6 Historic Sites on Long Island Need Saving, Group Says

Oyster Bay Train Station was placed on SPLIA’s Endangered Historic Places List for 2013. (Photo credit: SPLIA)
Oyster Bay Train Station was placed on SPLIA’s Endangered Historic Places List for 2013. (Photo credit: SPLIA)

An 18th century Southampton ship captain’s house and a train station that greeted dignitaries meeting with Theodore Roosevelt in Oyster Bay are among the properties that made the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities’ list of endangered historic places this year.

A half dozen historic at-risk sites received the “historic places” distinction by the SPLIA, a nonprofit organization that advocates for saving sites that offer a glimpse into LI’s past. Local groups and advocates nominate sites for the list, along with their proposed solutions.

“We’re hoping to encourage alternatives and generate action,” said Alexandra Wolfe, SPLIA’s preservation services director.

The list was first released in 2010 and again in 2011, but the report is now published every other year. It alternates with SPLIA’s Preservation awards program, “so we can not only talk about crises but we can talk about success,” Wolfe said.

The list includes a late 19th century Sacred Heart Church and Rectory in Cutchogue, which was built by Irish and German immigrants, the art deco style Meadow Brook Bank Building in Freeport and the La Grange Inn in West Islip.

The Henry Rhodes House in Southampton, which was built for a ship captain in the 18th century, was also included. It “is one of only a handful of pre-Revolutionary War 18th century dwellings in a Village [of Southampton] founded in 1640,” according to the SPLIA.

Past SPLIA victories include Sayre Barn, which is part of the Southampton Historical Museum, and the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, which later received a $36,000 grant for a preservation feasibility study.

Preservationists are reluctant to move the building because of sewerage affecting underground water. Instead, they are hoping to restore the building and turn it into the Chamber of Commerce Headquarters.

Also, the St. Ignatius Retreat House at Inisfada, in Manhasset, which was originally the Brady Estate, made the list as a SPLIA watch property. This means that although no one nominated the closed Jesuit retreat house, SPLIA thought it was important to preserve it.

The Full 2013 List of Endangered Historic Places:

  • Henry Rhodes House in Southampton
  • La Grange Inn in West Islip
  • Historic buildings on Old Cedar Swamp Road in Jericho
  • Oyster Bay Train Station
  • Meadow Brook Bank Building in Freeport
  • Sacred Heart Church, Rectory & Carriage House in Cutchogue, Town of Southold
  • St. Ignatius Retreat House at Inisfada / Brady Estate in Manhasset, Village of East Hills (SPLIA Watch Property)