Building was constructed between 1825 and 1830
Constructed by: Casparus Francis Pruyn
Original Purpose: Summer residence and working farm
Current Purpose: Historical and Cultural Center
If this building could speak, what would it say? "Please save my brick exterior!"
The Pruyn House, located at 207 Old Niskayuna Road in Latham, NY, was built between 1825 and 1830 by Casparus Francis Pruyn. He was sixth generation Dutch, his family having settled in the Albany area in the 1660's. Mr. Pruyn's uncle, Robert Dunbar, worked for the Van Rensselaer family and leased this land. When the last Patroon, Stephen Van Rensselaer III died, Mr. Pruyn was allowed to purchase the land and build this Federal and Greek Revival home. He and his wife, Ann Hewson and their ten children used this land, over 180 acres at the time, as their summer home and working farm.
This beautiful, three story home, along with 5 ½ acres of land, was purchased by the Town of Colonie in 1983 after having changed hands many times since the Pruyn family lived here. The Pruyn House has been a public facility for thirty three years. Its daily operation is overseen by a not-for-profit group called the Friends of Pruyn House. The Town of Colonie and the Friends of Pruyn House work together to maintain and improve this Historic and Cultural Center. Friends of Pruyn House arranges cultural and social events for the community such as historical talks, concerts and two major Open Houses each year. Old Fashioned Sunday highlights the end of summer and provides insights into life in the 1800's and free tours. On December 3, 2016, Friends of Pruyn House will open the house to the public for free. The house will be decorated by the Blue Creek Garden Club and both they and the Fort Orange Garden Club will host a Holiday Greens Sale. Music will be provided by the Mohawk Chapter of the American Recorder Society and refreshments will be served. Hours are 10:00am - 4:00pm.
Friends of Pruyn House also hosts summer concerts and the Pruyn House, Buhrmaster Barn and Verdoy Schoolhouse are available to rent for various community groups as well as for business and private social gatherings. The funds raised through rentals help to maintain the property and allow us to offer free programs to the community. This beautiful site is home to several other historic buildings; the Buhrmaster Barn and the Verdoy Schoolhouse which were both brought here, the Carriage House and Tool Museum were original to the property. The Verdoy Schoolhouse, built in 1910 is a good example of the early one-room schools built in the Town until the 1950's. It is furnished with desks, books and historic pictures, along with an 1864 Meneely bell, made in West Troy (Watervliet). The Buhrmaster Barn hosts approximately twenty weddings each summer. A focal point of the property is the vibrant herb and perennial gardens maintained by volunteers of the Fort Orange Garden Club.
Although in good overall condition, our buildings need constant tending. Many of our buildings are wood and need regular repair and painting. This year we have repaired and repainted the Carriage House and the Tool Museum. Our next project will be the exterior of the Pruyn House itself. The Pruyn House is brick. The process of repairing 1800's brick is complicated and requires much hand labor as harsh chemicals and pressure-washing would damage the brick. We will be removing the paint that has sealed the original bricks for many years and restoring the 1800's brick to its original splendor. If the Pruyn House walls could talk, they might say, "Please save my brick exterior!" All historic buildings need tender loving care on a regular basis and the Pruyn House is no exception.
We are open to the public for free tours Monday through Friday, from 9:00am through 4:00pm. If you would like to bring a large group, please call us at (518) 783-1435 to set an appointment.