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Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House Museum,
Fidler Wyckoff Park

Wyckoff House
Clarendon Road & Ralph Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203

Once a stone's throw from salt marshes and clam beds, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House Museum is probably the oldest home in New York City. The house, built around 1652, became the City's first landmark in 1965.

The life of Pieter Claesen Wyckoff is an American success story. In 1637, he arrived in America, an illiterate indentured servant. He eventually became a magistrate, successful farmer and the wealthiest citizen of New Amersfoot, which later became the town of Flatlands. The father of 11 children, Wyckoff settled a tract of land once inhabited by the Canarsie Indians. Wyckoff's descendants lived in the house until 1901. The Wyckoff House Foundation bought back the house in 1961 and donated it to the City in 1969. Saved from ruin, it was extensively restored in 1982.

A modest house, with wide pine floorboards, shingled walls and a gable roof with flared "spring" eaves, it is typical of its time. The oldest section, the kitchen, has a low, seven-foot ceiling designed to retain heat in the winter. An east wing was added between 1730 and 1750, and a central hall was created in 1819, when the roof was raised to enlarge the rear of the house. In several areas, exposed walls show the original construction; the walls were filled with handmade brick and mud for insulation and covered with plaster.

The home's furnishings reflect its Dutch heritage. On display are a large wooden kas, or cupboard, a spinning wheel, old cooking tools and original mauve and white ceramic fireplace titles imported from Holland in the late 1600s.

Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House Museum, Fidler Wyckoff Park

Museum Administered by:

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 100-376
Brooklyn, NY 11210

Street Address:
5816 Clarendon Road
(at Ralph Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11203

Open to the public:
Year round
Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, call (718) 629-5400.

Public Transport Directions:
2,5,D,Q to Newkirk Avenue
B8 Bus to Beverly Rd & East 59th Street

Artifacts include a document affirming Wyckoff's allegiance to the King of England, a 17th-century pistol and a hand-sewn initialed stocking worn in the 19th century by Cornelius Waldron Wyckoff. In the surrounding one-and-a-half acre park, daffodils and tulips bloom in the spring, and a kitchen garden grows herbs and medicines used in colonial times. Seasonal public events highlight Dutch colonial farm life in early Brooklyn.