Having spent quite a bit of my childhood in the New York City Borough of Brooklyn, I am more than a little chagrinned to admit that I never visited the oldest house in NYC which is located there. In fact, I passed by the location many times completely unaware. Of course, it’s easy to blame my family for never even pointing it out to me.
Now known as the Wyckoff House, the unassuming home was the first building in NYC to achieve historic landmark status. The house was built for the original occupants Pieter Claesen Wyckoff and his wife, Grietje Van Ness-Wyckoff in 1652. The home was a single room with a packed earth floor, unglazed windows, a large open hearth, and doors at either end. The video below, from the history series New Netherland Now offers a short historical perspective on the site.
It’s miraculous that the house survived the growth of urban Brooklyn. Thanks to descendants of Pieter and Grietje Wyckoff the home was saved from demolition in the early 20th century and donated to the New York City Parks Department.