Van Cortlandt House

The Van Cortlandt House Museum, also known as Frederick Van Cortlandt House or Van Cortlandt House, is the oldest building in The Bronx, New York City. The house was built by Frederick Van Cortlandt (1699 – 1749) in 1748 as a mansion for the Van Cortlandt family. It was built in Yonkers, of fieldstone and in the Georgian style. He died before its completion and willed it to his son, James Van Cortlandt (1727 – 1781).

The Van Cortlandts, a merchantile 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.
After 140 years of occupancy by the Van Cortlandt family and their slaves, in 1889 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 in 1967 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The house has been operated as a public museum since 1897.

The Van Cortlandt House Museum is a private, non-profit institution founded in 1896 by the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, a licensee of the City of New York. Van Cortlandt House was built in 1748 for Frederick Van Cortlandt and was the focal point of an expansive and prosperous wheat plantation. The interpretive period of the Museum House is from 1748 – 1823 when Frederick and his two eldest sons, James and Augustus, owned the property. The Museum collection contains Van Cortlandt family materials and furnishings appropriate to this interpretive period.

Van Cortlandt House Museum strives to be a vital member of The Bronx Cultural community and the larger region by preserving, researching and interpreting the Van Cortlandt House, its grounds, and historical collection for a wide audience for the purpose of growing meaningful connections between the past and the present. The Museum’s research and interpretation focuses on the Van Cortlandt family; the social history of those who lived and worked on the property; the study of decorative arts; and the impact of the American Colonial Revival on the development of the Van Cortlandt House as a public museum.



215 East 71st Street,
New York, N.Y., 10021
Tel (212) 744-3572,
Fax (212) 988-1776

Van Cortlandt House Museum

The Van Cortlandt House Museum, is the oldest building in The Bronx, New York City.
Van Cortland House


We offer an authentic experience based on colonial daily life in New Amsterdam through our interactive field trip program which ties in with the New York City Department of Education Social Studies standards.

virtutes majorum filiae conservant

(women are the keepers of the past)