New York: Other Historic Sites Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

A list of important historic sites in New York.

African Burial Ground

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: African American history

Statement of significance: The area of the African Burial Ground was known and used as part of New York’s common land until the late eighteenth century; the site is currently characterized by an environment built in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, under which a large portion of the burying ground is preserved. Throughout the eighteenth century, the city’s free and enslaved Africans buried their dead here. The more than four hundred individuals whose remains have been recovered from this site represent a much larger population whose role in the formation and development of this city and, by extension, the nation, is critical.

Anthony House

Location: 17 Madison Street, Rochester, Monroe County

Relevant issues: Social reform, women’s history

Web site: www.susanbanthonyhouse.org

Statement of significance: Active in numerous reform movements, Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was a leader in the women’s rights movement of the nineteenth century. Her Rochester residence (1866-1906) is now a museum.

Armstrong House

Location: New York City, Queens County

Relevant issues: African American history, cultural history

Statement of significance: From 1940 to 1971, this two-and-a-half-story brick structure was the home of the world-famous musician Louis Armstrong (1901-1971).

Arthur House

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) returned to this five-story brownstone townhouse, his home before his presidency, after his term as president ended in 1885. He is best remembered for his support of civil service reform.

Austen House

Location: New York City, Richmond County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Statement of significance: For seventy-eight years, this was the home Alice Austen (1866-1952), a remarkable photographer whose work predates in subject matter and technique the photographs of other giants in the field. Austen began her career in the 1870’s, and, although she used subjects as other women photographers of her time, her pictures have a realistic and natural edge rather than the blurry romantic view advocated by magazines of the time. Austen also veered away from the conventional studio poses; instead she took pictures of people during the course of their normal activities.

Bell Telephone Laboratories

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Science and technology

Statement of significance: This was the home (1898-1966) of America’s largest industrial research laboratory, responsible for numerous contributions to pure science as well as pioneering work in telecommunications technology.

Brown Farm and Gravesite

Location: John Brown Rd., Lake Placid, Essex County

Relevant issues: Civil War, political history

Statement of significance: Few of those who have sung “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in his grave,” know that his grave is here in upstate New York. It was from his small, plain, unpainted frame farmhouse that the famous and controversial abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859) set forth, first to Kansas, then to Harpers Ferry, with his plan to exorcise slavery from America by armed confrontation. At his request, his body was returned here for burial after he was tried for treason and executed in 1859. From the moment he was interred, the farmhouse and gravesite were regarded as a shrine, and from them “his truth goes marching on.” The property was deeded to the state of New York in 1896 and is open to the public as a State Historic Site.

Buffalo State Hospital

Location: Buffalo, Erie County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture, health and medicine

Statement of significance: Begun in 1872, this is an important transitional building in the developing style of H. H. Richardson. It is the first major work on which he collaborated with Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner, Calvert Vaux, who sited and landscaped the property. Also significant in the history of treatment for the mentally ill as its plan followed the system developed by Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, one of the first physicians to treat insanity as an illness.

Bunche House

Location: New York City, Queens County

Relevant issues: African American history, political history

Statement of significance: Home of Ralph Bunche (1904-1971), the distinguished African American diplomat and scholar who served as under-secretary-general of the United Nations and who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his 1949 contributions to peace in the Middle East.

Canfield Casino and Congress Park

Location: Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County

Relevant issues: Cultural history, health and medicine

Statement of significance: These two important sites, at the center of the community, established the international fame of Saratoga Springs–“the Queen of the Spas”–as a health resort and gambling center for much of the nineteenth century. Congress Park was intimately associated with Dr. John Clarke, the popularizer of Saratoga water. The Casino recalls the careers of John Morrissey and Richard Canfield, the two gambling impresarios who turned Saratoga Springs into America’s Monte Carlo.

Carnegie Hall

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Cultural history

Web site: www.carnegiehall.org

Statement of significance: Constructed in 1891 and named for principal benefactor Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), the hall has been the scene of performances by major musical artists. It also was the home of the New York Philharmonic from 1926 to 1936.

Chrysler Building

Location: 405 Lexington Avenue, New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Statement of significance: Built for Walter P. Chrysler in “Style Moderne,” the building exemplifies the machine age in architecture and is symbolic of 1920’s New York.

