One of my favorite places of hidden New York is the Commandant's House at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Tucked away behind a locked gate on the corner of Evans Street and the aptly named ‘Little’ Street in Vinegar Hill lies a beautiful house that seems to have been lost in time. The vintage cars that always seem to line the driveway along its sprawling green lawn only add to that timelessness.
The mansion (or Quarters A as it was known) was built around 1806, and was rumored to have been designed by Charles Bulfinch, who design the U.S. Capitol Building. It was built overlooking the Brooklyn Navy Yard and East River, and created to house the commander.
Since the Navy Yard closed in the 1960s, the property has been a private residence. In 1974, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Not much is known about the house. Because of its mysteriousness, there has always been a swell of rumors surrounding it. Supposedly the dining room has the same proportions of the Oval Office, and even has a hidden door. Another rumor has it that the house wasn’t constructed using nails, but with wooden dowels.
Whatever the true story, the Commandant’s House remains one of New York’s best-kept secrets.