Gotham Logo Gotham Logo  
About The Gotham Center
 Main | Add a Resource | Browse by Category | Edit Your Resource


Maple Grove Cemetery
Maple Grove Cemetery is a lovely and historic, 65-acre rural cemetery located in Kew Gardens in the Borough of Queens, New York City. Maple Grove is a vital, active cemetery that offers many options for burial of your loved one. The not-for-profit, non-sectarian Maple Grove Cemetery Association, which operates the cemetery, was organized in 1875. We have a long-standing reputation for providing caring, sensitive services for families and funeral directors. Over the years, Maple Grove has played a key role in the development of local Queens County communities. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places we are actively exploring our past and the lives of those who have been laid to rest here.

Merchant's House Museum
The Merchant's House is Manhattan's only family home preserved intact -- both inside and out -- from the 19th century. We tell the story of what life was REALLY like.

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum
Begun c. 1652, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House is New York City’s oldest structure and one of the oldest wooden frame houses in the country. It was the first site to be designated a Landmark upon the creation of the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968. Pieter Claesen emigrated from the Netherlands in 1637 as an indentured servant and through connections to Peter Stuyvesant, Director-General of New Netherlands, settled in what was then known as New Amersfoort in 1652. Successive generations of Wyckoffs farmed the land until 1901. His descendents donated the house to the City in 1969 and after an exhaustive restoration it opened as a museum in 1982. The Museum’s mission is to educate New Yorkers about the earliest patterns of Dutch and English agrarian life in the region. School programs include demonstrations of household and farm activities and public events are scheduled throughout the year. The Museum is owned by the City of New York/Department of Parks & Recreation, administered by the Historic House Trust of New York City, and operated by the Wyckoff House & Association, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization incorporated in 1972

Wyckoff House and Association
The Wyckoff House & Association was established in 1937 to promote interest in Pieter Claesen Wyckoff, his descendants, and in the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House located in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn, New York.

Alwyn Court Apartments
Originally built as an apartment building, with sprawling 14-room apartments, which were later subdivided. The facade of the building is breathtakingly beautiful, totally covered with terra-cota ornamental carvings in the Francois I style. The building is located one block north of Carnegie Hall, and is worth a visit.

Bartow Pell Mansion Museum
Begun in 1836, the Pell mansion, on Long Island Sound, is a National Historic Landmark. It has a Greek Revival interior, gray stone exterior and furnishings in Federal and Empire styles. Also a formal garden. (And it really does look like a "mansion.")

Beth Hamedrash Hagadol
This Gothic Revival former Baptist church was built in 1850, and purchased in 1885 by the oldest Russian Jewish Orthodox congregation in America.

Bialystoker Synagogue
Formerly a stop on the network of Underground Railroad houses and churches in NYC. Originally Willet St. Church

Bowne House
Built by John Bowne in 1661, this is one of New York City's oldest houses and a fine example of Dutch-English architecture in the U.S. Owned by the Bowne family until 1945, the house has an extensive and notable collection of 17th and 18th century furniture, pewter, artifacts, paintings, and Bowne family documents. The house has additional historic significance because it was here that John Bowne voiced his opposition to the outlawing of the Quaker sect by New Amsterdam governor Peter Stuyvesant. Bowne's protest not only secured freedom of religion for the colony, but also established the precedent that more than a century later led to the adoption of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Carnegie Hall
The world famous concert hall opened on May 5, 1891 with a five day festival during which the composer Tchaikovsky conducted his works. Built under Andrew Carnegie's patronage and designed by William Burnet Tuthill. In the late 1950's, the illustrious hall was nearly demolished save for the intervention of a group of citizens led by violinist Isaac Stern. In the 1980's the hall embarked on a $60 million renovation-restoration, the most extensive in its history, which was completed prior to the hall's centennial celebrations in 1990-1991.

Central Synagogue
The splendid Moorish Revival building designed by Henry Fernbach was built in 1872. Its sanctuary is the oldest Jewish house of worship in continuous use in the New York City. The structure features two star-studded bronze cupolas and a richly decorated interior of blues, earthy reds, ocher, and gilt - Moorish in inspiration but distinctly American 19th century. The Synagogue has an outstanding Judaica Museum which exhibits objects of Jewish life and ritual in exhibitions in the Synagogue and in the lobby of the Community House across the street at 123 East 55th Street.