Conference House

Location: New York City, Richmond County

Relevant issues: Colonial America, political history, Revolutionary War

Statement of significance: On September 11, 1776, this was the scene of a meeting between Lord Richard Howe and a committee of the Continental Congress. The British admiral offered amnesty in exchange for withdrawal of the Declaration of Independence.

Conkling House

Location: Utica, Oneida County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: This was the New York home (1863-1888) of Roscoe Conkling, the senator and political boss who gained control of New York’s Republican party organization in 1870 and created a bitter rift in the party that persisted for two decades.

Cooper Union

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: This educational center was the scene of a speech by Abraham Lincoln in 1860 concerning the slavery issue that brought him national prominence.

Draper House

Location: Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County

Relevant issues: Science and technology

Statement of significance: This was the home (1840-1882) of John W. Draper, the well-known mid-nineteenth century scientist who, in addition to significant contributions to physics and chemistry, also wrote important works in intellectual history.

Eastman House

Location: Rochester, Monroe County

Relevant issues: Business and industry, cultural history, science and technology

Statement of significance: Home (1905-1932) of George Eastman, who made photography a popular pastime. He developed a simple camera in 1888 and marketed the first roll film.

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Religion

Statement of significance: The Eldridge Street Synagogue (1887) is the most important artifact of Eastern European Orthodox Judaism in America. It is the first great house of worship built by Eastern European Jews in the United States, located in the neighborhood through which more Jewish immigrants have passed than any other.

Ellington Residence

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: African American history, cultural history

Statement of significance: Long-term residence (1939-1961) of Duke Ellington (1899-1974), regarded by many critics as one of the most creative American composers of the twentieth century and one of the leaders in developing and expanding jazz forms.

Fillmore House

Location: East Aurora, Erie County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: This is the only remaining residence of Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), the thirteenth president of the United States, who built this house and resided here from 1826 to 1830.

Fish House

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: This was the residence (1808-c. 1838) of Hamilton Fish (1808-1893), President Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of state (1869-1877). During his tenure, he proved to be an exceptional manager and added stability to a demoralized administration.

General Electric Research Laboratory

Location: Schenectady, Schenectady County

Relevant issues: Science and technology

Statement of significance: Established in 1900, this is recognized as the first industrial research facility in the United States. The General Electric Research Laboratory has made major contributions to scientific knowledge, especially in the areas of physics and chemistry.

Haynes House

Location: South Granville, Washington County

Relevant issues: African American history, religion

Statement of significance: This was the latter-day (1822-1833) home of Lemuel Haynes, the first ordained African American minister in the United States, who was also the first black minister to a white congregation.

Henry Street Settlement and Neighborhood Playhouse

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Social reform

Statement of significance: Founded in 1895, this was one of the leading institutions in the settlement house movement in the United States. Lillian Wald (1867-1940), suffragist and pacifist, lived and worked here for nearly forty years. She founded both this famous settlement house and a citywide visiting nurse service.

Henson Residence

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: African American history

Statement of significance: This was the latter-day home (1929-1955) of Matthew Henson (1866-1955), the African American explorer who served as an assistant to Robert E. Peary. His best-known achievement came in 1909 when he became the first man to reach the North Pole.

Holland Tunnel

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture, science and technology

Statement of significance: Until the late 1920’s, there were no tunnels or bridges to carry the ever-increasing vehicular traffic between the nation’s largest city and the mainland; all automobiles, trucks, and horse-drawn vehicles were carried across the Hudson River by ferry. The Holland Tunnel, opened in 1927, was the first subaqueous tunnel in the world specifically designed for the requirements of automobile traffic. Its design was based on an extensive research program conducted to determine the effects of auto emissions on tunnel motorists, and the most efficient method of ventilation to eliminate the associated health and safety risks. Virtually all subaqueous automobile tunnels base their ventilation systems on these findings.

Hudson River Historic District

Location: Staatsburg, Dutchess County

Relevant issues: Colonial America, cultural history, European settlement

Statement of significance: This thirty-square-mile cultural landscape on the eastern shore of the Hudson River is composed of several villages that are traditional rural communities. With its singular origins as a Dutch colony, its peculiar semifeudal system of colonial government, its remarkable diverse ethnic populations, and its rigid class structure, the region holds a unique position in the settlement and social history of the nation. The origins of permanent settlement begin about 1688 and continue to the present time. The district is also notable for the preservation of its aristocratic estates and Gilded Age mansions. These remarkable county seats, together with the sedate Dutch homesteads, rustic German tenant farms, and industrious Yankee towns, create a rich landscape.

