336 3rd St.
ca. 1699, rebuilt in 1935

Located just outside the boundaries of the Center Slope, in Washington Park, the Old Stone House is a reconstruction of the 1699 Vechte-Cortelyou House, built on land taken from the Lenape Indians as early as 1639. The Vechte family came from the Netherlands in 1670 and purchased lands along what would become the Gowanus canal. Hendrick Claessen Vechte served as a Justice of the Peace for Brooklyn and commissioned the Old Stone House in 1699. He and his family lived at the farm until after the Revolutionary War, when they sold it to the Cortelyou family.

The grounds were also the culminating site of The Battle of Brooklyn, the largest battle of the Revolutionary War. It was the first military engagement following the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, and its outcome was the seven-year occupation of Brooklyn and Manhattan by the British. Washington and his army, however, weren’t captured and withdrew across the East River to continue to fight, and eventually, win the war.

The Old Stone House was also the original clubhouse of the team that became the Brooklyn Dodgers when they played at Washington Park, now Washington Park/JJ Byrne Playground. The ball park was built on swampy ground located near the shore of a mill pond and the Gowanus Creek. By 1910, the Old Stone House had fallen into disrepair and was gradually buried under 15-ft of landfill. As part of Robert Moses’ ambitious playground construction program, the site of the “Old Gowanus House” was redesigned as the JJ Byrne Playground, wich opened in 1935.

Today, the Old Stone House and Washington Park are part of the Historic House Trust of New York City, and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.