Historic House Trust

The Historic House Trust of New York City was formed in 1989 as a public-private partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation[1] to preserve the historic houses located within New York City parks,[2] although most of the houses were not originally city-owned.[3] The Trust works with the individual houses to restore and promote the houses as a means of educating residents and visitors about the social, economic and political history of New York City and cast urban history in a new light.[4] The Trust includes 23 historic sites, with 18 operating as museums and attracting 729,000 annual visitors.[2]


The Historic House Trust includes properties in each of New York City's five boroughs,[5] and there is a house for every period in the City's history, depending on one's scheme of dividing history.[4] A number of the properties have live-in caretakers to help prevent vandalism and other problems.[6]

Landmark name
Image Built Borough Description
Alice Austen House Museum 1690 Staten Island
40°36′54″N 74°03′49″W / 40.614917°N 74.063611°W / 40.614917; -74.063611 (Alice Austen House Museum)
Home of photographer Alice Austen. Now a museum.
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum 1836 The Bronx
40°52′18″N 73°48′21″W / 40.871611°N 73.805944°W / 40.871611; -73.805944 (Bartow-Pell Mansion)
Exemplifies a type of early 19th-century country living in the Pelham Bay Park area.
The Conference House 1675 Staten Island
40°30′10″N 74°15′14″W / 40.502861°N 74.253778°W / 40.502861; -74.253778 (The Conference House)
The Staten Island Peace Conference held here on September 11, 1776 unsuccessfully attempted to end the American Revolutionary War. This National and New York City Landmark is the only surviving pre-Revolutionary manor house in New York City.
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum 1784 Manhattan
40°52′03″N 73°55′24″W / 40.867547°N 73.923256°W / 40.867547; -73.923256 (Dyckman Farmhouse)
Gracie Mansion 1799 Manhattan
40°46′34″N 73°56′36″W / 40.776111°N 73.943333°W / 40.776111; -73.943333 (Gracie Mansion)
Historic Richmond Town 1670 Staten Island
40°34′17″N 74°08′45″W / 40.571294°N 74.145814°W / 40.571294; -74.145814 (Historic Richmond Town)
King Manor Museum 1750 Queens
40°42′11″N 73°51′43″W / 40.703056°N 73.861944°W / 40.703056; -73.861944 (King Manor)
Kingsland Homestead 1785 Queens
40°45′49″N 73°49′27″W / 40.763718°N 73.824255°W / 40.763718; -73.824255 (Kingsland Homestead)
Home to the remains of a weeping beech tree that was one of New York City's two "living landmarks"[7] and the 'matriarch' of such trees in the United States[8]
Lewis H. Latimer House 1889 Queens
40°45′58″N 73°49′46″W / 40.766063°N 73.829402°W / 40.766063; -73.829402 (Lewis Latimer House)
Lefferts Historic House 1777 Brooklyn
40°39′52″N 73°57′50″W / 40.664323°N 73.963802°W / 40.664323; -73.963802 (Lefferts Historic House)
The Little Red Lighthouse 1889 Manhattan
40°51′01″N 73°56′49″W / 40.850242°N 73.946947°W / 40.850242; -73.946947 (Little Red Lighthouse)
Hendrick I. Lott House 1720 Brooklyn
40°36′37″N 73°55′58″W / 40.610278°N 73.932778°W / 40.610278; -73.932778 (Hendrick I. Lott)
Merchant's House Museum 1832 Manhattan
40°43′40″N 73°59′33″W / 40.727639°N 73.992528°W / 40.727639; -73.992528 (Merchants House Museum)
Morris-Jumel Mansion 1675 Manhattan
40°50′04″N 73°56′19″W / 40.834528°N 73.938611°W / 40.834528; -73.938611 (Morris-Jumel Mansion)
The Old Stone House 1699 Brooklyn
40°40′23″N 73°59′05″W / 40.672958°N 73.984625°W / 40.672958; -73.984625 (Old Stone House)
A 1930 reconstruction with some original materials of the Vechte-Cortelyou House which was destroyed in 1897. The site was part of the Battle of Long Island. It also housed the predecessors to the Brooklyn Dodgers at one time.
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage 1797 The Bronx
40°51′55″N 73°53′40″W / 40.865278°N 73.894444°W / 40.865278; -73.894444 (Edgar Allan Poe House)
Queens County Farm Museum 1750 Queens
40°44′54″N 73°43′21″W / 40.748379°N 73.722612°W / 40.748379; -73.722612 (Queens County Farm Museum)
Seguine Mansion 1838 Staten Island
40°30′55″N 74°11′51″W / 40.515218°N 74.19753°W / 40.515218; -74.19753 (Seguine Mansion)
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre 1877 Manhattan
40°46′48″N 73°58′13″W / 40.779976°N 73.970215°W / 40.779976; -73.970215 (Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre)
Valentine-Varian House 1758 The Bronx
40°52′38″N 73°52′47″W / 40.877222°N 73.879722°W / 40.877222; -73.879722 (Valantine-Varian House)
Van Cortlandt House Museum 1758 The Bronx
40°53′24″N 73°53′47″W / 40.89°N 73.896389°W / 40.89; -73.896389 (Van Cortland House)
The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum 1652 Brooklyn
40°38′40″N 73°55′15″W / 40.64444°N 73.92083°W / 40.64444; -73.92083 (Wycoff Farmhouse Museum)


In 1988, the City Parks department established a Historic House Office to preserve the 23 City-owned historic house-museums located in City parks. This office gave way to the Historic House Trust of New York City in 1989, funded by private donations,[9] as well as grants,[10] with the goal of each house becoming a professionally accredited museum.[11] In an effort to increase awareness of the program during its first year of operation, the Trust developed a so-called passport program wherein visitors would receive stamps each time they visited one of the houses. If a visitor went to all 23 properties, they would receive an audience with the Mayor.[12] HHT's passport program was brought back in 2008 as a method of commemorating the Trust's 20th anniversary.[13]

The Trust also holds events such as the Historic Houses Festival, during which all the houses are open with different events at each, in order to raise awareness.[9] New properties are added to the Trust when they come under city control if private care-taking or ownership has not succeeded,[14] although the contents of the home may remain under private ownership.[15]


  1. Albanese, Laura (2007-03-26). "Restoration bringing Lott all back home". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  2. 1 2 "About Us". The Historic House Trust of New York City. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  3. "Polishing the City's Gems". The New York Times. 1989-06-23. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  4. 1 2 Amy Gale (2004-09-08). "Houses Bring New York's Past to Life". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  5. "Houses". The Historic House Trust of New York City. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  6. Lynn M. Ermann (1999-05-23). "Making it Work; A Life of Housework". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  7. Richard Weir (1999-01-17). "Old Tree May be Benched". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  8. Richard Weir (1999-03-14). "Weeping Beech Will Live On in Memory, and in Art". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  9. 1 2 "15 Historic Houses Saved from Obscurity". The New York Times. 1989-05-11. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  10. Richard Weir (1998-06-28). "Marine Park; A Farmhouse with a Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  11. Timothy C. Forbes, Betsy Gotbaum (1991-11-10). "Old Yacht Club". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  12. Carol Vogel (1989-06-22). "Currents; A Passport to History in Houses". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  13. "20th Anniversary". Historic House Trust. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  14. Richard Weir (1999-02-28). "Fort Totten's Old Houses are Tottering". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  15. Jim O'Grady (2003-06-22). "Fresh Hope for a Modest House That Helped Nurture Freedom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-15.

External links

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