Jay Homestead

Location: Katonah, Westchester County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: This was the country seat and farm of John Jay (1745-1829), the distinguished statesman, jurist, and diplomat. He inherited it at the peak of his political career and personally developed it, spending his retirement years (1801-1829) here.

Johnson Residence

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: African American history, cultural history, literary history, social reform

Statement of significance: From 1925 to 1938, this was the home of James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), the versatile African American composer of popular songs, poet, writer, general secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and civil rights activist.

Kate Mullany House

Location: Troy, Rensselaer County

Relevant issues: Business and industry, political history, social reform

Statement of significance: Kate Mullany, who organized and led Troy’s all-female Collar Laundry Union in the 1860’s, was America’s most prominent female labor leader. Male unionists recognized her group as the only bona fide female union in the country and applauded her success in bargaining with laundry owners for her objectives. Mullany and her cohorts also supported other working unions and labor activity. She lived in this typical working-class brick rowhouse from 1869 until her death in 1906.

King Manor

Location: New York City, Queens County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: Rufus King (1755-1827), who lived in this Colonial mansion intermittently from 1806 until his death in 1827, enjoyed a distinguished career in public service. He sat in the Continental Congress (1784-1786), signed the U.S. Constitution (1787), and served as U.S. senator (1789-1795) and minister to Great Britain (1796-1803). He was also the Federalist Party’s vice presidential nominee (1804, 1808) and presidential candidate (1816).

Langmuir House

Location: Schenectady, Schenectady County

Relevant issues: Science and technology

Statement of significance: From 1919 to 1957, this was the home of Irving Langmuir (1881-1957), the distinguished General Electric chemist and inventor, and winner of the 1934 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in surface kinetics.

Lightship No. 87 “Ambrose”

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Naval history, science and technology

Statement of significance: Now known by its last official designation, Ambrose, No. 87 was built (1907) to serve as the first lightship on the newly established Nantucket station, where it served to guide mariners into the nation’s busiest port, New York. No. 87 is also important in the history of radio, being the first successful shipboard radio beacon used to guide ships at long distances in poor weather.

Lindenwald

Location: Kinderhook, Columbia County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: This was the home for twenty-one years, until his death in 1862, of Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), the eighth president of the United States.

McKay Residence

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: African American history, literary history

Statement of significance: This was the residence, from 1941 to 1946, of Claude McKay, the African American poet and writer often called the “Father of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Macy and Company Store

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Statement of significance: Built in 1901-1902, this was long the world’s largest department store under one roof. The story of Macy’s is a major chapter in American retail history.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture, business and industry

Statement of significance: Completed in 1909, this building became symbolic of a company representing the growth and development of the American life insurance industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was the world’s tallest masonry and steel structure until 1913, and it remains a prominent feature of the New York skyline.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Web site: www.metmuseum.org

Statement of significance: Built in several stages beginning in 1874 and extending over four city blocks on the east side of Central Park, this is one of the most prestigious museums in the world for its imposing building and the quality of its collections. Although its component parts were designed by eminent architects in diverse architectural styles, they are well related in scale to one another. Most significant architecturally are the dramatic Fifth Avenue facade and Great Hall designed by Richard M. Hunt. The other architects responsible for the building are Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould; McKim, Mead and White; and Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Associates.

Mohawk Upper Castle Historic District

Location: Danube, Herkimer County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: Archaeological and architectural resources located in this district are associated with Nowadaga, the most westerly part of the major eighteenth century Mohawk Indian community of Canajoharie. During the eighteenth century, Mohawk people regarded Canajoharie as the most important community in the western half of Kanienke, their name for the Mohawk River Valley heartland. Included in the district is the still-standing Indian Castle Church, a wooden-framed Anglican chapel built in 1769.

Morgan Library

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Cultural history, literary history

Statement of significance: J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), an important financier, organized U.S. Steel and was influential in the railroad industry. This Renaissance-style library (1902-1907) contains literary and artistic collections.

Morrill Hall, Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, Tompkins County

Relevant issues: Education

Web site: www.cornell.edu/campus/infobase/morrill.hall.html

Statement of significance: Constructed in 1866-1868, this was the original building of Cornell University. Cornell’s founding marked a revolution in American higher education, for it offered training on the basis of equality among the disciplines to prepare students for useful careers in the post-Civil War era. It is named for the author of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862.

