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Preservation Long Island

The boarded-up house on Sheep Pasture Road. Photo by Kyle Barr

By Samantha Rutt

In a triumph for local preservationists and historians, the William Tooker House on Sheep Pasture Road, Port Jefferson Station, has been safeguarded from neglect and demolition. The oldest known structure in the village faced threats of urban renewal before being included in Preservation Long Island’s Endangered Historic Places List in 2021.

Constructed before 1750, the William Tooker House holds immense historical significance. It was once the residence of William Tooker, a descendant of early Long Island colonists, whose family played a pivotal role in the region’s colonial history. The house itself is a testament to the area’s heritage, retaining a colonial Cape Cod-style timber frame on intact fieldstone foundations.

A significant milestone was reached on Oct. 3, 2022, when the Village of Port Jefferson agreed to purchase the property from its current owners using a grant applied for by Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) during his time in the state Assembly. Through the State and Municipal Facilities Program, the Village of Port Jefferson was granted $500,000 to be associated with purchase and restoration of the property.

Since 2022, local officials have worked to decide the future of the property, mentioning using the house as a central museum to pay tribute to the village’s history.

“The mayor seems very focused on the significance of the site, wanting to operate within the parameters of the grant,” now-county Legislator Englebright said of Port Jefferson Mayor Lauren Sheprow’s plan for the property. “The grant will more or less include the acquisition cost as well as a phase one restoration.”

Englebright described a phase one restoration project as stabilizing the existing structure, returning it to as much of the original structure as possible and using whatever may be left over from the grant to refurbish the interior and possibly add or update the existing heating and cooling units.

The village has not yet finalized the acquisition but is actively in contract to do so, Englebright explained. Despite its historical importance, the William Tooker House has been endangered by neglect, demolition threats and insensitive alterations over the years. However, with the village’s eventual acquisition of the property, a new chapter in its preservation is soon to begin.

Preservation Long Island, along with local community members and organizations such as the Greater Port Jefferson Historical Society and Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce, have advocated for the preservation of this piece of Port Jefferson’s history. Their efforts have culminated in the village’s commitment to acquire and preserve the property in collaboration with community stakeholders and nonprofit stewardship partners.

To further ensure the preservation of Port Jefferson’s historic resources, including the William Tooker House, Preservation Long Island and local advocates have outlined a series of actions for village officials to undertake. These include conducting a survey to identify and designate all historic resources and districts, leveraging public funding with private donations for rehabilitation work and incorporating historic preservation into downtown revitalization plans.

In addition, the New York State Historic Preservation Office recognized the property’s importance by determining its eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2020. With the village assuming ownership, it can proceed with the application for this designation. If successful, the designation will not only honor the house’s historical significance but also make the village eligible for tax credits, financial incentives and technical assistance for rehabilitation work.

With the William Tooker House now under the village’s stewardship, there is renewed optimism for its preservation and future as a cherished landmark in Port Jefferson. As efforts continue to unfold, residents and historians alike look forward to seeing this iconic structure restored to its former glory.

“Restoring the property will help to develop a sense of place,” Englebright said. “Place is hard to measure but important in developing community identity and pride. The restoration will help to carry and pass on a baton of knowledge for generations to come.”

Kings Park Psychiatric Center. Photo courtesy of Preserve KPPC

Properties in Brentwood, Huntington, Kings Park, North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Riverhead, and Smithtown are included in Preservation Long Island’s biennial list of Endangered Historic Places.

Preservation Long Island’s 2023 Endangered Historic Places List features seven nominated sites that span Long Island from a lighthouse on the Sound off Kings Point, to an early power plant in Riverhead. From historic homesteads to an expansive former mental health campus, the latest list highlights the historical richness of the region.

The Preservation Long Island (PLI) Endangered Historic Places Program (EHPP) is designed to identify, highlight, and address the imminent threats faced by significant historical sites and structures across Long Island. Properties are nominated to the list by concerned citizens and groups on Long Island. The program aims to raise public awareness about the endangered status of these historical places. PLI engages in advocacy efforts to garner support from the local community and beyond, emphasizing the importance of preserving these sites for future generations.

“The program offers Long Islanders an opportunity to advocate for preservation in their communities while learning how to use tools like landmark designation, tax incentives, and public outreach,” said Alexandra Wolfe, Preservation Long Island’s Executive Director. “Our program partners receive priority technical assistance from our professional staff and their listings are featured on our website and social media.”

“Operating on two levels, the program seeks to educate and mobilize new preservation advocates while identifying endangered historic places,” said Tara Cubie, Preservation Long Island’s Director of Preservation and Advocacy. “The relationships fostered by becoming an EHPP listing site are long term. The goal is for communities to develop sustainable comprehensive strategies for the protection and preservation of their historic resources.”

A panel of Preservation Long Island staff and trustees, as well as experts in architecture, historic preservation, and other related fields selected the properties based on three key criteria: overall historic significanceseverity of the threat and impact the EHPP listing will have on efforts to protect the nominated site.

In-person events are planned for the Spring of 2024 that include site tours, and panel discussions open to the public. Visit the EHPP page on our website to learn more about each of the selected sites and browse the schedule of upcoming events.

