Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum Van Cortlandt House Museum - where history lives in The Bronx!
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Since 1896, Van Cortlandt House Museum has been under the stewardship of The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York through a license agreement with the City of New York. The Society is responsible for preserving and restoring the interiors, providing and caring for the collections, offering educational opportunities to school children throughout New York City, and assuring that the doors to Van Cortlandt House are open to visitors 6 days a week all year round.

Earlier this week, it was brought to our attention that one of our signs had been tagged. While unfortunate, this act sh...
06/12/2020

Earlier this week, it was brought to our attention that one of our signs had been tagged. While unfortunate, this act shows us that we must try harder to share and be more transparent about the whole history of the Van Cortlandt family. Graffiti speaks volumes but it's message is determined by how people who see it interpret it, not necessarily how the writer intended it. Voices from our community are needed for this to succeed. Please contact the museum at [email protected] if you want to share your thoughts.

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#bipoclivesmatter #community
#hhtnyc
#kingsbridge #intheboogiedown #thewholestory #thebronxisbeautiful @ Van Cortlandt House Museum

Aerial view of Van Cortlandt House from @PhoenixB415
06/08/2020

Aerial view of Van Cortlandt House from @PhoenixB415

It with a heavy heart that we must announce that the arrival of our landscaping goats, originally scheduled for Monday 6...
06/04/2020

It with a heavy heart that we must announce that the arrival of our landscaping goats, originally scheduled for Monday 6/8, has been delayed. We do not have a date for when they will arrive but rest assured that our colleagues and partners in all things goat at the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance are moving heaven and earth to clear up the paperwork so they can get to work eating our unwanted plants!

In the meantime, Cyrus will have to get up to more shenanigans to keep us all entertained.

If you walk past the museum and smell a sweet, honey-like fragrance, it's coming from the Linden trees which are  curren...
05/31/2020

If you walk past the museum and smell a sweet, honey-like fragrance, it's coming from the Linden trees which are currently in bloom. Linden blossoms are often used to make an herbal tea. These trees can be found on both the east and west sides of the lawn. If you approach the museum from Broadway, the 3 large trees in a line, are Lindens. The scent is stronger in the early morning and at dusk.

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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark #nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museummystery #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy #bringingthemuseumtoyou
@vcpalliance #lindentree

We're inching closer and closer to welcome the goats, down to single digits on the countdown clock! Cyrus is excited, ar...
05/29/2020

We're inching closer and closer to welcome the goats, down to single digits on the countdown clock! Cyrus is excited, are you?
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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #museumcollection #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark #nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museummystery #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy @vcpalliance #vcpgoats #bronxgoats #cyrustheantivirusgoat @colonialdamesnewyork @ Van Cortlandt House Museum

The poppy decided to show her gorgeous face today! Since you can't get in to see our gardens up close, we'll bring them ...
05/27/2020

The poppy decided to show her gorgeous face today! Since you can't get in to see our gardens up close, we'll bring them to you. Luckily our director started a "Welcome Garden" about 25 years ago to draw the attention of those passing by the museum's entrance. Because it's near the gate it can still be enjoyed by park goers.

#welcomegarden
#perennialgarden
#poppy #papaver #vancortlandtpark @hhtnyc @nscda @colonialdamesnewyork #flowers #covidcheer #gardening

We're making way for the landscaping goats that arrive in less than two weeks. This faux outhouse has served us well as ...
05/26/2020

We're making way for the landscaping goats that arrive in less than two weeks. This faux outhouse has served us well as a tool shed and teaching visual but it's time to go so the goats don't get hurt by it.

