6. New Utrecht Reformed Church is one of the oldest in the country and houses perhaps the only remaining liberty pole in the U.S.
New Utrecht Reformed Church, located in Bensonhurst on 18th Avenue and 83rd Street, is the fourth oldest Reformed Church in America congregation. Dutch residents in the town of New Utrecht established the church in 1677, and the present church was built in 1828 using some of the original stones from the 1700 building. The church’s construction was overseen by Rene Edward De Russy, who also led construction efforts on Fort Hamilton. The church and its cemetery are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Gothic Revival church’s cemetery was consecrated in 1654 and was the burial grounds for over 1,300 people. During the American Revolution, the original octagonal church functioned as a hospital and riding school. Passersby may also notice a street named Liberty Pole Boulevard, which pays homage to the liberty pole that was constructed in 1783 to commemorate the American victory over the British. The present pole, the sixth one on church grounds, was actually exhibited during the 1939-1940 World’s Fair. According to the church’s website, it is the only liberty pole remaining in the original thirteen United States.