Hendrick I. Lott House celebrates 300 years

(Left to right) Ana Damato, Sinterklaas Kevin Hanley, Greg Borruso, Alyssa Loorya and Kimberly Howard Thomassen smile during the Lott House Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 7.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

One of the oldest standing homes in the borough celebrated its 300th birthday on Saturday with a holiday-themed bash that attracted more than 500 local party animals, according to the Friends of the Lott House’s vice president. 

“One of the highlights were just how many people came out on Saturday,” said Alyssa Loorya. “It shows how the home is such a fixture in Marine Park. There is an interest in where we came from.” 

Property beneath the Hendrick I. Lott House — located on E. 36th Street between Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S —   was purchased on Dec. 12, 1719 by the Lott family, who immediately began working to build the residence that stayed in their family for 283 years until it was sold to the city in 2002. The home is still powered with electrical equipment from 1910 and has its original plumbing from 1926. 

After a round of renovations, the home was finally able to host children for arts and crafts this year which Loorya said was such an accomplishment after the long-awaited restoration of the formerly dilapidated house. 

“It’s been a really long process, and it was great to see the kids being able to do crafts inside,” said Loorya. “It brought a whole new life to the house after so many years.” 

As part of the groups first full-scale Christmas celebration, kids could be seen making clothespin reindeer ornaments and popsicle stick snowmen decked out with glitter and googly eyes, while students from local dance schools cut a rug. Dutch Santa Claus — Sinterklaas — also made an appearance.  

Local historian Tom Campanella greeted guests and signed copies of his latest book, “Brooklyn: The Once and Future City,” which kicks off its first chapter on Brooklyn history exploring the Lott house.  

“This book was a labor of love for him,” Loorya said. “He is from the neighborhood and wrote this long history of Brooklyn that starts off down in our neighborhood with the Lott House.” 

Loorya — an urban archaeologist — said the home serves as a time capsule of the Lotts, who are representative of an everyday 18th-century family that lived in southern Brooklyn when the outer boroughs were exceptionally rural and more similar to what many would classify with today’s midwest. 

“They weren’t famous, they didn’t run the city,” said Loorya. “They were wealthy, but still an everyday family who farmed and were involved in their community and civic affairs.”

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