Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was privvy to Brooklyn’s hospitality when he visited the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum to help celebrate New York’s quadricentennial anniversary %u2013 his first stop on a citywide tour, and his first to the city’s oldest historic structure and first official landmark.
The leader of the Netherlands was greeted by a distinguished roster of area dignitaries as he toured the Dutch farmhouse, 5816 Clarendon Road, which enjoys a venerable reputation as being one of the country’s ten oldest complexes,
where he viewed plans for a barn that will be constructed there, enjoyed a colonial cooking demonstration and was serenaded with a Dutch song by third graders from Public School 119, 3829 Avenue K.
The $4.95 million construction of the Wyckoff-Durling Barn will relocate and reconstruct the timber frame of a 19th century, Dutch-style barn, originally located in Somerset, NJ, and will be the first barn-raising in Brooklyn %u2013 named after the Dutch town of Breukelen %u2013 in more than 150 years.
It will house the museum’s administrative offices, a caretaker’s apartment, a greenhouse and additional exhibition space.
Joining Balkenende were Dutch Ambassador to the United Nations Renee Jones, Consul General of the Netherlands in New York Hugo Gajus Scheltema, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblymember Joseph Lentol and Farmhouse Executive Director Byron Saunders.
The prime minister also visited the Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church, 890 Flatbush Avenue at Church Avenue, and the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, on his borough tour.