Church of the Incarnation
This English Gothic Revival church, designed by architect E.T. Littell, opened its doors in the 1864. After a fire in 1882, it was rebuilt and enlarged and further restored in 1913. The church is richly decorated with windows, murals, wood carvings, statues and memorials by many well-known artists, including Daniel Chester French, John LaFarge, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Augustus Saint Gaudens, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.

Church of the Intercession
Called a Gothic Revivalist Dream come true, the Church of the Intercession is set on a bluf overlooking the Hudson River. Built in 1914, the large church, tower, cloister, parish house, and vicarage were designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue for an independent congregation of the Episcopal Church of New York. The adjoining bucolic churchyard was once the rural cemetery of Wall Street's Trinity Church. In even earlier times, it was part of the farm of John James Audubon, the great artist-naturalist.

Congreagtion Shaarai Shomoyim
First Romanian-American congregation. An impressive, much neglected interior distinguishes this imposing Romanesque-Revival building, which began as a church in 1890.

Built in 1887, this first major synagogue of Eastern European Jews is slowly being restored and encouraging vestiges of its former grandeur are already in view.

Edgar Allen Poe Cottage
This small cottage, where, from 1846-49 Poe wrote "Annabel Lee" and "Eureka" among other works, was the last home of the poet. It is typical of the kinds of workmen's houses that used to dominate the Bronx and has been open as a museum since 1917. Tour includes 20 min. video on Poe's life and times in 1840s New York.

First Roumanian American Congregation
This red brick former Methodist church was built in 1850. It is known as "the Cantor's Carnegie Hall" because opera stars Jan Peerce, Richard Tucker and others launched their careers here.

Fraunces Tavern Museum
Housed in the building where George Washington said farewell to his officers at the close of the American Revolution, Fraunces Tavern Museum places particular emphasis on the history of the tavern and Lower Manhattan during the Revolutionary War period. Fraunces Tavern was built in 1719 as an elegant residence for the merchant Stephan Delancey and his family. In 1762, the home was purchased by tavern-keeper Samuel Fraunces, who turned it into one of the most popular taverns of the day. Though it is best known as the site where Washington gave his farewell address to the officers of the Continental Army, in 1783, the tavern also played a significant role in pre-Revolutionary activities. After the war, when New York was the nation’s first capital, the tavern was rented to the new government to house the offices of the Departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs. In 1904, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York purchased the tavern and hired preservation architect William Mersereau to return the building to its colonial appearance. Fraunces Tavern® Museum opened to the public in 1907. Today, the museum complex includes four 19th century buildings in addition to the 18th century Fraunces Tavern building.

Friends Meeting House
Now (and in the 19th century) a Quaker meeting house, this landmark building used to shelter escaped slaves as part of New York's underground railroad.

Garibaldi-Meucci Museum
Imagine Giuseppe Garibaldi, "the legendary hero of two worlds," noted for his liberation efforts in South America and his unification of Italy, and the Florentine-born engineer and inventor Antonio Meucci, actually talking over the telephone in 1850 in a quaint home in Staten Island. This remarkable moment, which unravels history, is commemorated in the very house in which Garibaldi and Meucci lived. Today the house is a National Landmark owned and administered by the Order Sons of Italy in America. Visit the actual place where telephone history was made, where a great friendship thrived and where the vision of Italian Unifcation was formed. View documents, historic telephone models and hand-hewn furniture of Meucci's home. Learn how Meucci discovered how he could transmit a human voice over a copper wire charged with electricity--at a time when Alexander Graham Bell was a small child in Scotland. Find out why Garibaldi refused Abraham Lincoln's offer to become a Commanding General in the Union Army during the Civil War.

General Theological Seminary
The Seminary campus, which occupies an entire city block called Chelsea Square, is an island of utter tranquility. Found here in a setting of lawn and trees U.S. Commissioned by the Seminary's third dean, Eugene Augustus Hoffman, and designed by Charles Coolidge Haight in the 1880s. The campus was inspired by the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. Among its 19 buidlings are the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, a bell tower, St. Marks Library, the Dean's residence and a dormitory and classroom buildings, including a duplicate of the first Gothic Revival classroom building in the U.S., constructed on this site in 1826.

