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The Van Cortlandt House Museum
, also known as Frederick Van Cortlandt House
or Van Cortlandt House
, is the oldest building in The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...
, New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
The house was built in the Georgian style
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...
by Frederick Van Cortlandt (1699–1749) in 1748 for his family. Van Cortlandt died before its completion and the property was inherited by his son, James Van Cortlandt (1727–1787).
It is a -story, L-shaped house with a double hipped roof. It was built in 1748 of dressed fieldstone
Fieldstone is a building construction material. Strictly speaking, it is stone collected from the surface of fields where it occurs naturally...
and is representative of the high Georgian style.
The Van Cortlandts, a mercantile family prominent in New York affairs, established a grain plantation and grist mill on the property. The house was used during the Revolutionary War by Rochambeau, Lafayette, and Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...
In 1889, after 140 years of occupancy by the Van Cortlandt family, the property was sold to the City of New York and made a public parkland. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...
in 1967 and became a National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...
in 1976. The house has been operated as a historic house museum since 1897, the first in the city and fourth in the country.