440 Seguine Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10309
For a schedule of tours, call 311 and ask for the Urban Park Rangers
Subway: #1 subway to South Ferry, R/W subway to Whitehall, or #4/5 subway to Bowling Green for the Staten Island Ferry
Bus: S78 from Staten Island Ferry terminal to Seguine Avenue
Periodic tours available.
For tour dates or to schedule a tour, call (718) 390-8012.Less
A captain in the Royal Navy, Billopp built this House around 1680 as the center of his 1,600-acre Manor of Bentley. The sophisticated, two-story fieldstone House was markedly different in both style and scale from the scattered Dutch and English farmhouses of Staten Island with its high, gabled end walls containing fireplaces and chimney stacks.... More The House had two large parlors opening off a central hall on the main floor, and two bedchambers on the floor above.
Like his great-grandfather, Colonel Christopher Billopp—who inherited the property in 1750—served in the British armed forces and was a member of the provincial government. During the Revolutionary War, Billopp remained loyal to King George III and in 1776 his house was requisitioned for the enormous British army billeted on Staten Island.
On September 11, 1776, John Adams, Edward Rutledge, and Benjamin Franklin, representing the Continental Congress, and Admiral Lord Richard Howe, representing the King’s government, met at the Billopp House. The group discussed options for a peaceful cessation of hostilities but no agreement was reached, and the fighting continued for another seven years.
The House opened as a museum in 1927. Today, it has been restored to its mid-18th-century appearance. Education programs and special events at the house focus on the Billopp family and the Revolutionary War conference that made the House famous.
The Conference House is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Conference House Association, and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Conference House Park
7455 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY
Bus: S78 bus or S59 bus to Craig Ave. / Hylan Boulevard,
walk 1 block south to Conference House Park.
April 1 - December 15th: Friday-Sunday, 1pm - 4pm. Groups by appointment.
Adults $3; Seniors & Children $2; Children 6 and under free.
This Museum is not available to rentLess
The Town of Richmond, established in the 1690s, became the seat of Staten Island’s county government in 1728. After Staten Island was incorporated into the City of New York in 1898, its government offices were moved to the town of St. George, and Richmond gradually became a quiet residential area.
Although no longer the government center of... More Staten Island, Richmond Town soon became the center of the local preservation movement. During the 1930s, volunteers from the community and the Staten Island Historical Society shared a vision of what Richmond Town’s collection of unused buildings dating back hundreds of years could become.
Today, Historic Richmond Town’s 100 acres include 28 buildings dating from the late 17th to the early 20th centuries. Half stand on their original locations in Richmond Town, and others were moved to the site throughout the 20th-century. The buildings exemplify a variety of architectural styles and create a physical journey through time, allowing visitors to explore the evolution of Staten Island through its buildings.
During the spring and summer months, the village comes alive with the daily trades and customs of old Richmond Town as period re-enactors fill its farmhouses, trade shops, and the county courthouse. In a city known for its skyscrapers, it preserves an historically scaled past for future generations.
Historic Richmond Town is a joint project of the Staten Island Historical Society and the City of New York through the Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306
Subway: #1 subway to South Ferry, R/W subway to Whitehall, or #4/5 subway to Bowling Green.
Ferry: Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island, then S74 bus to St. Patrick’s Place
July - August: Thursday & Friday, 11am- 3pm; Saturday & Sunday, 1 - 5pm; September - June: Wednesday - Sunday, 1 - 5pm with guided tours Wednesday - Friday at 2:30pm and Saturday & Sunday at 2pm & 3:30pm. Reservations required for groups. Closed on all major holidays. For more information, call
Adults $5; Seniors $4;
Children (ages 5-17) $3.50.
Children 5 and under
and SIHS members Free.Less
In 1877, at the age of 11, Austen received a camera from her uncle. She was immediately mesmerized by this new invention, and spent the next 40 years capturing some 8,000 images. She was often seen riding her bicycle around Staten Island and Manhattan, carrying almost 50 pounds of photographic equipment. Austen is best known for her street... More photography: photos of immigrants just off the boats from Ellis Island, street sweepers hard at work, postmen, bootblacks, and fishmongers. Her photographs bear witness to a strong aesthetic eye: she knew how to compose an image, what to include and leave out. Her artistic talents are evident in her photographs of nature, which were influenced by 19th-century ideas of nature as holder of both beauty and spirit.
In 1975, recognizing the importance of Alice Austen to New York's history, the City purchased the House and restored it and the grounds to their 19th-century appearance. Today, Clear Comfort operates as a museum, featuring exhibits of Austen's work and contemporary photography as well as period rooms that have been recreated based on photographs.
A National Historic Landmark, the House was inducted in 2002 into the National Trust for Historic Preservation's highly selective group of Historic Artists' Homes and Studios.
Alice Austen House Museum is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Friends of Alice Austen Inc., and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Alice Austen House
Alice Austen Park
2 Hylan Boulevard Staten Island, NY 10305
SIRT: Clifton Station
Bus: S51 (from Ferry) to Bay St./Hylan Blvd.
March thru December: Tuesday - Sunday 11am-5pm.
Adults, Students, and Seniors $3; Children under 6 are free.Less