Office of Borough President James P. Molinaro
Staten Island, New York
Conference House Park
On the southern most tip of Staten Island lies Conference House Park, site of a 1776
peace conference between representatives of the Continental Congress and the
Commander of British Forces during the Revolutionary War.
Captain Christopher Billopp of the British Royal Navy settled on this site in 1675.
Legend has it that when New York and New Jersey competed for ownership of Staten
Island, Captain Billopp secured Staten Island for New York by circumnavigating the
Island in one day.
As the revolutionary war broke out, Captain Billop’s son, Colonel Christopher Billopp, a
Loyalist, defended England's governing of America. Staten Island housed many English
troops, and some had even set up tents on Colonel Billop’s property, surrounding the
Admiral Lord Howe, King George’s Peace Commissioner, invited American delegates to
a Peace Conference to be held at the Billopp Manor House on Staten Island on September
11, 1776. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge attended as American
However, the conference was a failure, and the manor house in Conference House Park would be the site of the last peace attempt between the British Government and the American colonies.
When the colonies declared their independence, the insurgent State of New York
confiscated the property of pro-British colonists. Colonel Billopp, ardently pro-British, fled to Nova Scotia where he and his family were given property by the King of England in recognition of their loyalty to the Crown.
For the next 150 years, the House would pass from one private owner to the next and
remain in obscurity. One of the owners turned it into an inn, others made structural
In 1929, the newly formed Conference House Association was granted control of the
property, thereby saving the home from destruction. Since taking control of the
Manor House and surrounding property, the Conference House Association has restored
and maintained the Manor House for visitors to enjoy.
Today, the Conference House is now part of a public waterfront park that overlooks
Raritan Bay and the New Jersey coast. First built in 1680, it is the only pre-
Revolutionary manor house still surviving in New York City and is both a New York
City and National Landmark.
The Conference House is surrounded by a 267-acre park which features four historic buildings, breathtaking views of Raritan Bay, a Visitor’s Center, miles of paths for biking and hiking, and a beautiful pavilion. This is a great waterfront destination for both nature and history buffs.
Address: 298 Satterlee Street, Staten Island, New York 10307
Phone number: 718-984-6046
Hours of Operation: The Conference House is open for guided tours Friday – Sunday, 1-4pm, from the first weekend in April to mid-December
Conference House Website:
Photo by Vinnie Amesse