#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #museumcollection #nscdny @nscda #historichouse #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark #nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #greengoats #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museumfromhome @green_goats_rhinebeck

As we pause to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, consider two of the important memorials on Van Cortlandt Park: Me...
05/26/2020

As we pause to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, consider two of the important memorials on Van Cortlandt Park: Memorial Grove to the right as you enter the park from Broadway at W. 246th Street; and the Sugar House Wall Memorial to Revolutionary War soldiers imprisoned within the walls, many of whom died as the result of the harsh conditions. This piece of the wall was presented to The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York in 1903 as a memorial. The Van Cortlandt family also owned a Sugar House which was used as a prison which inspired T.J. Oakley Rhinelander to donate a section of this wall to the Society for Van Cortlandt House. Although imprisonment in a Sugar House was miserable, the most dire imprisonment for Continental soldiers was on one if the prison ships moored at Wallabout Bay off Brooklyn. Few survived these floating prisons. .
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On this day in history in 1896, The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, led by the stalwart  Ju...
05/23/2020

On this day in history in 1896, The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, led by the stalwart Justine Van Rensselaer Townsend, celebrated the successful passage of "An act authorizing the board of park commissioners of the city of New York to transfer custody of the Van Cortlandt mansion in Van Cortlandt park to the Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York for the establishment of a museum for historical relics. This act not only paved the way for the Society to take custody of the house, it also created the concept of a public/private partnership that would enable other organizations to adopt historic houses across the city of New York such as @kingmanormuseum @morrisjumel @conferencehouse and @lewislatimerhouse On a national level, the establishment of this public/private partnership between the New York Society and the City of New York inspired other State Societies of the @nscda to take on historic houses and sites. Today, @colonialdamesnewyork are second only to the National Park Service in preserving historic houses, buildings, and sites. This week, the NSCDA launched a new initiative to help promote these important Great American Treasures. https://nscda.org/vist-great-american-treasures/ The launch of Great American Treasures is coincidental to Van Cortlandt House Museum’s anniversary, but it seems very fitting. "Became a law May 22, 1896, with the approval of the Governor, Passed, three-fifths being present.
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do act as follows:

Section 1. The board of park commissioners of the city of New York are hereby authorized and empowered, in its discretion to transfer the custody of the old Van Cortlandt mansion in Van Cortlandt park to the Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, for such period of years and on such terms and conditions as the said board may deem advisable, for the establishment in said mansion of a public museum for the collection, preservation, and exhibition of historical relics. § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

@hhtnyc @colonialdamesnewyork #historichousecrush @ Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum is proud to be the first of the historic houses opened by a state society of The National Soc...
05/22/2020

Van Cortlandt House Museum is proud to be the first of the historic houses opened by a state society of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. We are one of 60+ Great American Treasures worth visiting.

Starting today, there is a remarkable collection of more than 60 historical properties for your discover known as Great American Treasures! These treasures are spread from one corner of America to the other, and together and individually, tell the stories of how America became America. These properties offer an intimate, authentic glimpse into how Americans lived, loved, worked, cooked, decorated, and socialized while creating a brand-new country.

Visit our new website, www.GreatAmericanTreasures.org, today to learn more!

It's #gogreenforparkies day! We love our #vancortlandtpark workers every day but we're happy to shout it out loud today....
05/21/2020

It's #gogreenforparkies day! We love our #vancortlandtpark workers every day but we're happy to shout it out loud today. These front line workers are putting extra effort into keeping New York City's Emerald Empire green, clean, and safe for all of us. Do your part to help them out by using garbage cans, cleaning up after yourself and your dog, and by wearing face coverings while you're in the park. .
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#newyorkstrong #newyorkparks #emeraldempire #vannie @vcpalliance @hhtnyc @cpfnyc

Why not both? Cyrus sends some good cheer and a virtual cup of coffee. We're less than a month away from Cyrus getting t...
05/15/2020

Why not both? Cyrus sends some good cheer and a virtual cup of coffee. We're less than a month away from Cyrus getting to help us Greet the Goats.

#greetthegoats #cyrustheantivirusgoat #friyay #coffee @vcpalliance @hhtnyc #intheboogiedown #goatsofinstagram #goatscaping #nscda @green_goats_rhinebeck

Sometimes the most important features of a museum object aren't seen by the public.  The bed in the Washington Room at V...
05/14/2020

Sometimes the most important features of a museum object aren't seen by the public. The bed in the Washington Room at Van Cortlandt House is one of these objects. Made in Boston c.1765, the bed stands an imposing 7' 5" tall with ornately carved foot posts and in bold ball-and-claw feet giving it a lot of eye appeal. But what makes this bed extra special to scholars? The original foundation canvas that holds up the mattress has survived intact for more than 250 years. It's a rare feature considering that for probably at least the first 150 years, the bed was used for sleeping. Climbing in and out of bed would have put stress on the nails holding the lacing strips on the side rails and all the hand-sewn eyelets which could easily have caused them to need to be replaced over the years. The foundation is very well crafted which undoubtedly helped make it last so long.

