Staten Island, NY

Welcome to Staten Island

Staten Island is the City’s southernmost and westernmost borough. The borough was urbanized from the north shore, while the south of the island was long associated with maritime trades. Staten Island physically connects to the rest of the city via the double-decked Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which reaches to Brooklyn and was the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time of its construction.

Staten Island’s diversity and cultural and architectural wealth belie its sleepy reputation. The 1695 Voorlezer’s House in the historic settlement of Richmond is the nation’s oldest extant elementary school, while the Billiou–Stillwell–Perine House, built in 1662, is the borough’s oldest standing building.

The community of Sandy Ground was among the nation’s earliest communities of African-American freedmen, many of whom had come from the Chesapeake Bay area to ply their trade as oystermen in New York Harbor after New York abolished slavery in 1827. Long after the loss of the oyster beds, Joseph Mitchell memorialized the remnants of the community in “Mr. Hunter’s Grave,” published in 1956.

Sailor’s Snug Harbor, a complex established in 1831 as a home for retired seamen, consisted of 40 landscaped acres. First developed with Greek Revival buildings, later additions included Beaux Arts, Renaissance Revival and Italianate structures. It was self-sufficient, with on-site farms, a hospital, dormitories and recreation areas. Today, the landmarked complex serves as a cultural center and is home to the Staten Island Museum, Noble Maritime Collection, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art and more.

Recent HDC Articles about Staten Island

Staten Island Landmarks