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Historic Flushing Sacred Sites Weekend May 16-17, 2015


Contact – Bowne House Historical Society
37-01 Bowne Street, Flushing, NY 11354
office@bownehouse.org; www.bownehouse.org


Historic Flushing Sacred Sites Weekend will be held May 16-17, 2015.

Flushing, NY April 16, 2015

On May 16-17 Bowne House, the oldest house in Queens, ca. 1661, located on Bowne Street in Flushing, will participate in the New York Landmark Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Open House Weekend. It is one of three historic Flushing sites to take part in this event, which will include the Friends Meeting House (1694) and St. George’s Church (1702).

Bowne House, located in a densely populated area of Queens, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country, was built by John Bowne in 1661. It is an amalgam of Old and New World Dutch and English building traditions. The exterior has recently undergone an extensive structural stabilization and exterior restoration project. Continuity of ownership by the Bowne family provides an unusual view of changing cultural values and increased prosperity over time. The house was occupied by nine generations of family whose offspring included prominent businessmen, horticulturalists, politicians, educators and abolitionists.

The significance of Bowne House lies in the events which took place there early in its history. John Bowne is known for his courageous defense of religious liberty; his actions, and those of his fellow residents of Flushing, helped to establish this principle in America. In 1662, Bowne defied a ban on the practice of religions other than the Dutch Reformed Church by permitting Quakers to worship in his home. Bowne was arrested by Governor Peter Stuyvesant, punished, and deported to Holland where he successfully pleaded his case before the Dutch West India Company. He returned home victorious in 1664, and the principle of religious freedom was established in the colony.

Bowne House served as the house of worship in Flushing for 30 years, until the construction of the nearby Friends Meeting House, on Northern Boulevard, in 1694. John
Bowne is buried in the churchyard at the Meeting.

Bowne House is a City, State, and National Landmark, and is a New York State Site of National Significance.

Please check the Bowne House website for hours and for events planned in conjunction with this weekend.
Since 1986 The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Weekend has supported more than 700 religious institutions throughout the state. Sacred Sites is the county’s oldest and largest statewide grant program to help landmark religious properties.

For additional information on the Sacred Sites Open House Weekend, contact Ann Friedman or Brian Gallagher at the New York Landmark Conservancy at 212-995-5260 or sacredsites@nylandmarks.org.