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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #museumcollection #nscdny @nscda #historichouse #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #vchmnyc #nationalhistoriclandmark #nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #ispyny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #behindthescenes

Available now while supplies last, bookmarks made from the scraps of the Adelphi Paperhangings wallpaper from the Van Co...
05/12/2020

Available now while supplies last, bookmarks made from the scraps of the Adelphi Paperhangings wallpaper from the Van Cortlandt House Museum Dining Room. Half-crafted by our Weekend Manager while working from home while the Museum is closed, each one is truly unique. They are a thank-you gift for your donation of $10 each or 3 for $25 through the Van Cortlandt House Museum website, www.vchm.org. A link can be found on the front page. We prefer PayPal, if you don't, please email to: [email protected] to make a donation.

1 bookmark:
https://py.pl/8oK8tyx8CXa

3 Bookmarks:
https://py.pl/8wiuAcGDUP1

It's Tuesday Shoes Day and we're celebrating with this beauty from the #vchm collection. It's silk satin with overlaid c...
05/12/2020

It's Tuesday Shoes Day and we're celebrating with this beauty from the #vchm collection. It's silk satin with overlaid calfskin cut in a fish scale design and a frilly froth of silk ribbon at the vamp. #tuesdayshoesday #silk #shoes #fancy #ribbon #collectionschronicles #museumfromhome #historiccostume @nscda #shoestories @hhtnyc #materialculture @ Van Cortlandt House Museum

Curious about what the goats will be eating when they get to Van Cortlandt House Museum?  One noxious weed, and we mean ...
05/11/2020

Curious about what the goats will be eating when they get to Van Cortlandt House Museum? One noxious weed, and we mean NOXIOUS is poison ivy. This group of vines will provide a delicious meal for the goats. They'll be here in 29 days, 9 hours, and 14 minutes! Can you tell that @vcpalliance and @vchmnyc are excited? We hope you are too and promise to bring them to you virtually as much as possible!

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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #museumcollection #nscdny @nscda #historichouse #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #weeds #invasivespecies #nationalhistoriclandmark #nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #ispyny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #landscapinggoats #totesmagoats

Sending love to all who are mothers or mother this special day.  Our hearts go out to those who have suffered your loss ...
05/10/2020

Sending love to all who are mothers or mother this special day. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered your loss of their mother or are sperated from their loved ones this year. This sweet heart is going on a carved wooden busk worn by a woman in the 18th century with her stays to help maintain a proper silhouette.

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#mothersday #museumfromhome #busk #heart #collectionschronicles #hhtmyc #vancortlandtpark #vchmcollection

Even a gloomy day can have moments of beauty like the raindrops resting on the Lily of the Valley which has just started...
05/08/2020

Even a gloomy day can have moments of beauty like the raindrops resting on the Lily of the Valley which has just started blooming. This week we've featured all white blossoms which was very much unplanned. ...
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#lilyofthevalley #convallariamajalis #perennials
#vancortlandtpark @hhtnyc #garden #thisplacematters #historichousecrush #thebronxisbeautiful @vcpalliance

One of the lastest blooms to show up in our garden is the dwarf fothergilla or bottle brush. It gets the name from havin...
05/04/2020

One of the lastest blooms to show up in our garden is the dwarf fothergilla or bottle brush. It gets the name from having flowers that look like brushes used to clean bottles. The dwarf variety remains about 4 feet tall and needs absolutely no maintenance. In addition to these charming flowers, the leaves bring color to the landscape, turning crimson in autumn. 10 out of 10 we would plant it again!

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#mayflowers #fothergilla #shrubs #flowering #vancortlandtpark #vannie #vancortlandtparkalliance #hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful

Some see weeds, we see a feeding station for honeybees. Dandelions are often the first food source for bees in the sprin...
04/30/2020

Some see weeds, we see a feeding station for honeybees. Dandelions are often the first food source for bees in the spring.

