The Van Cortlandt House Museum is the oldest building in the Bronx, NY, and it’s the Building of the Day for Archtober 16. Frederick Van Cortlandt purchased the land in 1694 and then built it for his family in 1748.
The style of the home is Georgian and its was constructed with natural fieldstone. The Van Cortlandt family lived in the home until 1886, then sold the estate to the City of New York to make Van Cortlandt Park. The home is at the center of the 1,000 acre estate, and in 1896 The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York restored the house. After the house was restored, it was turned into in the museum we know today.
The home played a significant role in the Revolutionary War due to its strategic location. Located on Broadway and Albany Post Road, both the Colonial and British Armies occupied the home at different times. General George Washington stayed in the home on two separate occasions and British General Sir William Howe also stayed in the home. Known for being successful merchants, the Van Cortlandts were affluent and very prominent in New York City. Some of the land on the estate was previously used as grain plantation and a grist mill.
There are many historical sites in New York City, especially from the colonial time period. This home is true rarity and is a National Historical Landmark. The home’s interior and exterior have been designated as New York City Landmarks. The museum is a private non-profit organization funded by The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York. Besides providing tours, the museum also conducts research about the Van Cortlandt family and others who worked at the home or stayed there.
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