The Fascinating History Behind the Oldest Standing Building In All of New York City

NYC sightseeing guide Tommy Silk of Landmarks of New York, who previously explained the history behind the two revolving statues that sit on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge, recounted the long and interesting history of Wyckoff House, the oldest standing building in New York City.

The Wyckoff house is the oldest building left in NYC. It dates back to at least 1652 and was occupied by the Wyckoff family for centuries.

The Wycoff House, which has been turned into a museum with a working farm, is located at 5816 Clarendon Road in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The house was originally built by Wouter van Twiller, a Dutch official in 1636. In 1652, Dutch immigrant Pieter Claesen Wyckoff purchased the house from van Twiller after he was recalled to Amsterdam. The house has been passed down within the family for centuries until it was sold to a private buyer. In 1937, the family created The Wyckoff House & Association, Inc. to protect the home from destruction and repurchased the home in 1961. It was donated to the Historic House Trust of the New York City Parks Department in 1969. The house was opened to the public in 2001.

oday, the Wyckoff House Museum’s primary mission is to preserve, interpret, and operate New York’s oldest building and the surrounding one-and-a-half acres of park. Through innovative educational and farm-based programs we build cultural and agricultural connections within our community, emphasizing immigration, family, food, and community through history.

Interestingly, the Wyckoff House was the first building in all of New York City to receive a “Landmark Status” designation.

In 1965 the house became the first structure to be designated a New York City Landmark. 

Wyckoff House Original
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.