Only 45 minutes outside of New York City in Rye, the Jay Heritage Center is the steward of a beautiful and original mansion in the Greek Revival style built in 1838 by Peter Augustus Jay, the son of one of the nationâ€™s founding fathers, John Jay. A great champion of civil rights, John Jay was first Chief Justice of the United States, Governor of New York State and a negotiator of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War. Peter Augustus Jay followed in his fatherâ€™s footsteps and was also a successful jurist and inherited the original farmhouse built by his father and grandfather. After his father and mother died, Peter and his wife built the Jay mansion as it stands today along with the extensive gardens on the footprint of the original farmhouse with views stretching down to Long Island Sound.
Today, the Jay mansion is maintained by a non-profit called the Jay Heritage Center which is dedicated to transforming theÂ 23-acre Jay EstateÂ into a vibrant educational campus, hosting innovative programs about American History, Social Justice, Architecture, Environmental Stewardship and Landscape Conservation. All of these are areas where many Jay descendants made notable contributions in their lifetimes. The house is open for tours, there are exhibitions, concerts and talks throughout the year. There is also a robust volunteer corps and educational programs for adults and teens.