Morse House

Location: 370 South Street, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County

Relevant issues: Science and technology

Statement of significance: Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) purchased this house in 1847, three years after his successful telegraphic transmission of a message from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. He used it as his summer residence and enlarged it into the present octagon-shaped structure.

Mount House

Location: Stony Brook, Suffolk County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Statement of significance: William Sydney Mount (1807-1868) produced most of his genre paintings in this large farmhouse. His genre scenes reflect his individualism, insistence on realistic portrayals, and reliance on his own region and its people for subject matter.

New York Public Library

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Cultural history, literary history

Statement of significance: Completed in 1911, this is a major U.S. research center and cultural institution, with extensive and invaluable manuscript and rare book collections.

New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Statement of significance: This was the original site of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first museum to be exclusively devoted to American art of the twentieth century and the greatest single sponsor of nonacademic artists in the country. The result of a partnership between two extraordinary women–Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Juliana Rieser Force–the property functioned as a hive of working and living spaces for a number of esteemed American painters, sculptors, and composers and was the locus of an unrivaled program of exhibitions and philanthropy that shaped the fortune of two generations of American artists.

New York Yacht Club Building

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Cultural history, sports

Statement of significance: This is the home of America’s oldest and foremost yachting organization (1844). Established as a private men’s club and renowned as the longtime home of the America’s Cup, the structure (1900) is a brilliant example of the Neo-Baroque style and today is still highly evocative of the Gilded Age in America and of the Beaux-Arts architecture of that era.

Newtown Battlefield

Location: Elmira, Chemung County

Relevant issues: Military history, Revolutionary War

Statement of significance: Site of a battle (August 29, 1779) that was a result of an expedition led by Major General John Sullivan and was the major American military effort of 1779. General George Washington ordered the Sullivan expedition as a counteroffensive against the Iroquois, who, as allies of the British, in 1778 had raided settlements in the Mohawk Valley of New York and in western Pennsylvania.

Niagara Reservation

Location: Niagara Falls, Niagara County

Relevant issues: Cultural history

Statement of significance: Established in 1885, this area provides a view of Niagara Falls from a noncommercial area. In creating this reservation and eliminating commercial eyesores that had sprung up along the shoreline near the falls, New York became the first state to use its power of eminent domain to acquire land for aesthetic purposes. This stands as a tremendous victory in the struggle to save grand aspects of America’s natural scenery.

Old Main, Vassar College

Location: Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County

Relevant issues: Education, women’s history

Statement of significance: Constructed between 1861 and 1865, this is one of the earliest and most successful expressions of the Second Empire style in the United States and one of the few remaining grand-scale examples of the style. It was the original building for Vassar College, one of the first colleges for the education of women in the United States offering an education similar to that available to men at Yale and Harvard.

Old New York County Courthouse

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Legal history, political history

Statement of significance: The Old New York County Courthouse symbolizes a classic episode in the annals of American graft and corruption. It is a monument to the machinations of William Marcy (“Boss”) Tweed (1823-1878), who ran the most infamous political machine in American history. This building embodies the Tweed Ring, its power, and the paradox whereby it provided services for the city and gained corrupt profits for itself.

Oneida Community Mansion House

Location: Oneida, Madison County

Relevant issues: Social reform

Web site: www.oneidacommunity.org

Statement of significance: Oneida (founded 1848) was a nineteenth century communitarian experiment which flourished until 1879. This large brick mansion is essentially unchanged.

Paine Cottage

Location: New Rochelle, Westchester County

Relevant issues: Literary history, political history, Revolutionary War

Statement of significance: Thomas Paine (1737-1809), propagandist for the American and French Revolutions and author of Common Sense (1776) and The Age of Reason (1794-1795), occupied this saltbox cottage from 1802 until 1806. He was buried here in 1809.

Plattsburgh Bay

Location: Plattsburgh, Clinton County

Relevant issues: Military history, naval history

Statement of significance: An American naval victory here on September 11, 1814, in the War of 1812, resulted in the destruction of the British fleet on Lake Champlain and compelled British invading troops to withdraw to Canada.

The Players Club

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Cultural history

Statement of significance: This building was donated in 1888 by Edwin Booth (1833-1893), founder and first president of the Players Club, to be the clubhouse of that famous theatrical organization. It houses a fine and rare collection of theatrical literature and memorabilia.

