Senate House State Historic Site, Kingston

#6 of 19 in Historic Sites in Catskill Region
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Senate House State Historic Site is located on Fair Street in Kingston, New York, United States. During the Revolutionary War, New York's First Constitutional Convention met there and on April 20, 1777, adopted the first New York State Constitution. After one month, the Senate fled the British troops who were advancing from Manhattan. The Senate House and much of Kingston was burned in retribution. It has served as a museum from the late 19th century. Currently it is owned and operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

In 1971 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first building in Kingston listed. At that time it was a contributing property to the small Clinton Avenue Historic District. Four years later, in 1975, the original district was replaced with the larger Kingston Stockade District, which retained the Senate House and all the other properties of the original district.

The house first belonged to Wessel Wesselse Ten Broeck, born about 1636, who emigrated to New Amsterdam from Wessen, in Westphalia in 1659. It is generally described as having been built in 1676, but can be certainly dated to some time before his death in 1704. The ground floor of the house consists of three rooms, lined up along the street, with an entrance hallway between two of the rooms. As is typical of early Dutch houses in the Hudson Valley, the house is of stone, with the exception of the rear wall which is brick, laid in Flemish bond. At the back is a kitchen wing, added early, but somewhat later than the original construction.

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62 reviews
  • Just looking at the objects in the museum is pretty boring. I can't imagine getting much out of an unguided visit to the museum. What was very interesting was the tour we got from the NYS employee...  more »
  • I visited the Senate House State Historic Site before it closed for the season at the end of October. The Senate House itself is closed for renovations but you can still visit the museum. The museum.....  more »
  • Lots of history. Great great artifacts. Never knew this place exists. I will visit again. The tour is great and the. Staff is very friendly. I took lots of pic with the staff and my family.
  • Excellent view of one of our oldest settlements. It was cool to see the home of one of our ancestors.
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