PERINE HOUSE, Dongan Hills

Nestled comfortably in Dongan Hills, Staten Island, alongside towering Todt Hill, NYC’s highest point, is one of the oldest buildings in NYC. The landmarked Stillwell-Perine House ar Richmond Road and Cromwell Avenue was originally begun in 1679 and has additions from 1730, 1750 and 1830, making it one of the oldest homes not only in the city, but in New York State. (The Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in East Flatbush, begun in 1652, is the oldest in the state.)

The house was constructed by Captain Thomas Stillwell, a prominent and active Staten Island citizen, who died in 1704. A patent for the property was granted to Stillwell by Edmund Andros, the Governor of the New York Province, on September 29, 1677. Stillwell’s son-in-law, Nicholas Britton, succeeded him and added the 1700-1713 section. Britton, like Captain Stillwell, was a leading Staten Island citizen, as were the members of the Perine Family who were the next occupants and owners of the house. Landmarks Preservation Commission

The house is currently owned by the Staten Island Historical Society.

The story and documentary history of the Perine House : Dongan Hills, Staten Island, headquarters of the Staten Island Antiquarian Society (1915) 


The house also boasted a vintage State Education Department plaque from 1952. There are only a few more of these around town — I have noted them at Gravesend Cemetery in Brooklyn, a cemetery on Port Richmond Avenue near Richmond Terrace, the Quaker Meetinghouse in Flushing, and at Prospect Cemetery in Jamaica, which has recently been refurbished.

My spies have informed me the sign has been duly stolen or removed.


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4 Responses to PERINE HOUSE, Dongan Hills

  1. Larry Gertner says:

    The plaque is no longer there. Come to think of it, it hasn’t been there for quite some time.

  2. Bill says:

    It’s nitpicking, I know, but weren’t all of those history signs put up in 1932, not 1952? I really miss the one in Scarborough that identified the birthplace of the captain (?) of the Civil War ironclad Monitor. It was perilously located on the absurdly narrow shoulder of US Route 9, and I can’t believe it made it all the way to the 1980s, which was the last time I remember seeing it.

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