Staten Island Historic Districts

Staten Island Historic Districts and Landmark Homes


Here you will find information on Staten Island historic districts including information on New York City Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places. Here you will find detailed information about the history of both individual landmark homes and the people that help shape Staten Island.

Found 17 blog entries about Staten Island Historic Districts.

When telling people you live in Staten Island, responses are usually unsure about what that means. The author of the Game of Thrones novels, George R.R. Martin, grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey, pondering that same question. He later imagines that Staten Island is to be what we know today as the fictional land Westeros. While Staten Island is lacking dragons, magic, and battles to the iron throne, there are things about this fifth borough that does make it unique.

The island was first inhabited by the Lenape Indians in the 16th Century. The Indians referred to the island as "Aquehonga" and "Monaco", which both translate as 'Enchanted Woods".  This name stands true as today, Staten Island is the greenest borough in New York City. There are more than

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When you think of sailors on Staten Island, your immediate thought is most likely to be of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, on Staten Island’s North Shore—and rightly so.  For those unaware, this recreational facility was built in the early 1830s as a home for retired sailors.  While it did, in fact, attract many sailors to our borough, sailors had been coming to Staten Island’s shores for years prior to the opening of the institution—or so we have been led to think.  The North Shore of Staten Island seemed to be a prime location for sailors and those who were retired from the service.

The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden sits in an area often referred to as Randall Manor.  It sits right on the shore, with an

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On Staten Island’s North Shore, you can find the neighborhood of Sunset Hill.  This is a nice area that doesn’t have too much of the hustle and bustle of the city life.  In this neighborhood, aside from the nice parks you can find, there are a few New York City Landmarks.  One of these landmarks is the Dorothy Valentine Smith House.

The Dorothy Valentine Smith House is located at 1213 Clove Road, on a nice plot of land that actually holds two landmarks—the other one being the John King Vanderbilt House.  The Dorothy Valentine Smith House wasn’t built until sometime between 1893 and 1895 by John Frederick Smith, the father of Dorothy Valentine Smith.

Prior to the home’s existence, this area had been used as farmland during the eighteenth century, much

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In the neighborhood of Richmondtown, you can find a nice, quiet area that pulls you back in time.  This would be Historic Richmond Town, an area that has preserved Staten Island’s past for its present and future residents.  RandomToday, Historic Richmond Town is operated by both the Staten Island Historical Society and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.  It has many historically-significant homes, stores, shops, ad objects from the past.  Of these historically-significant buildings, some of them had been originally built here, while others had been moved here to preserve them.  A good amount of these homes are New York City Landmarks, as well. 

Before 1898, which is when the City of New York came about, Cocclestown—or what is today known as

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Basket Makers HouseHistoric Richmond Town was the first area on Staten Island to be used for a civic and county government center, being that it is right in the middle of Staten Island. It had its own courthouse, clerk’s office, stores, churches, hotel, residences, and more. Once Staten Island became a part of the City of New York in 1898, it’s civic and county center had moved to the North Shore of the borough, in St. George, to be closer to Manhattan. The courthouse, clerk’s office, and other county offices had been moved to St. George, since it was no longer a county-run government and it turned into a city-run government.

Historic Richmondtown is the place to go see Staten Island’s past come alive. Being dually operated by the Staten Island Historical Society and the

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Edgewater Hall Staten IslandBefore the City of New York was formed in 1898, Staten Island had been comprised of five townships: Northfield, Southfield, Westfield, Castleton, and Middletown.  By 1866, however, some areas of Staten Island became their own incorporated villages, one of which was Edgewater.  These new incorporated villages were no longer a part of the townships and had created their own local governments.  The village of Edgewater was comprised of today’s Tompkinsville, Stapleton, and Clifton neighborhoods.

With Edgewater being an incorporated village, it needed a village hall.  In 1867, a small plot of land was purchased to be used as a public space.  This is where the Edgewater Village Hall had been constructed.  By 1889, the Edgewater Village Hall finally opened. 

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If you’d like to see the oldest building still standing on Staten Island, you won’t find it in Historic Richmondtown. It’s actually further north, in the Mid-Island section of Staten Island. Just below Todt Hill, in the Dongan Hills community, you will find the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House, standing at 1476 Richmond Road. This building, which had served as a home for many generations, is one of the oldest buildings in New York, having been built in the early 1660s.

The first section of the home was erected by Pierre Billiou, whose name has been made known on Staten Island not only because of this house, but also because he was among the first permanent settlers on Staten Island. Pierre Billiou left his Amsterdam hometown with his wife in May of 1661

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The Asbury Methodist Church is one of the many landmarks located on Staten Island. It was named after Francis Asbury, an Englishman who came to America in 1771. Francis Asbury was born in 1745 and had begun his profession as a Methodist preacher by the age of twenty-one. He had volunteered to come to America when John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had asked his ministers for volunteers to travel to the Thirteen Colonies in 1771. Francis Asbury was a circuit rider, which means that he did not have one specific church at which he preached. Instead, he had travelled around the thirteen colonies, preaching to all those who wanted to listen.

During the American Revolutionary War, most of the Methodist preachers had left America. Francis Asbury, on the

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historic home on Carrol Pl. Staten IslandBetween the years of 1835 and 1987, dozens of buildings were constructed at the northern tip of Staten Island. Over the years, architectural styles changed and the buildings began to stand out due to their individuality. Having been well-kept over the years, a hearing was held by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the buildings, as well as their boundaries, as a Historic District. On July 19, 1994, the historic district was established as the St. George/New Brighton Historic District.

Several of the buildings in the district had been demolished over the years, leaving some scattered vacant lots.  However, seventy-six of the St. George/New Brighton Historic District's original buildings are still intact. The designated buildings occupy

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Home on Carrol Pl. Staten Island St. GeorgeThe latter half of the nineteenth century saw the popularization of Colonial Revival architecture, which lasted half-way into the next century.  In 1890, Edward A. Sargent constructed a Colonial Revival-style home, at 103 St. Marks Place, for broker Frederick L. Rodewald.  A few years later, in 1894, the home that he had constructed in the Gothic Revival-style at 83 St. Marks Place was extended and altered much, where it became a Colonial Revival-style home.  At the turn of the century, between 1905 and 1906, lumber merchant George W. Allen had four of these types of houses constructed.  Samuel R. Brick, Jr. built the first three, which were located at 29, 31, and 35 St. Marks Place.  The last was designed by Edward A. Sargent and was located at 27 St.

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