Historic Society work under way

10/14/2011 8:00 AM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Suffolk County Historical Society building in Riverhead.

The Suffolk County Historic Society building in Riverhead is getting a bit of a a facelift, as a $65,000 construction project to rebuild its stairway and main entrance is underway.

The building, which itself is historic, was built in the 1930s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So any changes made to the West Main Street building must conform to strict requirements to maintain it’s era-integrity, and win the proper approvals, said architect Gary Jacquemin.

The state office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation has OK’d the plans. The top slab has been removed and the steps already have been re-pitched so there is proper drainage now, he said. The handrails have been re-welded and reinforced, historic society officials said.

Riverhead Town has also secured a $9,5000 Main Street grant for the project, which should take about a month.

The Suffolk County Historic Society will be holding fundraising events in the next couple of months to help replenish its coffers after paying for the work. Those events will include a Charles Henry Miller
painting exhibition to kick-off on Dec. 2, and a “Wooden Wonderland; A Carver’s Winter Sale” exhibit to start Dec. 3.

The nonprofit organization also hopes to soon craft plans to make the building handicapped accessible. And in the meantime is working on a virtual tour project that would allow people who cannot access the building, or live far away, to tour the exhibits from a home computer.

The building received recognition from the National Historic Registry in 1994, officials said.

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