From The Archives
1838 Greek Revival
Peter Augustus Jay House
1838 Peter Augustus Jay House
The Jay Property in Rye is the boyhood home of New York State's only native Founding Father, John Jay (1745-1829). Located in Rye, next to a marshlands preserve with public trails, this sylvan and historic 23 acre park is all that remains of the original 400 acre Jay family estate where America's first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and author of The Jay Treaty grew up. Located just 35 minutes from Manhattan, the Property has an 8000 year old scenic vista of Long Island Sound over a meadow bordered by sunken stone ha-ha walls, a European garden design feature added by Jay's eldest son circa 1822. It is also located on the historic Boston Post Road where mile marker "24" out of 230, designated in 1763 by Jay's colleague, Benjamin Franklin, is set into the perimeter wall.
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The centerpiece of this National Historic Landmark is an 1838 Greek Revival mansion with soaring Corinthian columns built by Peter Augustus Jay atop the footprint of his father and grandfather’s original home “The Locusts” reusing original timbers and nails from the same house. Visitors can literally see the layers of history being uncovered here. The PA Jay House is being carefully restored and managed by the not-for-profit organization, the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) for use as an educational facility hosting Programs in American History, Social Justice, Landscape Conservation and Environmental Stewardship. The house is an official project of the Save America’s Treasures Program and at 170 years old, it is the oldest National Historic Landmark structure in New York State to be using an energy efficient geothermal heating and cooling system. It is also a Hudson Valley National Heritage Area site.
The Jay site is also listed on Westchester County’s African American Heritage Trail. John Jay is well known for advocating emancipation, serving as President of the Manumission Society and establishing the first African Free School.
A second building being restored by the JHC, is the 1907 Van Norden Carriage House, a Classical Revival masterpiece in its own right; it serves as the JHC Visitor Center and houses the permanent exhibit “The Design of Providence” that explores the cultural imprints that mankind leaves on the landscape and how that very same landscape shapes human character and behavior.
Tours of the 1838 Peter Augustus Jay House and its current Quadricentennial exhibit “A Legacy of Sailing” are held on Sundays from 2-5 pm April through mid-November and by appointment. The 1907 Carriage House is open year round, Tuesdays through Fridays, 10:00 -5:00 pm. For more information and to arrange group tours, please contact the Jay Heritage Center at (914) 698-9275, www.jaycenter.org or E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Archived in September, 2009