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Boston Post Road Historic District

  • Boston Post Rd and Milton Harbor Rye, NY 10580

The Boston Post Road Historic District is a historic district including 3 pre-civil war mansions and their grounds, a 10,000 year old Paleo-Indian meadow and viewshed, a cemetery, and a nature preserve. This unique 286 acre district includes 5 properties: The Jay Property (23 acres), Whitby Castle (110 acres), The Jay Cemetery (3 acres), Lounsbury (13 acres), and Marshlands Conservancy (137 acres). These 5 properties--and this unique district-- received National Historic Landmark status in 1993 because of the site's association with New York State's Founding Father, John Jay , who grew up and is buried within the district, and because of the architectural stature of the 3 pre-civil war estates --including their associated buildings and landscapes. There are fewer than 2500 NHLs in the nation and 262 of them (slightly over 10%) are in New York State. This entire 286 acre American treasure has been further recognized as an archaeologically sensitive zone by New York State's Historic Preservation Office and by the National Register of Historic Places because of its cultural affiliations which include Middle Woodland, Late Woodland, Late Archaic and periods of historic significance of 3000-4999 BC, 1000-2999 BC, 1499-1000 AD, 1749-1500 AD, 1825-1849, and 1850-1874. As one walks along the Post Road, also known as the King's Highway, Route 1, you can see the dramatic change in architectural styles between 1838 and 1854 just before the Civil War. The Jay Heritage Center has been offering tours of the district for many years for school groups and visitors and as part of both its Striving for Freedom Program and Summer Architecture Camp but you can take your own self guided tour as well. Start at 210 Boston Post Road, where the centerpiece of the Jay Property is the Greek Revival 1838 Peter Augustus Jay Mansion which may have been designed by John Jay's son and was inspired by the pattern books of Minard Lafever. Now home to the Jay Heritage Center, the Jay Property that surrounds the mansion and gives it its grand stature and scale, has 3 owners and stewards: the Jay Heritage Center, New York State Parks and Westchester County. Lounsbury is next and it is a Classical Revival structure with Ionic columns. It is privately owned. Last is Whitby Castle, designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, the same architect who designed Lyndhurst. Now home to the Rye Golf Club, Whitby is wholly owned by the City of Rye.