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Van Wyck house in Douglas Manor hits market for first time in a century

The Van Wyck house in Douglas Manor is going on the market for $3.2 million.
Photo by Michael Shain
By Mark Hallum

A Douglas Manor home has hit the market with a $3.2 million price-tag, but this house is more than just waterfront property.

The 18th century Dutch Colonial at 37-04 Douglaston Parkway first belonged to Cornelius Van Wyck and was designated an historic site by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966. According to multinational real estate, jewelry and art brokerage Sotheby’s, it is the largest waterfront property in the historic district of Douglas Manor.

The commission said the house was built around 1735 by an unknown architect. Van Wyck was the son of a Dutch immigrant who came to New York in 1660. Cornelius eventually passed the home down to his son, Stephen, who added to the structure and served as a delegate in the Continental Congress. The home remained in the family until 1819 when it was sold to Wynant Van Zandt, who added 120 acres to the property as a well as an area in the north of the property known as “The Point.”

Van Zandt was a wealthy merchant from the city who began the transformation of the area from working farms to country estates around the year he purchased the land, according to The Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society.

The Douglas family acquired the property in 1835.

Realtor Nina Kowalsky said the home has belonged to the same family for about 100 years and has not been on the market.

“The integrity of the house has been kept up,” Kowalsky said, listing items such as flooring, structural support and brick work in the backyard as original. “It needs some updating for someone who wants more of an up-to-date look, but it has to follow the rules and regulations of the LPC, because this is a very special home in Douglas Manor.”

The LPC describes the house with hand-hewn shingles on its “salt-box” type roof. The house faces Little Neck bay.

The sections of the house original to Cornelius Van Wyck’s time of ownership are the dining room, master bedroom and the “living hall.” The kitchen is an addition from the 1930s. The Georgian mantlepieces in the livingroom have been preserved.

At 3,876 square feet, overall, the house includes four bedrooms, and an equal number of bathrooms. There are six fireplaces.

The property is now down to about .65 acres of land, compared to the 120 added by Van Zandt.

The LPC at the time of designation deemed the Van Wyck house to be “an outstanding example of an early 18th century Dutch Colonial house that is notable for its interesting details of the Dutch period, and it makes a significant contribution to the legacy of early Colonial craftsmanship and that, situated in an attractive setting, it is one of the very few Dutch Colonial houses remaining in New York City.”

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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