Office of Borough President James P. Molinaro
Staten Island, New York
Historic Richmond Town
Site of the original seat of the Richmond County Government, Historic Richmond Town is New York City’s living history and museum village.
First established as a crossroads settlement among the scattered farms of Staten Island,
Richmond Town was once the center for business and government on Staten Island. In
the 1700s, Richmond Town became the government center of Richmond County and
thereafter quickly became a bustling neighborhood and meeting place for people who
came to town to appear at court, attend church or school, or stop in a tavern.
But by the end of the 1800s, growth at Richmond Town slowed, particularly when court
was not in session. In 1898, Staten Island became a borough of New York City, and
many county functions were taken over by the new City government. A new government center was built at St. George, the island's closest point to Manhattan, diminishing Richmond Towns importance.
Richmond Town continued as a residential neighborhood, but the loss of the county seat,
coupled with the rise of neighborhoods such as Port Richmond and Tompkinsville, led to
the gradual decline of Richmond Town as an important commercial and civic center on
A visit to Historic Richmond Town is an opportunity to experience the domestic,
commercial and civic activities that characterized life on Staten Island for nearly 300
The village area occupies 25 acres on a 100-acre site with about 15 restored buildings,
including homes and commercial and civic buildings, as well as a museum.
Visitors can walk through the former county seat of Richmond, see historically furnished interiors and explore museum exhibits. Staff and volunteers provide guided tours and demonstrate the daily activities of early Staten Islanders on a seasonal, scheduled basis.
Established in 1958, Historic Richmond Town is a joint project of the Staten Island
Historical Society, an independent nonprofit cultural organization, and the City of New
York, which owns the land and the buildings and supports part of its operations with
public funds from the Department of Cultural Affairs. The Staten Island Historical
Society also receives support from the New York State Department of Education, the
New York State Council on the Arts, the Institute of Museum Services, the Office of the
Borough President, and private contributions from corporations, foundations and