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Experience New York City Back in Time  blog image

Experience New York City Back in Time

May 23 2022

New York might seem like one of the world’s most modern cities, but when you look a little deeper its steeped in rich history – some of which can still be found today if you know where to look.

Portal Down to Old New York

The heart of Manhattan is the last place you would expect to find some of the city’s oldest buildings, but the Portal Down to Old New York is a window to the original Dutch settlement from the 17th Century. Under glass that is set into the pavement you can see part of the colonial City Hall as well as other buildings dating back to 1670. Head down to 85 Broad Street to peek at old New York.

New York’s Oldest Home

Built in 1652, the farmhouse of Pieter and Grietje Claesen in Brooklyn is the oldest house in the city. The kitchen is the original part of the house and would have been the entire home when it was first built – but it has since been extended. The home is still standing and open to the public by appointment on Fridays and Saturdays only.

Grant Cottage State Historical Site

Ulysses S. Grant, civil war general and former U.S. president was dying of throat cancer and moved to the cottage to write his autobiography before his death. When Grant died over a million spectators turned up to his funeral, with a procession the stretched for 7 miles in New York City. His memoirs were published by Mark Twain and the little cottage where he wrote them has been perfectly preserved, exactly how he left it. The cottage is about 3 hours (driving) from the Hotel Beacon – but if preserved American history is something you’re interested in, it’s well worth the trip.

Old black and white painting or photo of New York with buildings in the background

Merchant’s House Museum

The last owner of the home, Gertrude Tredwell, was born there and changed nothing during her lifetime. Upon her death in 1832 the property was left to an organization that preserved it entirely thanks to a distant uncle, who stopped her nieces and nephews from selling them home when he recognized its historical value. According to trip advisor the museum is one of the top 3% of attractions in the world, but unfortunately the whole building is under threat by a local development so if you want to see it, make it quick!

There is plenty of history to enjoy in New York City and the Hotel Beacon is in the heart of it all, offering you a central base for making the most of the city. Learn more about the Hotel Beacon here.