Gracie Mansion
Gracie Mansion, located on the banks of the East River, was constructed in 1799 as the country house of Archibald Gracie, a Scottish shipping magnate. The elite of New York and the literati of the day were entertained in the Federal style mansion notable for its three-sided porch and the trellis railings that sweep around the house at the upper levels. Gracie Mansion was acquired by the City of New York in 1896, and since 1942 it has been the official residence of the City's mayors. Today, ten rooms are open to the public, featuring art and antiques illustrating the history of the City of New York. Adjoining the mansion are a public part and beautiful river side promenade.

Green-Wood Cemetery
Built in 1838 by order of the City of Brooklyn. First, the Green-Wood Cenmetery is a great example of 19th century landscape design. Second, its grounds are scattered with buildings in a host of architectural styles. Third, lots of famous people are buried here: Leonard Bernstein, Samuel F. B. Morse, Peter Cooper, Henry Ward Beecher, General Henry Halleck, Louis Comfort Tiffany, George Ebbets, to name a few. Art on the grounds is by, among others, George Bellows, Louis C. Tiffany, John Lafarge, George Catlin, William Merrit Chase, Karl Muller.

The Beaux Arts community center sits in a huge recreational park. Opening as a gymnasium in 1900, it imitated the plans for the Petit Palais in the Paris Exhibition of the same year.

Charming early 19th-century Federal and Greek Revival style town houses are the headquarters for the social agency founded by Lillian Wald in 1867.

Harbor Defense Museum at Fort Hamilton
Built between 1825 and 1831 to defend the narrows of New York Harbor, this is New York's first granite fort. Features of the preserved fort include a house where Robert E. Lee is said to have lived, the 1892 officers quarters, the 1896 commissary, and barracks constructed between 1908 and 1910. Several exhibitions tell of the history of defending the harbor.

Historic House Trust of New York City
The Historic House Trust was founded in 1989 to work in partnership with the City of New York/Parks and Recreation to preserve, enhance, and support 19 historic house museums located in parks in all five boroughs.

Historic Richmond Town
This historic village began as a hamlet in 1690, and by 1730 became the seat of county government. It was restored to portray the evolution of a Staten Island settlement during the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Occupying 100 acres, Richmond Town has more than two dozen buildings representing a variety of architectural styles across four centuries. Authentic furnishings, antique toys, vehicles, costumes and churches, trade shops, and even the jail of the village. Town life and the activities of its early householders, farmers, merchants and tradesmen are reenacted for visitors. Historic Richmond Town is owned by the City of New York.

House of The National Society of Colonial Damess
This house is an interpretive reconstruction of one built in 1750 on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. Constructed by Colonial Revival architect Richard Henry Dana in 1928-1930, it borrows architectural and interior design elements from such renowned colonial house as the Philipse Manor in Yonkers and Governor's Palace and Releigh Tavern in Williamsburg. The house features colonial furnishings, paintings and porcelains.

Kehila Kedosha Janina
Built in 1927, this is the only Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Greek Jews practice a 2000 year old tradition that is separate and distinct from Sephardic and Ashkenasi Jews. The synagogue houses a unique museum and gallery of Greek Jewish life and culture.

King Manor Museum
This early 19th century house takes its name from Rufus King, one of the most distinguished figures in the this nation's early history. King served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, U.S. Senator, Ambassador to Great Britain, and Federalist Candidate for Vice President and President. Throughout his life, he was noted for his anti-slavery stance. In 1805, he purchased a farmhouse in the village of Jamaica, which he had expanded and remodeled in the Federal style. Located in an 11 acre park, King Manor has been restored as a history museum to illuminate Rufus King's life and the community and time in which he lived. It features museum exhibits, tours of historic period rooms, special events, education programs and teachers' resources.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church
A Romanesque Revival building with Tiffany windows that was once part of New York's underground railroad network. Tours include old basement tunnels.

Latimer House
Latimer House was the home of African-American scientist and inventor Lewis H. Latimer. It is undergoing restoration and will open as a museum with period rooms and galleries dedicatd to Latimer's life and work. Latimer, concealing his youthful age, voluteered and fought in the Civil War. After the war he worked for an engineering firm, and by observation and study he became a self-taught draftsman and worked his way up in the new electrical industry to become an accomplished electrical engineer. He drafted patent plans for Alexander Graham Bell's telephone and was one of the pioneers who worked with Thomas Edison. Latimer invented a new, more durable filament for the electric light bulb which is displayed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. An expert in the technique of electrification, he supervised the installation of electric street lighting in Montreal, New York, Philadelphia and London. The Latimer Houes was saved from demolition and moved from Holly Avenue to Leavitt Field, in Flushing. Latimers' study will be recreated, and other parts of the house will be used as galleries.

