New York's vibrant heritage comes alive at this 100-acre site. Many of the 27 buildings spanning three centuries are authentically restored and furnished.
Richmond Town was first established as a crossroads settlement among the scattered farms of Staten Island. It was not the first village; but because of its central location, the Dutch Reformed congregation chose this place for its religious activities. They built a combined meeting house and home for their lay minister and teacher. As more people came to live on Staten Island, the business of the county grew, and the tiny hamlet of Richmond Town grew as well. The Greek Revival style courthouse building was erected in 1837, giving the whole town a heightened air of prominence. On land surrounding the courthouse, a small residential development was created. This new civic center on the hill overlooked the older section of town, just a few hundred yards away. When Staten Island became a borough of New York City in 1898, some county functions were gradually absorbed by the city government and a new government center was built at St. George, the island's closest point to Manhattan. Richmond Town continued as a residential neighborhood, but the loss of the county seat was a severe blow to local businesses.
Although Richmond Town was no longer the government center of Staten Island, it soon became the center of the local preservation movement. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, an idea arose from the local community. Volunteers from the Staten Island Historical Society, which had been founded in 1856, shared a vision of what Richmond Town could become. As a volunteer organization determined to preserve an entire village, their activities were unprecedented. Led by William T. Davis and Loring McMillen, these early preservationists believed that saving evidence of the past could connect all of us to the real people who lived before us.
In the 1950s the Historical Society signed a contract with the City of New York, promising to maintain and develop Historic Richmond Town as a museum village. The purpose was not to freeze a single moment in time, but to create a journey through time, so that we can witness the evolution of the town, meeting people along the way. The Historical Society moved additional buildings to Richmond Town to help tell the story of Staten Island's past.
Today, the restoration, collecting, and research continues. A professional staff works with the help of many community volunteers to preserve the magic that will keep history alive at Richmond Town for generations to come. On site you will find 27 buildings within the museum village, many of which have been restored and are open for touring. You can see furnished interiors, formal exhibitions, and demonstrations of daily activities of early Staten Islanders on a seasonal, scheduled basis. Your journey through time can take you to the home of Hendrick Kroesen, the Dutch Voorlezer in the 1690s.
Located in the heart of Staten Island, Historic Richmond Town is a 15-minute drive from all bridges and a 30-minute ride from the Staten Island ferry on the S74 bus.
FROM THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY: Take the S74 bus from the terminal to Richmond Road and St. Patrick's Place.
BY BUS FROM BROOKLYN: Take the S53 bus at 4th Avenue and 95th Street to Clove Road/Targee Street. Walk one block to Richmond Road and transfer to the S74 bus. Take the S74 bus to St. Patrick’s Place
FROM THE VERRAZANO NARROWS BRIDGE: Follow New Jersey West route to Richmond Road/Clove Road exit. Exit, proceed to second traffic light and turn left on Richmond Road. About 4.5 miles ahead, at end of Richmond Road, make left onto Arthur Kill Road. Go one block, make left at light (The Parsonage) onto Clarke Avenue. Parking lot is just ahead on the left.
FROM THE BAYONNE BRIDGE: Exit at Staten Island Expressway/Goethals Bridge sign. Keep right and take first exit, Richmond Avenue. Turn right onto Richmond Avenue and continue to Arthur Kill Road. Turn left onto Arthur Kill Road. Proceed approximately 1.5 miles and turn right onto Clarke Avenue (just beyond cemetery). Parking lot is just ahead on the left.
FROM THE GOETHALS BRIDGE: Take Staten Island Expressway to Richmond Avenue exit. Turn left at traffic light and right at light onto Richmond Avenue. Continue to Arthur Kill Road. Turn left onto Arthur Kill Road. Proceed approximately 1.5 miles and turn right onto Clarke Avenue (just beyond cemetery). Parking lot is just ahead on the left.
FROM THE OUTERBRIDGE CROSSING: Take Korean War Veterans Parkway to Richmond Avenue North exit. Turn right onto Arthur Kill Road. After passing cemetery, at traffic light turn right onto Clarke Avenue. Parking lot is just ahead on the left.
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