Arent van Curler & the Flatts

History, Archaeology & Art Illuminate a Life on the Hudson

Excavating the Flatts

Paul Huey and Dave Yezzi working at the Flatts in July 1971.

The Flatts Today


In the early 1970s, the Flatts was destined for commercial development with a new restaurant and a housing complex.  With the Town of Colonie interested in the site, the landowner allowed Paul Huey’s team to excavate the Schuyler house.  The discoveries were featured in local media and 1200 students toured the site.

Recognizing the significance of the findings, Jean Olten, Town Historian, lobbied for its purchase.  In 1975 the Town of Colonie bought two and a half acres, preserving it for an historic park.  The County of Albany transferred an additional nine acres in 1990, and two years later the National Park Service designated the site as a National Historic Landmark.

Over two more decades, the idea for a park moved from a concept to reality, spearheaded by Paul Russell, Conservation Officer with the Town of Colonie.  The Open Space Institute funded acquisition of another twenty-odd acres.  The Town and the Hudson River Greenway contributed additional funds.  The effort culminated in 2002 with the opening of the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park.

Today the park offers outdoor recreation like walking and biking and an interpretive exhibit on the history of the Flatts.

The site remains a preserved archaeological resource.  The initial excavation yielded enough material to support research on artifacts for years to come.  In keeping with a philosophy to preserve archaeological sites, future excavations will be limited, allowing archaeologists to focus on specific questions and to apply new technologies and analysis techniques as they are developed.


About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More

 

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