Lefferts Homestead
Dutch Colonial farmhouse converted in 1918 to an historical house museum for children. Special attention to life in the once small community of Flatbush as it was lived by African American, Lenape and Dutch children.

Louis Armstrong House
Louis Armstrong (1907-1976), perhaps the 20th century's most famous musician, lived for almost thirty years in a modest house in Corona, Queens. After Louis and Lucille Armstrong passed away the house was discovered to be filled with a treasure trove of homemade tape recordings, scrapbooks, photographs, autobiographical manuscripts, trumpets and other priceless material. All of these materials are currently available to the public through the Louis Armstrong Archives, located on the campus of Queens College. The Armstrong House was declared a New York City Landmark in 1986, is owned by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and is administered by Queens College. The goal is to open the House to the public by 2002.

Macedonia A.M.E. Church
Founded in 1811, this church was once used to house fugitive slaves in a basement area underneath the chapel.

Maine Maid Inn
Built in 1789, and owned by the Hicks family, this historic home is now a restaurant and was once a station on the underground railroad. It features a secret set of steps and a hidden hallway in the cellar.

Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum
This grand colonial mansion, built in 1765 as a summer retreat for British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife, Mary Philipse is Manhattan's oldest remaining residential structure. It became headquarters to George Washington at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Today it features eleven restored period rooms.

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden
The Museum transports the visitor back to the days when midtown Manhattan was a country escape for New Yorkers living in the crowded city at the southern tip of the island. The Museum's period rooms represent its existence as the circa 1830 Mount Vernon Hotel, New York's only surviving country day hotel.

New York Landmark Conservancy
The Landmarks Conservancy is a nationally recognized organization which helps owners of older buildings by providing grants, low-interest loans, hands-on consulting services, workshops, and publications. In neighborhoods throughout the City and State, we preserve homes, businesses, social service centers, cultural institutions, schools, houses of worship, and tourist destinations.

Flamboyant colors give this soaring 1867 church an operatic presence.

Old Stone House
The Old Stone House was originally built in Brooklyn on the Gowanus Creek by Claes Arentson Vechte, a Dutch immigrant, in 1699. Eventually the house would go on to have an eccletic and colorful New York history, including both the Revolutionary War's Battle of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Today the OSH is an "historic interpretive center" runs educational programs and houses exhibits on New York history.

Orensanz Cultural Center
Built in 1849 as Anshe Chesed, this building is the oldest surviving building in New York City built specifically as a synagogue. This Gothic Revival structure, inspired by Cologne Cathedral, was rescued from destruction by the Orensanz Foundation and adaptively used as a magnificent performance space.

Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims
This National Historic Landmark building was part of NYC's underground railroad network in the 19th century.

Queens County Farm Museum
Situated on what was a family farm from 1772 until 1927, the Queens County Farm Museum now serves to educate visitors about the history of farming in Queens. The 47 acre New York City park features planted fields and grazing livestock to illustrate the basic workings of a farm. Visitors can also learn about the rich history of the site through tours of the farmhouse. Built in 1772 and added to in the 1830s, the house combines Dutch and English architectural styles. It has a steeply pitched roof, four-foot eaves, and hand-split shingles. Acquired by New York City in 1981, it opened as a museum in 1983 and was restored in 1985.

A stunningly grand library with elaborate masonry, built in 1909.

This venerable 1833 Roman Catholic church structure was built of gray stone and expanded in 1871 with idiosyncratic steeples atop an oddly proportioned brick facade.

Samuel McKenzie Elliot House
Built around 1850 by prominent New York abolitionist Dr. Samuel McKenzie Elliot, this house is an official NYC landmark and was a stop on the underground railroad. It is now a private residence.

The Brotherhood Synagogue
Former Quaker Meeting is located in Gramercy Park historic district. Built in 1859 by the fashionable New York architects Gamaliel King and John W. Kellum, the Neo-Italian structure became part of the underground railroad, giving refuge to runaway slaves. Praised for it simple, expressive spatial quality, the Meeeting house was acquired and restored in the 1970s by the Brotherhood Synagogue as a new home for their congregation.

