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10/23/14 3:32pm
10/23/2014 3:32 PM
A six-mile stretch of Main Road is being pitched for an historic district. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

A six-mile stretch of Main Road is being pitched for an historic district. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

The National Register Historic District proposed for Main Road in Aquebogue, Jamesport and Laurel has already been rejected by the Riverhead Town Board — and it appears to be one heading that way with the Southold Town Board as well.

“The Town Board had decided that the fate of the proposed district in Southold would be left to the will of the property owners who own land included in the proposed district,” Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said. “We have had 19 owners raise objections and only four show support. Southold cannot support the proposed district moving forward based on those figures.” (more…)

09/11/12 2:00pm
09/11/2012 2:00 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Richard Wines, chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, motions toward The Riverhead Project restaurant in the downtown historic district.

Local government officials and business owners unveiled signage along Riverhead’s East Main Street Tuesday morning to mark the newly-recognized downtown historic district, which was added to the National Register last month.

Four Town Council members, downtown Business Improvement District president Ray Pickersgill, The Riverhead Project restaurant owner Dennis McDermott and members of the town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission gathered outside the restaurant to praise the work of the commission in getting the coveted designation for downtown businesses.

The area along East Main Street was added to the National Registry in August, and is now eligible for tax credits.

Twenty signs, paid for by the Riverhead BID, will be posted along the streets, officials said.

The first sign was posted near the building housing The Riverhead Project on East Main Street. The mid-century modern building was built in 1962 and was home to several banks until it was converted into a restaurant in 2011.

“By having signs up people will look around and say ‘Oh wow, this really is historic,’ ” said Landmarks Preservation Commission chairman Richard Wines. “People like history, but they have to see it.”

A brief moment of silence was held before the ceremony to honor all of those, including office workers, police officers, firefighters, first responders and their families, affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that occurred 11 years ago.


09/05/12 5:00am
09/05/2012 5:00 AM
Downtown, National Register, Historic District

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Arlene Dorozka’s home and rose garden on East Main Street, next to the 1833-built Riverhead United Methodist Church. There are 46 buildings in the historic district that now qualify for rehabilitation tax credits, meaning they’re 50 years old or older.

Back in March, a section of downtown Riverhead was approved for New York State’s Register of Historic Places.

Now, that same area has been approved for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, opening the door for huge tax benefits for those looking to renovate and improve old buildings.

The inclusion actually became official, quietly, on Aug. 14, according to Edson Beall, a historian with the National Parks Service, which administers the National Register.

The boundaries of the district run along Main Street, from Griffing Avenue in the west to Maple Avenue in the east, and include parts of Peconic, Roanoke, East and Maple avenues in between.

“We’re very pleased,” said Richard Wines, chairman of the town’s Historic Landmarks Commission. “We’ve been working on this for close to three years.”

Commission members plan to post signs soon alerting people of the designation, Mr. Wines said. The first one will probably be placed in front of the Methodist Church, which dates back to 1860.

Town officials also plan a press conference to announce the designation, officials said.

The oldest buildings downtown are on the grounds of East End Arts and date back to 1840, Mr. Wines said.

“It’s a pretty big district,” Mr. Beall said. “There are 46 contributing buildings that have integrity from the historic period” — meaning they’re 50 years old or older.

Mr. Beall said the area is considered significant for its commerce and architecture.

“It’s a concentration of buildings that represent Riverhead’s importance as a center of business, culture, entertainment and government on the East End of Long Island,” he said. “There’s also a large spectrum of designs, as far as architecture goes.”

The area also includes Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, which is already on the national register.

All properties considered for inclusion on the national register must first be nominated by their state, which in downtown Riverhead’s case, happened earlier this year.

In addition to the honor of the designation itself, income-producing properties on the national register also qualify for federal tax credits for rehabilitation work that meets the certifications of the register, Mr. Beall said.

The designation also offers protection from federally funded projects, he said.

“For instance, if a highway were to come through, they’d have to take the designation into account,” Mr. Beall said.

On the flip side, owners of buildings in the national register “are free to do as they please,” Mr. Beall said. “That includes tearing down the building, so long as it’s not receiving federal funding.”

The tax credits include both state and federal tax credits and can amount to up to 40 percent of the value of exterior improvements, Mr. Wines said.

“We’ve been pushing this because we think it fits right in with the Town Board’s efforts to revitalize downtown, and we think it will be nothing but a benefit,” Mr. Wines said.

The Historic Landmarks Commission is also working on a plan to get properties along Second Street — which runs parallel to Main Street — and its intersecting streets on the National Register as well, Mr. Wines said.

That area is mostly residential but includes law offices and non-residential buildings such as the former Second Street firehouse and post office, which is already on the national register individually, Mr. Wines said.

There are six individual buildings in Riverhead Town on the register. This section of downtown is Riverhead’s first national historic district, he said.