Hidden between modern skyscrapers and nineteenth century row houses are remnants of the City’s Dutch past. While the Bronx and Manhattan only have a couple of vestiges of their Dutch past remaining, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island still possess numerous remnants from that era. Below, we explore the oldest building in each borough, which range from a 17th century farmhouse to an 18th century church.

1. Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House, Brooklyn (1652) 

The Wyckoff Farmhouse is located at 5816 Clarendon Road, in Canarsie, and its oldest section dates from circa 1652. Pieter Claesen Wyckoff arrived in New Netherlands in 1637 as an indentured servant to the van Rensselaer family. He went on to become a successful farmer and magistrate. Over the centuries, additions were made to the house and its land was sold away. On December 24, 1967, it became the first building designated as a New York City landmark. Today, the house is open to the public and is operated under the auspices of the Historic House Trust.

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6 thoughts on “The Oldest Buildings in New York City’s Five Boroughs

  1. The oldest COMPLETED building in Manhattan is not St. Paul’s Chapel, but rather the original house of the Morris Jumel Mansion, completed in 1765. Construction on St. Paul’s was begun a year earlier (1764), but finished a year later (1766) than the Morris Jumel Mansion. And as romantic the notion is to have the island’s oldest building be the amazing St. Paul’s Chapel, the year that nearly 100% of buildings are dated from is actually the year that their principal structure was completed, not when their construction was started. (Sorry, St. Paul’s…)

    1. Isn’t the Dyckman Farmhouse technically in Manhattan (Inwood)? Wouldn’t that be older than St Pauls?

      1. Actually, the Dyckman Farmhouse was built circa 1784 but St. Paul’s was built starting in 1764. But Jeff, you’re correct in specifying that 100% construction is important to note as well.

  2. I’m glad to be learning more about the Dutch influence in NY. It’s fascinating history and of particular interest to me even more now that I live in the Netherlands.

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