The Eldridge Street Synagogue
The Eldridge Street Synagogue was the first house of worship built by Eastern European Jews on New York's Lower East Side. The synagogue is a National Historic Landmark, a New York City Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Merchant's House Museum
The transition from Federal to Greek Revival styles is captured in the architecture of this elegant row house. Situated in lower Manhattan, in what is now known as the East Village, The Merchant's House Museum is one of the Last remnants of a fashionable neighborhood built by New York's well-to-do in the early 1800s. Built in 1832, the house was purchased in 1835 by Seabury Tredwell, a prosperous hardware merchant, and remained in his family for almost 100 years, virtually unaltered. Authentically restored in the 1970s, the house museum displays original moldings, mahogany furniture, and clothing worn by the Tredwell daughters.

The New York Botanical Garden / Enid A. Haupt Cons
Built in 1891, the Botanical Gardens / Haupt Conservatory grounds include: one of the oldest largest botanical gardens in the country, specialty gardens and plant collections, a "children's adventure garden", and several historic landmark sites (U.S. and NYC). Some of these sites are: The Enid Haupt Conservatory itself (1901), The Snuff Mill (1840), and the Stone Cottage (1840). The Conservatory, with its 17,000 panes of glass over a wrought iron frame, covers an entire acre of space. Call or visit website to get further info on classes, shop, cafe, parking.

Trinity Church
Trinity Church was chartered by King William III in 1697. The present structure, the third on this site, is located at Wall Street and Broadway, once the upper reaches of New Amsterdam, now the center of the financial district. Designed in the Gothic Revival style by Richard Upjohn in 1864, it remains one of the finest examples of English Gothic in North America.

Valentine-Varian House
Built in 1758 near the old Boston Post Road, linking Boston and New York, this Georgian home was lived in by a blacksmith (Valentine) and later a butcher (Varian) and was so near fighting in the Revolution that its first owner was forced to abandon it. Now home to the Museum of Bronx History. Focuses on early NY history, from Indian, Dutch, through Revolution.

Van Cortlandt House Museum
The oldest residence in the Bronx (1748). A three story Georgian home with 17th and 18th century Dutch and English furnishing this house was once a prosperous plantation and the site of Revolutionary War marches (Washington's 1783). Owned by the Van Cortlandts until 1889.

Vander Ende-Onderdonk Farmhouse Museum
The Onderdonk Farmhouse was originally a part of the Hendrick Barentz Smith plantation, received in a land grant from New Amsterdam governor Peter Stuyvesant. Originally constructed between 1660 and 1790, the house was rebuilt in 1981 after a fire. Onderdonk Farmhouse serves as a museum for the study of local history, culture, architecture, and archeology from Indian times to the present.

Wave Hill
Built in 1843 and formerly the residence of Mark Twain who is reputed to have exclaimed, "It makes me want to live forever," Wave Hill is now a 28 acre garden and cultural institution. There were additions to the home in 1890 and 1928. Now owned by NYC, Wave Hill, as well as being architecturally and historically significant, offers programs in horticulture, environmental education, landscape management, and visual and performing arts. The site also hosts concerts, exhibitions, family programs and more. See website or call for more detailed info.

Wunch Hall (@ Polytechnic University) -- formerly Bridge Street Church
Formerly part of New York's underground railroad network. The house is now fully renovated on the inside . . .

Young Israel and Shteibl Row
The world's first Young Israel got its start in 1912 in the two tenement buildings which originally housed the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. The other tenements on this East Broadway block continue to house small synagogues, one per floor (shteiblach).

Search the Directory
Try our Advanced Search
Resource Quick List

• Archives (18)
• Blogs (86)
• Community/Thematic History Groups (27)
• Courses (3)
• Historical Commodities (7)
• Historic Houses/Sites (59)
• Historical Services (2)
• Libraries (27)
• New Yorkers of the Past (2)
• Museum Collections (33)
• Scholars/Experts (88)
• University History Departments (13)
• Walking Tours (42)
• Web Sites (160)

Donate Now!
Help support the Gotham Center.

New York

Browse our list of NYC books.
Add a title you've enjoyed!

Related Links:

New-York Historical Society

Merchant's House Museum


Virtual New York

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Museum of the City of New York

Municipal Archives of the City of New York
All photography courtesy of the Old York Library

© Gotham Center for New York City History. All Rights Reserved.

The Gotham Center for New York City History
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, Room 6103
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
Telephone: 212-817-8460
FAX: 212-817-1541