A piece of colonial New York Preserved on the Upper West Side

New York City offers a lot to everyone who visits and lives here for days and nights of complete fun and adventures. Instead of spending all your time walking around Times Square and the Empire State Building, its time to put something new on your to-do lists. Standing strong in the culturally rich community that Washington Heights provides for its citizens lies the 265-year-old Morris-Jumel Mansion, a national historic landmark located within NYC’s Roger Morris Park. It is the only surviving mansion that dates back to before the Revolutionary War, and had a significant role in the process of our country’s revolution.

Going uptown on the A/C or 1 trains, you’ll be greeted with the essence of the predominant Dominican culture that composes the neighborhood. But once you climb the steps leading to the Jumel Terrace, your world is transformed into the 18th century colonial period that you’ve probably imagined while reading books or watching movies.

Before reaching the mansion, you’ll notice that you’ve entered a quite small community that preserves the remains of the original estate. The Jumel Terrace Historic District was constructed in 1882, 117 after the mansion was built. It became a historic district in 1970, and even had famed singer, actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson as one of its tenants.

You’ll be greeted by the freshly cut green grass and beautiful flowers as you approach the white, Palladian styled mansion, inspired by Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. Facing both the Harlem and the Hudson Rivers, Morris-Jumel Mansion is the best place to be if standing in the same room that our founding fathers Washington, Adams and Jefferson dined in makes you feel extra special.

Washington used the house on many different occasions; as a post during the battle of Fort Washington and for strategic planning during the successful Battle of Harlem Heights. The mansion was also shortly occupied by British forces. After the American victory, Washington held a dinner at the mansion with John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and Henry Knox--the leaders of the new American democratic state.

The house was sold to New York State in 1903 by the final owners Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Earle in order to preserve its importance to American history. It was turned into a Revolutionary War museum the following year by the Washington’s Headquarters Association. In 1961 it was declared a national historic landmark. To celebrate the bi-centennial anniversary of the American Revolution, the mansion had a highly celebrated visit by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip.

As of today, many visitors come to the house to tour the wonders of the American life before our country was the glorious place that we come to know it as. It is open on Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by Morris-Jumel Mansion Inc., and is a member of the Historic House Trust.

For more information visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion or the New York City Parks Department websites.

Image: Morris Jumel Mansion, source:www.nycparks.gov