Playland Amusement Park

Location: Rye, Westchester County

Relevant issues: Cultural history

Statement of significance: Opened in 1928, this is the first totally planned amusement park in America and was designed specifically to accommodate automobile travelers. After more than fifty years, its Art Deco design and architecture remain essentially unaltered, and it has served as a prototype for contemporary theme parks. Several of the park’s rides are of major individual significance because of their rarity.

Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims

Location: New York City, Kings County

Relevant issues: Religion, social reform

Statement of significance: Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), noted abolitionist and minister of Plymouth Church, made the church (1849) a center of antislavery sentiment.

Pollock House and Studio

Location: East Hampton, Suffolk County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Web site: www.pkhouse.org

Statement of significance: From 1945 until his death, this was the home and workplace of Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), considered one of the most revolutionary figures in the history of twentieth century art and a key ingredient in what has been called “the triumph of American painting.” With Pollock taking his art to a transcendent level and other artists of talent seizing courage from his bold example, the locus of the art world shifted from Paris to New York. It was while living here with his wife Lee Krasner that Pollock, in 1947, invented the technique of pouring and propelling paint through the air and initiated his use of metallic paint. Pollock created the most forceful oeuvre of his time. Krasner worked in his shadow, devoting much of her time and energy to saving Pollock from destruction; nevertheless, she found time to work at her own Abstract Expressionist painting and is now recognized as an important artist.

Pupin Physics Laboratory, Columbia University

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Science and technology

Statement of significance: Initial experiments on the nuclear fission of uranium were conducted here by Enrico Fermi (1901-1954). The uranium atom was split here on January 25, 1939, ten days after the world’s first atom-splitting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Radeau “Land Tortoise”

Location: Lake George, Warren County

Relevant issues: Naval history

Statement of significance: Radeau, French for “raft,” refers to a craft whose flat-bottomed, platform-like construction and simple planking are suggestive of this most elementary, utilitarian type of vessel. As the only known survivor of its type, Land Tortoise is unique, and although it now lies at a depth of more than one hundred feet, the radeau is remarkably well preserved. Built in 1758 by British and provincial forces to be used during the French and Indian War, it was deliberately scuttled within two days of its launching on Lake George, to be recovered the following year. That never happened, and in spite of its name, Land Tortoise has remained on the bottom of the lake ever since. It is accessible to the diving public as a New York State Submerged Heritage Preserve.

Robeson Residence

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: African American history, cultural history

Statement of significance: This was the residence (1939-1941) of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the famous African American actor, singer, scholar, and athlete who in the 1940’s and 1950’s suffered public condemnation for his political sympathies but was widely acclaimed for his artistic talent.

Robinson House

Location: New York City, Kings County

Relevant issues: African American history, sports

Statement of significance: This was the home (1947-1950) of Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), the baseball player who in 1947 became the first African American to play in the major leagues, thus breaking the color barrier to full integration in professional team sports.

Rockefeller Estate

Location: Mt. Pleasant, Westchester County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Statement of significance: This was the estate (1893-1937) of John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), one of America’s most famous and controversial magnates, who is best remembered for his organizational genius in industry and for the scale and organization of his philanthropic activities.

Root House

Location: Clinton, Oneida County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: Secretary of war (1899-1903) under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, and secretary of state (1905-1909) under Roosevelt, Elihu Root (1845-1937) bought this Federal-style house in 1893. He considered it his permanent home throughout his government service, and he died here in 1937.

Roycroft Campus

Location: East Aurora, Erie County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture

Statement of significance: This Arts and Crafts movement community was founded by Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) in 1895 as an artistic revolt against the mass production of applied arts. The theory was that in its medieval craft guild setting, craftsmen could live and work, making beautiful objects by hand. They produced fine hand-painted and -bound books, paintings, carvings, metalwork, and ceramics.

Saint George’s Episcopal Church

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: African American history, cultural history, religion

Statement of significance: Home church (1908-1948) of Harry Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949), the African American composer, arranger, and singer who helped establish the Spiritual in the attention and acceptance of all Americans, including classically trained musicians.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture, religion

Statement of significance: Climaxing James Renwick’s career, this cathedral is the first large-scale Medieval-style church in America. Begun in 1858, its spires were completed in 1888.

