This is the fifth and final installation in our article series on the oldest buildings in each borough of New York City. Staten Island has a rich history, with buildings that are over 350 years old and reflect the borough’s Dutch Colonial history, as well as buildings that played significant roles in the American Revolution. From a house with hidden treasure, to the childhood home of one of America’s most famous female photographers, here are the top 11 oldest buildings in Staten Island:
1. The Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House, 1662
The Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House has lasted, in its original location on Richmond Road, for over three centuries, and it’s the oldest standing building in Staten Island (and the third oldest in all of New York City). The house’s earliest sections were built in 1662 by Pierre Billiou – a Huguenot and French Flanders native who fled to New Amsterdam in 1661, escaping religious persecution in Europe. His and a dozen or so families established Staten Island’s first permanent settlement called Oude Dorp, Old Town. The Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House was also occupied by British troops during the American Revolution.
A second structure was added to the house in 1680 by Billiou’s daughter Martha Stillwell and her husband Thomas Stillwell. Further additions to the house were made by the Perine family, who occupied the home from 1760 to 1913. The building is remarkable in its sloping roof, jambless fireplace and constructing material – the original sections of the house are made of stone. Another feature of note is the fact that the second part of the house, added by the Stillwells, was built around a great tree on the Billiou’s property, rather than simply cutting the tree down. The Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House is now occasionally open to the public for tours.
The Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House is located on 1476 Richmond Road