Our National Treasures

On October 6, 2008, the National Park Service designated the Aaron Copland House in Cortlandt Manor a National Historic Landmark. This is the 13th place in Westchester to be awarded this designation by the NPS. The others are:


Aaron Copland House
(Cortlandt Manor)
Armour-Stiner House


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Boston Post Road
Historic District (Rye)


John W. Draper House


Dutch Reformed Church


Elephant Hotel


Jay Gould Estate


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John A. Hartford House


John Jay Homestead


Thomas Paine Cottage
(New Rochelle)


Philipse Manor Hall


Playland Amusement Park


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Villa Lewaro


We have since discovered that there are actually 18 historic landmarks in Westchester. Here are the remaining five:

Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate, designated in 1976
Home to four generations of Rockefellers, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil and, in his day, the richest man in America. Tours highlight the Rockefellers’ contributions to philanthropy, conservation, business, government, and the arts.

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, designated in 1962
Home to the famed author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Sunnyside includes the romantic house and lush, slightly wild landscape, all designed by Irving. Visitors today hear about Irving’s storied past and how he came to be America’s first internationally famous author. The popular Winter WonderLights event takes place here in December.

Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills, designated in 1961
Was the seat of the Philipse family’s 52,000-acre commercial empire, and was home to 23 enslaved individuals of African descent. Guides tell the personal stories of those who toiled at the manor. This is the country’s only staffed museum that focuses on the story of slavery in the Colonial north. The popular Legend Weekend event takes place here in October.

Van Cortlandt Manor, designated in 1961
Home to a Dutch patriot family during the Revolutionary War including Pierre Van Cortlandt, the first lieutenant governor of New York. Guides demonstrate period tasks, such as open-hearth cooking, weaving, and blacksmithing. The popular Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze takes place here in October.

Old Croton Aqueduct (1992)
Three of the other historic landmarks in Westchester (the Armour-Stiner House, Jay Gould Estate, and Villa Lewaro) border the trail atop the Aqueduct, while three others (Philipse Manor Hall, John W. Draper House, and the Dutch Reformed Church) are a short walk from it. The 26-mile tract of land where the Aqueduct used to be is now the Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, a scenic recreational path linking the river towns.

 Photo credits:

Copland House courtesy of Dworkin & Company; Thomas Paine cottage photo by John R. Wright; Jay Gould Estate photo by bret Morgan; John W. Draper House photo by Daniel Case; playland image courtesy of www.ryeplayland.org; Dutch reformed church photo courtesy of The Historical society, inc. Serving sleepy hollow and tarrytown; John Jay Homestead photo photo by Daniel Case; Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, Phillipsburg Manor Upper Mills, and Van Cortlandt Manor courtesy of Bryan Haeffele; Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate courtesy of Mick Haler.


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