Saint Paul’s Chapel

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Colonial America, religion, political history, Revolutionary War

Statement of significance: One of the only surviving churches of New York City’s colonial era, this structure was built from 1764 to 1766. It was a place of worship for both American and British military officers during the American Revolution; George Washington came here for a special service after his inauguration in 1789.

Sanger Clinic

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Education, health and medicine, social reform, women’s history

Statement of significance: From 1930 to 1973, this house served as the clinic established by Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), a pioneer in birth control. According to Sanger, her career as an advocate and educator in this field began with the death of a woman who had been told by her doctor that another child could kill her and yet received no contraceptive information from this doctor save abstinence; the woman died trying to end an unwanted pregnancy. Sanger, who coined the term “birth control,” dedicated her life to winning reproductive autonomy for women by administering safe, harmless information in order to give women a choice about parenthood. She established herself as a speaker and writer on sexual reforms, educating women on sex, venereal disease, and birth control.

Saratoga Spa State Park

Location: Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County

Relevant issues: Health and medicine

Statement of significance: This spa was established in 1909 to conserve and develop Saratoga’s springs for public benefit. A leading exponent of hydrotherapy, Dr. Simon Baruch, guided the spa’s development in its early years. The major complex was constructed in the 1930’s and includes a hotel, two bathhouses, a swimming pool, a bottling plant, an administration and research center, and a grand Hall of Springs in the European style.

Scott House

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Military history, political history

Statement of significance: Winfield Scott (1786-1866), victorious general in the Mexican War and Whig presidential candidate in 1852, lived in this brownstone from 1854 to 1855.

Seward House

Location: Auburn, Cayuga County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: William H. Seward (1801-1872) served as governor (1839-1843) and U.S. senator from New York (1848-1861), emerging as a leading antislavery figure in the Whig, and later, Republican Parties. As secretary of state (1861-1869), he negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia (1867). This house was his permanent residence from 1824 until his death.

Sixty-ninth Regiment Armory

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture, military history

Statement of significance: The Sixty-ninth Regiment Armory is nationally significant for its association with the “Fighting 69th,” the renowned local unit of the New York National Guard. The unit served with distinction during World War I and World War II. It is also nationally significant as the site of the 1913 Sculpture and Painting Exhibition of contemporary art, the first such major exhibition in America and one of the most significant events in the history of modern art.

Slabsides

Location: West Park, Ulster County

Relevant issues: Literary history

Statement of significance: From 1895 to 1921, this was the summer residence and retreat of the noted scientist and nature writer John Burroughs (1837-1921). The cabin is called “Slabsides” because of its bark-covered siding.

Smith House

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: This three-story Victorian brick rowhouse was the home of Alfred E. Smith (1873-1944) from 1907 to 1923. Smith was governor of New York and the Democratic candidate for president in 1928, the first Roman Catholic nominee by a major party.

Sousa House

Location: Port Washington, Nassau County

Relevant issues: Cultural history

Statement of significance: John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), a band director and composer, was best known for his marches, including “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” He lived here from 1915 until his death.

Steepletop

Location: Austerlitz, Columbia County

Relevant issues: Literary history

Statement of significance: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was a leader in the bohemian culture movement of the 1920’s and an important literary figure. She purchased this two-story clapboard house in 1925.

Stony Point Battlefield

Location: Stony Point, Rockland County

Relevant issues: Military history, Revolutionary War

Statement of significance: On July 15, 1779, the Patriot victory at Stony Point, under General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, ensured General George Washington’s control of the Hudson River and West Point.

The Sullivans

Location: Buffalo, Erie County

Relevant issues: Naval history, World War II

Statement of significance: Named for the five Sullivan brothers who lost their lives in the Battle of the Solomon Islands, USS The Sullivans (1943) is an excellent example of the Fletcher Class, the largest and most important class of U.S. destroyers in World War II, forming the backbone of destroyer forces throughout the war. It took part in intense combat, rescuing downed aviators and earning nine battle stars for its service.

Sunnyside

Location: Tarrytown, Westchester County

Relevant issues: Literary history

Statement of significance: This stone house, purchased by writer Washington Irving (1783-1859) in 1835, was his home until his death. He is best remembered for his tales of the Hudson River Dutch settlements.

Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Social reform

Statement of significance: This six-story brick tenement is an outstanding survivor of the vast number of humble buildings that housed immigrants to New York during the greatest wave of immigration in American history. Erected in 1863-1864, it represents the first rush of tenement building in New York City. The top two floors of 97 Orchard Street contain rooms, wallpaper, plumbing, and lighting preserved as they were left in the 1930’s, when they were boarded up and sealed until their discovery in 1988. Something of an urban time machine, the building is able to convey a vivid sense of the deplorable living conditions experienced by its tenants, who, during its seventy-two-year tenure as housing, may have numbered as many as ten thousand.

Tilden House

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: Occupied today by the National Arts Club, this building was the residence (c. 1860-c. 1885) of Samuel J. Tilden (1814-1886), one of the central figures in the disputed Tilden-Hayes presidential election (1876) and resultant compromise of 1877, events which for all practical purposes ended Reconstruction. Tilden exposed the infamous Tweed and Canal Rings and is an outstanding representative of the conservative political reformers of the 1870’s.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Building

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Disasters and tragedies, social reform

Statement of significance: On the afternoon of March 25, 1911, one of the worst industrial disasters in American history took place: Fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, resulting in the deaths of 146 workers, most of them young women. Many suffocated or were burned to death, trapped behind crowds or locked doors; over a third of them leaped to their deaths from the windows of the factory, which occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of this building, out of the reach of the fire department’s ladders. The tragedy shocked the nation and galvanized the labor movement to press for progressive factory legislation; by 1914, thirty-six new labor laws were on the books in the State of New York. The fire is credited with changing both factory and fire prevention laws throughout the country.

Tubman Home for the Aged

Location: Auburn, Cayuga County

Relevant issues: African American history, social reform

Statement of significance: Harriet Tubman (1821-1913), the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, personally led more than three hundred slaves to freedom. She established this home for aged and indigent African Americans in 1908.

Union Square

Location: Between E. 14th and E. 17th Streets and Union Square West and Union Square East, New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Business and industry, political history, social reform

Statement of significance: Located in lower midtown Manhattan, Union Square is nationally significant for the role it has played in American labor history. While the park has been the focal point for well over a century for parades, mass gatherings, soap-box orations, and demonstrations, its particular moment in history occurred on September 5, 1882, when the first Labor Day Parade took place. This marked the beginning of organized labor’s twelve-year effort to secure passage of national legislation that would set aside one day each year to recognize the contributions and achievements of American laborers.

United Charities Building

Location: New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Social reform

Statement of significance: Completed in 1893 and built entirely at the expense of a wealthy businessman, this building was intended to provide charitable groups with a central building and lower rent than they would have elsewhere. The original tenants were the Charities Organizations Society, the Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor, the Children’s Aid Society, and the New York City Mission and Tract Society; a later and perhaps most important tenant was the National Consumer’s League, an influential reform organization which fought for legislation regulating child labor, women’s labor, and wages and hours in general.

Vassar College Observatory

Location: Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County

Relevant issues: Science and technology, women’s history

Statement of significance: This observatory was built in 1865 on the campus of Vassar College for Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), astronomer, professor, crusader for women’s higher education and professional advancement, and the first woman elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. The custom-designed building was Mitchell’s home, laboratory, and classroom for the last twenty years of her life. Her emphasis on high scientific standards and feminist ideals made Mitchell a role model for both the women she taught and those who followed her in the struggle for equality.

The Voorlezer’s House

Location: New York City, Richmond County

Relevant issues: Colonial America, European settlement, religion

Statement of significance: This house was constructed by the early Dutch settlers before 1696 to serve as a church, a school, and the residence of the voorlezer, the layman chosen to assist the pastor in the church services and keep the church records. In addition to his religious duties, he often conducted school, in which elementary reading, writing, arithmetic, and religious catechism were taught.

Woolworth Building

Location: 233 Broadway, New York City, New York County

Relevant issues: Art and architecture, business and industry

Statement of significance: From its completion in 1913 until 1930, this building was the world’s tallest. It stands today as a monument not only to F. W. Woolworth (1852-1919), originator of the variety chain store, but also to its architect, Cass Gilbert (1859-1934). Gilbert won acclaim for his use of Gothic forms and detail, well adapted to the soaring verticality of the skyscraper.

Wyckoff House

Location: New York City, Kings County

Relevant issues: Colonial America, European settlement

Statement of significance: This house is a major and little-altered example of a type of frame house much used by Dutch settlers on western Long Island. The original section was constructed about 1652, with later enlargements. It is the earliest known example of a Dutch saltbox frame house developed in America, and was probably the first house built on Long Island by white men.

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