In the Snug Harbor area, you can find the Dr. Samuel MacKenzie Elliot House, which is a New York City Landmark.  This house is located at 69 Delafield Place, not far from Walker Park and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens.

This house was erected by and for Dr. Samuel MacKenzie Elliot around the 1840s and 1850s.  It wasn’t the only house he built, though.  Dr. Samuel MacKenzie Elliot was born in Scotland and didn’t move to America until he was much older.  Around the late 1820s, he graduated with an M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons with a specialty in eyes in Glasgow, Scotland.  Around the early 1830s, he moved to America and first lived in Cincinnati.  He then moved to Manhattan to open an oculist office, which was where people would go for an eye doctor or surgeon.  This was the first time that the oculist title had been used for this type of practice.  By the early 1850s, Dr. Elliot received a diploma from the New York Medical College, and he became a prominent oculist and eye surgeon.

Dr. Elliot was not only interested in being an eye doctor and surgeon; he was also interested in real estate and the abolitionist movement.  During the abolitionist movement, he sheltered slaves in his cellar, which included a fireplace where they could cook.  When the Civil War came about, he formed the 79th New York Highland Guard Brigade in April of 1861, and became the Lieutenant Colonel for that brigade.

Dr. Elliot began his interest in real estate around the late 1830s, when he purchased his first property from William Bard, which was located on the North Shore of Staten Island.  He continued to purchase land for about thirty years after his first purchase.  Some of the other landowners he bought property from were Thomas E. Davis, George J. Codmus, and John Y. Cebra.

With all the land he bought, be had constructed around two dozen homes by the time he died in 1875.  The area in which he built these homes was known as Elliottville, since Dr. Elliot had a substantial amount of investment homes there.  He referred to his development as Bay City.  In the late 1840s, Dr. Samuel Elliot built a small church in Elliottville, which had been the first church of St. Mary’s Protestant Episcopal Church.  The church was destroyed, but was then rebuilt in the early 1850s.  All of the homes that Dr. Samuel Elliot built were similar in style to the landmarked house.

The Dr. Samuel KacKenzie Elliot House was a two-and-a-half story stone house that was built in a Gothic Revival style of architecture.  The house was built out of locally quarried stones and had a gable roof.  It was built to have eight nice-sized rooms, attic space, and a huge cellar with its own cooking fireplace.  The gabled roof is bordered with wooden verge boards that are scalloped to make them more appealing, and had originally been designed with a pendant and finial.  It has a small, pointed arch window under the rear and front gables, as well.  The front door to this house is also exquisite.  It is a large door with side panels that had stained glass diamond-shaped windows and a transom above the door with a fan pattern.  The original stained glass panels on the side of the doors had blue and orange glass in them.

The Dr. Samuel MacKenzie Elliot House was designated as a New York City Landmark in 1967.  It then made its way onto the National Register of Historic Places by 1980.

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on


Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.