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 «
In 1719, family patriarch Johannes Lott purchased a farm in the rural town of Flatlands. The Lott family quickly became leaders in their community. When Hendrick I. Lott married Mary Brownjohn in 1792, he found his grandfather’s house too old, too small, and too outmoded for a prominent member of an established family. Hendrick built a larger,... More grander house, combining Dutch and English details into a distinctly American building. Hendrick did not abandon his grandfather’s house entirely, however: it was moved to the eastern end of the new house to serve as the kitchen wing.
At its peak in the 19th-century, the Lotts’ farm included more than 200 acres. Like most of the large farmers in southern Brooklyn, the Lotts relied on the labor of slaves, indentured servants, and hired hands to grow the crops that they sold in the markets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. However, the Lotts freed their slaves by 1805, years before the abolition of slavery in New York State in 1827. Later, the House may have served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
The family continued to farm at the site until 1925. The last Lott family member lived there until her death in 1989. The house and grounds are currently closed for restoration.
The Hendrick I. Lott House is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Hendrick I. Lott House Preservation Association, and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Hendrick I. Lott House
1940 East 36th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Subway: B or Q subway to Kings Highway, then B2 bus to Fillmore Avenue and East 36th Street
Currently closed to the public for restoration.
Suggested donation $3;
Children under 12 free.Less
Its history exemplifies the diversity of Brooklyn’s colonial farms, where Dutch-American landowners, enslaved and freed Africans, and later European immigrants labored on some of the country’s most fertile land.
Pieter Claesen Wyckoff, an illiterate teenage farm laborer, arrived in the New Netherlands in 1637. After serving his indenture to the ... Morevan Rensselaer family, he and his wife, Grietje van Nes, settled in the village of Nieuw Amersfoort (modern East Flatbush-Flatlands, Brooklyn) where Wyckoff became a successful farmer and magistrate. Today his and Grietje’s eleven children have more than 50,000 descendants.
The Wyckoff Farmhouse typifies the vernacular farmhouse architecture of the Dutch-American farms of Brooklyn and Queens. Generations of Wyckoffs enlarged and altered the House and continued to farm the land until 1901.
Wyckoff descendants established the Wyckoff House & Association in 1937 and re-purchased the House from its last private owner in 1961. In 1965 the House became the first structure to be designated a New York City Landmark. The Association donated the House to the City of New York in 1969. Extensively restored, it opened to the public in 1982. Today the Museum’s mission is to educate visitors about the diverse peoples of Brooklyn’s colonial farms. Preservation efforts continue with the reconstruction of gardens, orchards, and the 200-year-old Wyckoff Durling barn.
The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum & Education Center is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Wyckoff House & Association, and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum & Education Center
The Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House, c.1652
5816 Clarendon Road at Ralph Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203
Subway: #2 or #5 subway to Newkirk Avenue, then B8 bus to Beverley Road at East 59th Street; or B47 or B7 bus to Clarendon Road
Walk-in tours: Tuesday- Friday, 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Closed Sundays November - April. Appointment required for groups of 6 or more
Children, Students & Seniors $1.Less
During the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776, a regiment of about 400 volunteers from Maryland engaged a superior force of British and Hessian soldiers in a desperate defensive maneuver to enable other American troops to flee across the Gowanus marshes to the safety of Washington's encampment on Brooklyn Heights. The Marylanders’ sacrifice became ... Morelegend – a storied moment in a long war.
After the war’s end, the Cortelyou family owned the house from 1790 to 1850. In the following years, the land surrounding the old Vechte-Cortelyou farmhouse was filled to provide level building lots for fashionable row houses.
The square block around the battle shrine remained intact and became Washington Park in 1883. Its lawns were the summer home of the Brooklyn Baseball Club – later known as the Brooklyn Dodgers – which used the House as its first headquarters. In 1889 and 1890, the World Series was played at Washington Park, establishing the tradition of Brooklyn baseball.
Today, reconstructed from original stones near the original site, the Old Stone House serves as an interpretive and educational center dedicated to Brooklyn history, as well as a cultural resource for the community.
Old Stone House is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Old Stone House of Brooklyn Inc., and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Old Stone House
Washington Park (formerly J.J. Byrne Park)
Fifth Avenue at Third Street
Subway: R to Union Street; F to Fourth Avenue
Bus: B63 to Fifth Avenue and Third Street
Saturday & Sunday, 11am - 4pm.
Suggested donation $3; Children under 12 free.Less
Pieter Lefferts built the house around 1783, four generations after his ancestors arrived in the New World. Lefferts served as a lieutenant in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and was later appointed to a judgeship in Kings County. He also served as a member of the New York State convention that ratified the Constitution in 1788.
... More Lefferts’s son, John, inherited the farm when his father died. Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt, John’s daughter, recorded the history of her family, her community, and her landmark home in The Social History of Flatbush, published in 1881.
By the turn of the century, Brooklyn’s rural setting was disappearing under the sprawl of real estate development. In 1917, the estate of John Lefferts offered the House to the City of New York on the condition that the House be moved from its original location onto city property. The City accepted the offer and moved the House into Prospect Park in 1918. In 1920, it was opened as a museum by the Fort Greene chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Today, Lefferts Historic House is a museum of family life in Brooklyn in the 1820s. Period rooms furnished to reflect daily life, demonstration gardens and fields, and hands-on American craft activities help visitors understand the changes in Brooklyn’s landscape since the 18th-century.
Lefferts Historic House is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the Prospect Park Alliance, and is a member of the Historic House Trust.
Lefferts Historic House Museum
Flatbush Avenue at Empire Boulevard/Ocean Avenue, near the Willink Entrance to the Park
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Subway: Q, S or B to Prospect Park station
Bus: B16 or B43 to Ocean Avenue and Empire Boulevard; B41 or B48 to Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard.
January-March: Saturday-Sunday 12-4pm; April-May 25: Saturday-Sunday 12-5pm; Memorial Day-Labor Day: Thursday-Sunday 12-5pm and until 6pm July & August. Open all holidays. Open by appointment for students and researchers. School and group programs offered year-round Tuesday-Friday.