Constant change is one phrase that best describes New York City for a number of centuries. The former mayor of the city in 1839, Philip Hone, said that the city has been taken by the practice of destroying and building. It was in his diary that he revealed how every 10 years, the city is being rebuilt. This is surprising that despite that fact, there are still a number of buildings and structures that have been preserved by the city. Some of them have been in existence since the 17th century, a time when New Netherland was the colony. The oldest structures are mostly found in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The reason why the oldest building in the city is located in Brooklyn and the least old are in Manhattan is the fires that occurred in 1776, 1835 as well as 1845. During these fires, the oldest parts of the city which included Lower Manhattan were totally eradicated. While the fires are a big factor, the major reason is development. Manhattan has always been considered as the city and this is a place where old buildings are not given much importance since New York is aspiring to the leading urban center.
Here are the three oldest buildings found in New York:
- Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum which was built in 1652 but there are now additions to the original structure. The original owner who built the house is believed to be Pieter Claesen Wyckoff and Grietje, his wife. There are now additions to the structure but the original structure now serves as the kitchen of the house museum.
- Jan Martense Schenck House built in 1675. This is the second oldest home located in Brooklyn which has been in existence for 275 years. It was originally owned by Schenck but later acquired by Brooklyn Museum to prevent demolition.
- Hendrick I. Lott house built in 1720 and now showcase some additions. This is located in the Flatlands and was built by Johannes Lott. The last Lott owner passed away in 1989 and the structure is now under the parks department of the city and currently going some restoration.
These old structures are part of history and will always be included in the New York City illustrated map and other maps which has revealed the growth of the city.