Van Alen House
Luykas Van Alen House
1737 Luykas Van Alen House
|Location||2589 NY 9H, Kinderhook, NY|
|Area||33 acres (13 ha)|
|Built by||Luykas Van Alen|
|Architectural style||Dutch Colonial|
|NRHP reference No.||67000011|
|Added to NRHP||December 24, 1967|
|Designated NHL||December 24, 1967|
The Luykas Van Alen House is a historic Dutch Colonial farmhouse at 2589 New York State Route 9H in the town of Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York. Built about 1737 and enlarged about 1750, it is one of the finest surviving examples of Dutch colonial architecture in upstate New York. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1967. It is now a historic house museum operated by the Columbia County Historical Society, open for tours on weekends from June to October.
Description and history
The Van Alen House is located in a rural setting of the upper Hudson River valley, on the west side New York 9H, about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of its junction with US 9. It is a 1-1/2 story brick structure, with a steeply pitched gabled roof. It has three chimneys, one at each gable end, and one between two of the three rooms that make up the ground floor. The brick is laid in a typical Dutch style, with the gables also finished in brick. The gable lines differ from typical urban Dutch architecture of the period by being straight lines, rather than stepped or curved. The house's three rooms each have separate entrances, with reproduction sash windows beside them. The interior retains a number of features original to its construction or later alteration, but some features (notably the staircase) have been brought in from similar period houses.
THe house was built about 1737 by Luykas Van Alen, who purchased the land from Native Americans. As built then it was just two rooms, with no internal connection between them, and a sleeping loft above. The third room was added about 1750. The house remained in the hands of the Van Alen family until 1961, undergoing numerous alterations before falling into disrepair. It was given by them to the Columbia County Historical Society, which undertook a complete restoration. It is now operated by them as a historic house museum showing 18th century Dutch Colonial life.
The Van Alen House and its farm are believed to have served as the inspiration for homestead of the Van Tassel family in Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Irving was a close friend of Kinderhook native (and U.S. President) Martin Van Buren, a neighbor of the Van Alens and a frequent guest in the town.
- Van Allen House, another old house with similar family name in Oakland, New Jersey, near which were several other branches of the Van Alen or Van Allen family
- John Evert Van Alen House is another house of the same family in Defreestville, New York, near Albany
- List of National Historic Landmarks in New York
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Columbia County, New York
- Great Houses of the Hudson River, Michael Middleton Dwyer, editor, with preface by Mark Rockefeller, Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, published in association with Historic Hudson Valley, 2001. ISBN 0-8212-2767-X.
- Dutch Colonial architecture (New Netherland)
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
- "Van Alen House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-07.
- "NHL nomination for Van Alen House". National Archive. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
- p. 50, Elizabeth L. Bradley, Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York, Rivergate (Rutgers University Press) 2009.
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