Old Stone House & Washington Park — historic site and park conservancy
The Old Stone House & Washington Park is dedicated to preserving and teaching local and national history as it has impacted our historically significant Brooklyn neighborhood.
We are also the conservancy organization for JJ Byrne Playground and Washington Park – caring for our neighborhood park, playground and gardens to create a vibrant public space.
We support and contribute to the needs of the present-day community through family programs, arts and cultural events and neighborhood advocacy.
The Old Stone House building is a reconstruction of the 1699 Vechte-Cortelyou House on land taken from the Lenape as early as 1639. Located in Washington Park, on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus in Brooklyn, it marks the place where the original Dutch farmstead stood and the culminating engagement of the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn took place. It also commemorates the birthplace of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It is a Historic House Trust of New York City site, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
What we do
Preserve & interpret history
Open to the public year-round, OSH features a permanent exhibit exploring the the Lenape, Dutch Colonization, the Battle of Brooklyn and the Occupation, 1643-1783. We also host original exhibits connected to Brooklyn’s past and present in our second floor Great Room.
Each year, 7,000 students visit the Old Stone House to learn about the Battle of Brooklyn and colonial life. Our programs blend primary source documents, hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning to create an enriching experience for New York’s school children.
Support the community
OSH hosts a rich mix of events for families and adults. These include regular readings by Brooklyn’s young writers, performances by local theater groups, all-ages concerts by local jazz and rock bands and gardening and environmental workshops. In season, we host a farmers market and CSA (community supported agriculture program). There are also bike repair and recycling events during the year.
For neighborhood families, we run after-school, winter break and summer programs.
Our garden spaces offer a natural setting of native plants, creating an outdoor interpretive space and a more healthful environment.
Enhance and advocate for the park
The Old Stone House is situated at the center of Washington Park/JJ Byrne Playground, a 3.5 acre recreation site. We are devoted to supporting the Friends of Washington Park, and developing programming that enriches the site. Our beautiful playground has separate playspaces for toddlers, elementary and middle-school aged children.
Who we are
Board of Directors
Cathleen Game Leff
Stacey R. Bosworth
Alice Marcus Krieg
Jon C. Muir
William J. Parry
John Krawchuk, Executive Director, Historic House Trust
Martin Maher, Commissioner, Brooklyn, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Kimberly Maier, Executive Director
Mina Jones, General Manager
Sam Lewis, Director of Gardens
Casey Schweiger, Director of Programs
Margaret Weber, Director of Education
Scholar-in-Residence: Dylan Yeats, Ph.D.
OSH partners with organizations including Brooklyn Parks and Recreation, Community Markets, Greenbridge, Park Slope Civic Council, and Park Slope Parents.