Hendrick I. Lott House

The Hendrick I. Lott House is a historic home located at 1940 East 36th Street, resting in the neighborhood known as Marine Park, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, there lies one of the oldest Dutch Colonial farmhouses in Kings County. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a New York City Landmark. The house remains structurally sound and virtually unchanged from the time Hendrick Lott constructed it in 1800, incorporating a section of the 1720 original homestead built by his grandfather, Johannes Lott.


Family patriarch Johannes Lott, a member of the New York Colonial Assembly, purchased land in the rural area of Flatlands in 1719 to be used for farming. Lott expanded the family holdings from Kings Highway south to Jamaica Bay and "Lott's Landing." On this property, Johannes built his homestead just east of the present house. Johannes died in 1775, leaving the farm to Johannes Jr., who occupied the property until 1792.

The Lott family quickly became leaders in the area. When Hendrick I. Lott married Mary Brownjohn in 1792, he found his grandfather’s house too small, too old, and too outmoded for an established member of a prominent family. Hendrick built a larger, grander house, combining Dutch architecture with that of the English, making it into a distinctly American building. Hendrick did not abandon his grandfather’s house entirely, however, it served as the kitchen wing being moved to the eastern end of the new house. He balanced this 1720 wing with a west wing, creating the symmetrical composition. Although Hendrick added Federal-style dormer windows, the gambrel roof with graceful spring eaves is typical of the Dutch Colonial architectureal style. The interior features eighteen rooms organized by a center hall plan.

In the 19th-century, at its peak the Lotts’ farm included more than 200 acres (0.81 km2). Like most large farmers in southern Kings County, the Lotts relied heavily on the labor of slaves to grow the crops that they sold in the markets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. However, the Lotts freed their slaves by 1805, long before the abolition of slavery in New York State in 1827. Later, it is said, the House may have served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

By 1825 the 200-acre (0.81 km2) farm, on which the Lotts raised cabbage, potatoes, vegetables and wheat, included outbuildings, barns and a separate stone kitchen. The foundation of which, that was located between the home and the present East 36th Street, was excavated in 1998 by the Brooklyn College Archaeological Research Center.

For two centuries descendants of the Lotts lived in the homestead and used the land for farming. The last farmer, John Bennett Lott, died in 1923. The majority of the land was sold, leaving only three-quarters of an acre surrounding the house. The last Lott descendant to live there, Ella Suydam, a great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Johannes Lott, lived in the house until she died in 1989.

The Hendrick I. Lott House, which sits on its original location on three-quarters of an acre of land, and its grounds are currently closed for restoration. The house was bought by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in 2001 and operated by the Hendrick I. Lott House Preservation Association, and is a member of the Historic House Trust. The restoration of the Lott House is a joint effort of the City of New York/Parks & Recreation, Historic House Trust of New York City, Marine Park Civic Association, and Hendrick I. Lott House Preservation Association.


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