Lefferts Historic House
452 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Open: Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm/Monday-Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm
Admission: Suggested $3.00 fee towards the renovation of the house
I have visited the Lefferts Historic House a few times when visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The Brooklyn Museum and the Prospect Park Zoo, all of which are in the same cultural district of the neighborhood. The house is located near the entrance of Prospect Park just behind the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and right next to the zoo and the carousel.
The house sits on a plot of the park to give it the look of the house when it sat in a rural setting in Brooklyn about twelve blocks away. When walking into the house, there are a few rooms that are furnished and have period pieces in them to show what the house must have looked like in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Most of the house is used for touring and for groups doing projects and games. You can’t go upstairs anymore. The house will be going through a renovation soon so watch the website for more information on that.
The historic objects of the house
The outside of the house has wooded grounds with a working garden, an outside oven and historic objects that bring the period back to tourists and residents alike of what life must have been like when it was a working farm. When in season, you can walk amongst the vegetable and flower gardens and talk to the docents about the history of the house.
The house is part of the Historic House Trust and part of the Prospect Park Alliance.
History of the Lefferts Historic House:
The Lefferts family was one of the original settlers in Brooklyn with Lefferts Pieterson buying 58 acres of land here in 1687 and built the original homestead on that property. In 1776, the house was destroyed by American troops before the Battle of Brooklyn so that the British could not use it. The house was rebuilt in 1783 by one of his descendants (Prospect Park Alliance).
The Lefferts Family
The current house was the home of Continental Army Lieutenant Pieter Lefferts and was built in 1783. It was originally located on Flatbush Avenue near Maple Street. When Pieter died the house was passed onto his son, John and then when John passed, the house was inherited by his daughter, Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt. The house was lived in by four generations of the Lefferts family.
With impending development of the area around the house at the end of the 19th century, John Lefferts estate offered to donate it to the City on the condition that house be moved to City owned property for historic preservation and protection. It was opened as a museum in 1920 by the Fort Green Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Wiki).
The house is currently used as a Children’s Museum and Cultural site and open year round.