Shore Road

The quiet neighborhood of Douglaston in Queens hides architectural gems, one of New York City’smost unique living organisms, and stories that date to the earliest chapters of New York City’s history. Located near the northern border with Nassau County, bordering Bayside and Little Neck, Douglaston is often grouped with Little Neck as a combined neighborhood on Long Island’s North Shore. Douglaston is home to two historic districts – Douglas Manor and Douglaston Hill – the feature some of the oldest homes in the city. The winding streets are lined with greenery and large homes, some of which have been occupied by famous residents. Here are the top 10 secrets of Douglaston!

1. The Cornelius Van Wyck House dates back to 1735

Cornelius Van Zandt House  in Douglaston

The Cornelius Van Wyck House is one of Queens’ oldest homes. It was built in 1735 by third-generation American Cornelius Van Wyck. The home on West Drive overlooks Little Neck Bay and was described by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as a “picturesque Eighteenth Century Dutch colonial house” with a saltbox roof and hand-hewn shingles. The two-story home is one of the borough’s last Dutch Colonial homes. Its oak beams and Georgian mantlepieces have been maintained over the last three centuries.

Johannes Van Wyck, Cornelius’ father, bought 125 acres of land from the Cornell family in the early 1700s. Cornelius inherited the land in 1734. The home was built on Cornelius’ family farm, which was passed on to his son Stephen and cousin Cornelius after his death. The home stayed with the family until 1819 when it was bought by the Van Zandt family, who converted the home into a guest house as they expanded their farmland further north. Eventually, the home was expanded and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the home has “a special character, special historical and aesthetic interest and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.”