4. Morris-Jumel Mansion
Perched atop a hill in Washington Heights, the Morris-Jumel Mansion is one of NYC’s most prominent Revolutionary War sites. It served first as a summer house for a wealthy British colonel, then as headquarters for troops during the American Revolution, then an inn for weary travelers. Constructed in 1765, the Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest residence in Manhattan, built as a summer house for British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife Mary Philipse. The mansion was originally called “Mount Morris” since it was situated on 135 acres at one of the island’s highest points.
When the American Revolution broke out in 1776, the Morrises departed, and George Washington and his Continental officers converted the home into their headquarters. Washington secured a victory during the Battle of Harlem Heights partially because of the home’s strategic location atop a high vantage point between the Hudson and Harlem Rivers. Shortly after, though, Washington and his troops retreated north to White Plains, after which the mansion was occupied by British and Hessian armies.