Exploring the 7 Oldest Buildings in Manhattan, NYC

New York City is not lacking in history. It symbolizes progress and modernity on one side and showcases historical and cultural treasures on the other. While new buildings have been popping up in the city, the restoration of historic buildings continues to hold a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers. Preserving buildings is possible thanks to city land-marking laws and the watchful behavior of the people.

Many historical buildings in Manhattan date back to the 1700s, standing tall amidst modern skyscrapers. Several of these structures played a significant role in the American Revolution. We have researched historical records to compile a list of some of Manhattan’s oldest buildings.

Paul’s Chapel Address: 209 Broadway

Known as “The Little Chapel That Stood,” this chapel was constructed in 1764 to make it easier for people who didn’t want to journey to the main church. This building has endured the Great Fire of 1776 and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center Buildings nearby. George Washington, upon being sworn in as the first president, immediately went to the church to pray.

Fraunces Tavern is located at 54 Pearl Street

Frances Tavern is known as Manhattan’s oldest building and New York’s oldest restaurant. Stephen DeLancey completed the construction in 1719. Samuel Fraunces later bought the property.

It played a significant role in the American Revolution. The building was a hub for revolutionary activities and served as a gathering place for underground societies. In 1906, the building went through a significant reconstruction to restore its colonial grandeur. The construction work has cast doubt on its status as the longest-standing building in Manhattan.

Current Situation: The building is currently operating as a restaurant, while the second floor functions as a museum.

Morris Jumel Mansion

Address: 65 Jumel Terrace

The Morris-Jumel Mansion holds the title of being the oldest surviving residence in the borough. It originates from the year 1765. Colonel Roger Morris constructed it, but it was left empty after the American Revolution. During the American Revolution, the house provided shelter for both sides of the conflict and was used as General Washington’s headquarters in 1776. Eliza Jumel, a former wealthy businesswoman in New York, has many intriguing stories connected to her time living here.

Also Read: Exploring the Oldest Church in Entire Maryland

Edward Mooney House Located at 18 Bowery

The building can be found in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan. This townhouse combines Georgian and federal styles, showcasing its historical significance. At different points, the house has functioned as a hotel. This location was recognized as a New York City landmark in 1966 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The Bridge Café

Address: 279 Water Street

The building predates the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge by almost a century. This building is New York City’s oldest commercial wooden frame, originally used for selling groceries and wine. It was a popular spot for dining and socializing before it was turned into a brothel.

In 1979, the Weprin family bought the property and called it the Bridge Café. Once the oldest tavern in New York City, it never stopped serving until Hurricane Sandy forced it to close down. Hopefully, this historic bar will return to its former glory soon.

Angel Orensanz Center Address: 172 Norfolk Street

Built in 1849, it is the oldest surviving synagogue in New York City, originally constructed for that purpose. It was the biggest synagogue in the USA at the time of construction. Exudes a sophisticated touch with a captivating design.

Update: It is now the location of the Shul of New York.

The Captain Joseph Roe House

Ranking third among Manhattan’s historic buildings is the Captain Joseph Roe House. It originated between 1773 and 1781. The building was transformed into luxury apartments in the late 1990s.

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