The Lott House in Marine Park

In an ongoing series here at Untapped Cities, we are researching the oldest buildings in each of New York City’s five boroughs. It’s important to remember the history that still exists in this ever-changing, ever-renovating city, and Brooklyn is home to several historic, century-old buildings. In fact, Brooklyn is home to some of the oldest surviving buildings in all of New York City! From colonial farmhouses built by the first Europeans to settle in the area, to buildings that played a major role in the American Revolution, here’s a list of the top ten oldest buildings in Brooklyn.

1. The Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House, 1652

Holding the title for the oldest surviving structure in New York City, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House (commonly known as the Wyckoff House) in Canarsie is the oldest example of Dutch saltbox-frame houses in America. The saltbox house is a traditional New England style of architecture marked by a long, pitched roof that slopes down to the back of the house, making it so the back is one story tall but the front is two. The Wyckoff House, almost 400 years old, is one of the first structures built by Europeans on Long Island.

Pieter Claesen Wyckoff arrived in the Dutch colony New Netherland in 1637 and worked as an indentured farm hand until he became a tenant farmer and married the Dutch-born Grietje van Nes, siring eleven children with her. The Wyckoff house, originally a simple structure with a packed earth floor and open hearth, expanded to six rooms and held the family for eight generations. In 1982 the house was restored and reopened as The Wyckoff Museum.

Fun fact: The Wyckoff surname is so unique that the majority of Americans with the Wyckoff last name, and any of its variations, can trace their descendants to one of Pieter and Grietje’s eleven children!

The Wyckoff House is located at 5816 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn.

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One Response
  1. Thank you for highlighting three of the 23 historic houses under the Historic House Trust umbrella!
    Wyckoff House Museum (#1), Hendrick I. Lott House (#3), and the Lefferts Historic House (#7).

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