Historic Houses of Conference House Park
With more than 267 acres, the park features many public education and recreational opportunities. Recent facility improvements include a renovated visitors center with public restrooms and exhibit space, a new waterfront pavilion for events or just for enjoying the view, expanded paths, hiking and biking trails, and a new playground. Another popular park destination is the “South Pole,” marking the southernmost point of New York State.
To view a park map, click here.
The Ward House
The only Ward family home remaining on Ward’s Point today was built circa 1830. This house belonged to Caleb Ward’s granddaughter, Hannah, the wife of boatman Samuel Wood. In 1850, Wood sold the waterfront portion of his property to William H. Rutan, and later sold the house to Theodore Leven, a Swedish immigrant. The Leven family occupied the house for nearly sixty years.
The Biddle House
Captain Henry Hogg Biddle, who owned the ferryboat between Tottenville and Perth Amboy, as well as the area known as Biddle’s Grove (a summer resort for temperance groups), constructed this house circa 1845. It is a rare surviving example of the Greek Revival architectural style, with identical sweeping, sloped rooflines on both facades.
The Rutan-Beckett House
The Rutan-Beckett House, built about 1850, was the home of ship builder and New York State Assemblyman William Henry Rutan. It remained in his family until 1910. After a period of abandonment, the Beckett family purchased the house and remodeled and modernized it in the 1950s, which is how the house remains today. The Rutan-Beckett House is furnished today as a wonderful example of the popular American décor style of the 1950s.
For more information, visit the NYC Parks website by visiting www.nyc.govparks.orgparks/conference-house-park