In NYC real estate, the term “prewar building” usually refers to structures built before World War II. In the case of the Wyckoff-Bennett Homestead, it extends back a bit before that — pre- the Revolutionary War, to be exact! This historic Brooklyn home was built in 1766, a full 10 years before America was even America. And guess what? It’s for sale!
The History of the Wyckoff-Bennett Homestead
This is a true “Dutch colonial,” quite literally. The Wyckoff-Bennett Homestead was built in 1766 for Dutch settler Hendrick H. Wyckoff, according to the New York Times, whose family arrived in New Amsterdam a century earlier in 1664. The 4,000-square-foot farmhouse and its surrounding land — 100 acres at the time! – was sold to Cornelius W. Bennett in 1835. It was landmarked by the city in 1968 and named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It remained in the Bennett family until the 1980s.
The current owners, the Mont family, bought it in 1983 and are only the third family to have owned this slice of NYC history. They have kept the treasure trove of antiques and artifacts they’ve found inside over the years intact. Historical graffiti — the names and military units of two Hessian mercenaries who bunked there during the Revolution scratched into windowpanes — is now framed. A sword etched with the royal insignia of George III hangs on the wall. There’s even an edict dated April 3, 1776, ordering the farm to preserve bushels of rye, wheat, and barley “for the KING’s Use.” “It’s a living museum,” Annette Mont told the New York Times in 2010.
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The Homestead As It Is Today
It’s hard to believe the Wyckoff-Bennett Homestead isn’t a museum! But it’s a private home. In today’s Brooklyn, it’s located in the Homecrest/Madison area, north of Sheepshead Bay. The modern address is 1669 E. 22nd St., which is just off of Kings Highway (appropriately enough). It’s right down the street from James Madison High School, famed for being the alma mater of many illustrious modern-day figures, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Senator Bernie Sanders.
Inside, the farmhouse is stuffed to the rafters with original detail. There are four bedrooms and two baths, one of which still contains its old cast-iron tub. The site sits on a half-acre of land that is broken up into four lots: the landmarked home sits on one, one houses a big two-story barn, and the remaining two are vacant/green space.
The entire compound is included in the sale, which hit the market in July for $3.25 million. In September, the price decreased by 11% to $2.9 million. (Hopefully not included? The ghost, who the Mont family claims is the one-legged owner of a single old boot found in the attic!) The Wyckoff-Bennett Homestead, at 1669 E. 22nd St. in Brooklyn, is listed by Delton Cheng of Century 21 Homefront.
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