The Stuyvesants were the founding family of New Amsterdam, so it follows that their 220-year-old house on a street named after them in the Bowery (which derives its name from the Old Dutch word for “farm”) still stands today.
At No. 44 Stuyvesant stands a stately Federal-style house built for Nicholas William Stuyvesant, descendant of New Netherlands’ first governor Peter Stuyvesant. It doesn’t jump out from the surrounding buildings but those in the know will spot the building’s age and import.
The house is crawling with stylistic signs of its era, including splayed lintels, Flemish Bond brickwork, and doorway proportions that are typical of that era. It was built in the same year that Nicholas Stuyvesant married Catherine Livingston Reade. The society couple lived there until 1818, but the house stayed in the Stuyvesant family for generations. In 1811, when the city laid out the grid system plan of streets for the quickly expanding city, diagonal Stuyvesant Street survived the restructuring, likely because of the family’s and street’s historical significance.
In 1969, the house was designated a landmark as part of the St. Mark’s Historic District. At this time it was one of the oldest houses to be used continuously as a residence in Manhattan. It rivals the Jumel Mansion and the Dyckman farmhouse as one of the oldest homes in the city, but it is certainly the furthest downtown.
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