Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt Park,Broadway at W. 246th Street, Bronx, NY 10471 - United States

Museum Day Hours: 11:00 a.m. ‐ 4:00 p.m. (EST)





The history of the Van Cortlandt Family and the house on the land now known as Van Cortlandt Park began with Merchant Jacobus Van Cortlandt who began purchasing land in Westchester County in 1694. Gradually, he developed the property into a wheat plantation with extensive milling operations. Jacobus’ son Frederick inherited the estate and commissioned the present house in 1748. The House was built in the Georgian style out of native fieldstone, and its elegant interior speaks to the family’s wealth and refinement.

During the Revolutionary War, the House’s location between Broadway and the Albany Post Road gave it a strategic position in the conflict. The House and plantation were occupied by Colonial and British armies in turn. General George Washington is known to have stayed in the House at least twice, as did British General Sir William Howe.

Van Cortlandt descendants lived in the House until 1886, when they sold the entire estate to the City of New York for Van Cortlandt Park. At this time, the City of New York established the five borough system annexing this land in Yonkers, Westchester County, into The Bronx. In 1896, The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York restored the House as a museum of 18th-century life. As New York City’s first historic house museum, Van Cortlandt House contains an outstanding collection of furniture and decorative arts, including many heirlooms donated back to the house by members of the Van Cortlandt family.

Van Cortlandt House Museum is a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places and both its interior and exterior have been designated New York City Landmarks. It is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, and is a member of the Historic House Trust.


Van Cortlandt House Museum History and Culture Fair

Saturday September 21, 2019

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

On the grounds of Van Cortlandt House Museum

Please join Van Cortlandt House Museum and The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York on Saturday, September 22nd as we celebrate the history and culture of New York and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Day. Come to the museum to learn more about Van Cortlandt House with themed self-guided tours throughout the day. Watch living historians demonstrate aspects of 18th century life and find out about other museums and cultural institutions in The Bronx and across New York City.

Sign up for the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Day and receive free admission to Van Cortlandt House, other guests without Museum Day tickets pay regular price. Refreshments and souvenirs will be sold to benefit Van Cortlandt House Museum.

Enter Van Cortlandt Park at Broadway and W. 246th Street. The program will be held rain or shine.

For more information call 718-543-3344 or go to


Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.