National Register signs set to go up in downtown Riverhead

09/10/2012 10:00 AM |
Downtown Riverhead, East End Arts

BARBARBAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East End Arts’ buildings are among the oldest structures in downtown Riverhead’s historic district.

First came getting added to the National Register of Historic Places, now come the signs.

The Riverhead Landmarks Preservation Committee will be mounting the first of 20 new signs Tuesday informing people that downtown Riverhead’s historic district — which was created as a town historic district in 2006 — is now on the National Register.

The first sign will be going up on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m. in front of The Riverhead Project restaurant on 300 East Main Street.

The restaurant building, which qualifies as historic because it’s more than 50 years old, is the easternmost boundary of the district, according to Richard Wines, the chairman of the landmarks commission.

Members of the commission along with Supervisor Sean Walter and other town board members will be present Tuesday.

Funding for the signage was provided by the Riverhead Business Improvement District, whose president, Ray Pickersgill, owns the Robert James Salon, which is located in the 1909 Lee Building, which was originally the home of the influential Republican paper, the County Review, officials said.

The County Review later merged with the Riverhead News to become the Riverhead News-Review.

“Maintaining and restoring the many historic buildings downtown is one of the keys to attracting visitors and businesses to the area,” Mr. Pickersgill said. “We want people to know what we have.”

“We wanted visitors downtown to be aware of the wonderful historic resources that we have,” said Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, the liaison to the commission. “These play an important role in the Town Board’s efforts to revitalize the area.”

The new signs have gold letters on a black background, and 20 of them will be mounted at strategic positions throughout the district. The district includes about 220 historic structures, with the oldest dating to the 1840s, officials said.

The National Historic District stretches from Maple Avenue on the east to Griffing Avenue on the west, while the town district stretches from the Suffolk County Historical District to the Railroad crossing by Riverside Drive.

tgannon@timesreview.com