Senate House State Historic Site

NY Senate House in Kingston
Exterior street view of the simple stone house in Kingston where New York’s first Senate met in the fall of 1777

Amidst the turmoil of a British military invasion in the fall of 1777, the elected representatives of rebellious New Yorkers met in Kingston to form a new state government. While convened in Kingston in September and October, New York’s first Senate met in the simple stone house of merchant Abraham Van Gaasbeek.

In 1887, to recognize Senate House’s role in the formation of New York State, New York State acquired the property, which quickly became a vital community museum. A two-story Museum Building was constructed in 1927 to house and display the site’s burgeoning collection. Among its treasures are: major art works by John Vanderlyn and other members of the Vanderlyn family of Kingston. The museum also includes the site’s popular new exhibit; “Kingston Stockade: New Netherlands’ Third City,” discussing Kingston’s early history.

Senate House State Historic Site is administered by New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as well as the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.

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