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#bees #honey #pollinators #grass #spring @vcpalliance #vancortlandtpark #historichousecrush

04/30/2020

30th of April 1789,
New York City
241 Years Ago:

The first newspaper report of the event referred to it as:
The Ceremony of the introduction of His Excellency George Washington,
to the Presidency of the United States.

It stated, in part:
The scene was extremely solemn and impressive.
At nine o*'clock A.M. the clergy of different denominations
assembled their congregations in their respective places of worship,
and offered up prayers for the safety of the President. About Twelve o'clock the procession moved from the house of the President in Cherry Street, through Dock street, and Broad street, to Federal Hall (at Wall and Nassau Streets.) in the following order.
Col. [Morgan] Lewis supported by two officers
Capt. Stakes with troop of Horse,
Artillery.
Major Van Home,
Grenadiers, under Capt. Harsin,
German Grenadiers, under Capt. Scriba
Major Bicker,
The Infantry of the Brigade
Major Chrystie,
Sheriff [Robt. Boyd

The PRESIDENT and suite,
The committee of the Representatives.
The Hon. Mr. Jay, General Knox,
Chancellor Livingston, and several other gentlemen
of distinction.

Then followed the multitude of citizens.
When they came within a short distance of the Hall, the troop formed in Une on both sides of the way, and His Excellency passing through the ranks, was conducted into the building, and in the Senate chamber introduced to both houses of Congress immediately afterwards, accompanied by the two houses, He went into the gallery fronting Broad Street, where, in the presence of an immense concourse of citizens, He took the oath prescribed
by the Constitution, which was administered to him by the Hon. R, R. Livingston, Esq; Chancellor of the state of New-York. Immediately after he had taken the oath, the Chancellor proclaimed him President of the United States.

Which was answered by the discharge of 13 guns, and by loud repeated shouts; on this the President bowed to the people, and the air again rang with their acclamations.

What's going on inside the Museum while we're closed?  Lots of things.  Not only is our staff working to keep the Museum...
04/29/2020

What's going on inside the Museum while we're closed? Lots of things. Not only is our staff working to keep the Museum connected to our patrons on a virtual basis, some of us are still working at the Museum. Today is Washing Wednesday where our Director will be washing, drying, and ironing the cotton check bed furnishings (hangings) from the Nursery. There are 14 pieces of curtains and panels which make up the hangings that all need to be pressed.

Since it wouldn't be a Facebook post from Van Cortlandt House without a history lesson, here's a little more about how washable fabrics became part of the utilitarian and decorative landscape during the 18th century. Prior to the mid-18th century, most beds with hangings were furnished with wool or silk textiles. These textiles, while beautiful and showy, were not able to be laundered making them the perfect breeding ground for bugs.

When Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, the famous English bluestocking, went to France in 1776, she rented an unfurnished house at Chaillot and hired a good tapissier (an upholsterer, who did the work of an interior decorator) to make it habitable. He proved so efficient that she was "established in it in ye space of a week," as she wrote in a letter, but there was one disaster: "I have just sent back my bed which looked like a state bed for a Prince, being canopied, and of silk crimson damask, but swarming with bugs." ( English Washing Furnitures Edith A. Standen, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Nov., 1964), pp. 109-124)

Silk and wool bed hangings still remained in use but the advent of colorful printed chintzes and cheerful woven checks allowed for bed hangings to be laundered regularly.

Even though no one sleeps in the beds at Van Cortlandt House, we routinely wash the bed hangings that we can and carefully vacuum or professional dry clean those that can't.

Address

Van Cortlandt Park Broadway At W. 246th St.
Bronx, NY
10471-4198

#1 subway to 242nd St./Van Cortlandt Park, #9 Bronx bus to 246th St. stop

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00
Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(718) 543-3344

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Comments

Hi there. Is the museum's dollhouse on permanent display? I'd like to visit and want to make sure it is available for viewing. Thank you
Chirstmas Decoration
Staircase decorated for Christmas
Christmas Decoration
This is a wonderful place to visit! So much history here, and on a beautiful property as well.