Valentine-Varian House, Varian House Park
3266 Bainbridge Avenue at East
Bronx, NY 10467
Subway: D to 205th Street; #4 to Mosholu Parkway Bus: Bx10, 16, 28, 30, or 34 to Bainbridge Ave./208th Street Liberty Lines Express Bus 4A, 4B
The Valentine-Varian House was built in 1758, when carriages traveled the nearby Boston Post Road through a Bronx that was still mostly farmland. The second oldest house in the borough stands today inside a wrought-iron fence in a small park in the Norwood neighborhood of north-central Bronx.
In 1965, his son, William C. Beller, donated the house to The Bronx County Historical Society. It was moved diagonally across the street to a new foundation in the same year.
The sturdy home has a symmetrical style called "Georgian Vernacular," with evenly placed windows and identical chimneys at either end. Inside, rooms mirror each other across a central hallway. Sections of the house retain the original floorboards, hand-forged nails and homemade mortar. Deep-set splayed windows throughout the house were designed to let in light and keep out of the cold.
The structure is today the home of the Museum of Bronx History. Two rooms contain changing exhibitions, while the front parlor has a permanent display about the development of the area, from the Indian and Dutch periods through the Revolution. Plantings, an herb garden, an outdoor seating area and the Bronx River Soldier monument embellish the gardens surrounding the house.