Preservation Long Island invites all Long Islanders to join us in celebrating and supporting the important sites on Long Island’s List of Endangered Historic Places for 2023:

Eliphalet Whitman House (c. 1736), Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown (part of Caleb Smith State Park). Listed on the National Register as a contributing structure to the Wyandanch Club Historic District, the house does not appear to be maintained and is showing significant signs of neglect and deterioration.

Perkins Electric Generating Plant (Riverhead Electric Co), West Main Street, Riverhead. Constructed in 1897, it was one of the earliest electric plants on Long Island. The building is vacant and deteriorating.

Steppingstone Lighthouse, Long Island Sound, off Kings Point and South of City Island (owned by Town of North Hempstead). Completed in 1877, it is one of the last offshore lighthouses in the Upper Mid-Atlantic to be built of brick and stone.  The site is threatened by deterioration and neglect.

King’s Park Psychiatric CenterNissequogue River State Park, Kings Park. A former mental health facility established in 1884, with the oldest extant buildings dating from 1890, the complex is significant for its architecture and as a cultural historic landscape. The Master Plan for the park finalized in August 2023, proposes demolition of Kings Park Boulevard.

Coindre Hall Boathouse, Town of Huntington. Located directly behind Coindre Hall (c.1912), the boat house is a miniature replica of the mansion. No longer safe for use, the structure has been fenced in for safety purposes, and is in bad condition. Although there has been stabilization work completed, there is debate regarding whether the building should be restored or the waterfront should be turned into a nature reserve.

Shutt HouseTown of Islip. The house is one of the original homes in Modern Times (1851-1864), Long Island’s utopian community (which evolved into today’s Brentwood). The structure is threatened by proposed demolition and development by the current owner.

Mill Pond HouseTown of Oyster Bay. Built before 1720, the Mill Pond House is one of the oldest surviving dwellings in Oyster Bay. The building has been vacant since 2008 and continues to deteriorate.

Preservation Long Island’s Endangered Historic Places Program is made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

About Preservation Long Island

Preservation Long Island is a not-for-profit organization that works with Long Islanders to raise awareness, appreciation, and support for the protection of our shared past through advocacy, education, and the stewardship of historic sites and collections.

Preservation Long Island’s preservation advocacy services support the work of our local partners in communities across the region. We offer consultation and strategic guidance for Long Islanders seeking help with local preservation projects, including historic resource surveys, local landmark designation, National Register listing, and restoration or adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

Preservation Long Island also maintains and interprets historic sites and collections that embody various aspects of Long Island’s history including:

Joseph Lloyd Manor, Lloyd Harbor

Custom House, Sag Harbor

Sherwood-Jayne Farm, Setauket

Old Methodist Church and Exhibition Gallery

Embark on a journey with our reporter to Sherwood-Jayne Farm in East Setauket, capturing the intensity of protesters rallying against Preservation Long Island’s plan to remove its farm animals. Then, delve into municipal land-use policy as we dissect the Brookhaven Town Board’s consideration of a zone change for the Jefferson Plaza shopping center in Port Jefferson Station.

But that’s not all — dive into the excitement of Ward Melville and Earl L. Vandermeulen high schools’ postseason volleyball runs with our sportswriter. Then, join us in reflecting on the crucial role of local election inspectors and the urgent need for more volunteers to uphold our democratic process.

Caretaker informed minutes before animals due to be taken away

Locals confront Preservation Long Island on Wednesday, Nov. 8, during the nonprofit’s attempted removal of the animals at Sherwood-Jayne Farm in East Setauket. Photo by Mallie Jane Kim

Local residents rallied outside Sherwood-Jayne Farm in East Setauket Wednesday, Nov. 8, when representatives from Preservation Long Island — the nonprofit that owns the farm and its animals — made an unexpected attempt to remove the elderly pony and four sheep that live there.

The impromptu protest was confrontational and tense, with caretaker Susanna Gatz visibly distressed, and PLI executive director Alexandra Wolfe expressing frustration. Suffolk County police officers who cleared the 20 or so people out of the pasture area as requested by Wolfe also worked to maintain a calm atmosphere where possible.

In the end, the sheep and pony were spooked amid the tension, so the Save-A-Pet representative engaged to move the animals wouldn’t do so while they were agitated, and left the scene.

PLI has long planned to rehome its animals, but paused for review in August after significant community outcry. Gatz has lived on the property and cared for the sheep and pony for more than eight years. She and other local residents have been hoping the sheep and pony could live out the rest of their lives there.

On Nov. 8, Wolfe told Gatz the animals would leave just minutes before a Save-A-Pet van arrived to transport them.

Gatz said she felt blindsided. “To show up here today with a 15-minute notice to start moving the animals is not fair.”

Suffolk County Legislator-elect Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) attempted to help mediate and said he had a productive start to a conversation with Wolfe. He explained that the animals are an important educational and cultural resource for the community, but that he also understands PLI is essentially a collection of small museums and not in the business of caring for live creatures.

“She’s unhappy because the ownership that they have of these animals is not part of their mission,” he said, but added, “There has to be a solution other than removing the animals.”

Englebright said Wolfe expressed willingness for the idea of a separate organization owning and taking charge of animals on the property — though as police cleared people out of the pasture area and the protest grew heated with sobs, yelling and even a bit of shoving, Wolfe told the crowd she did not want the current animals to be part of any discussion.

Gatz’s sister, Sharon Philbrick, pulled three of her children out of school so they could come say goodbye to the animals, but police were no longer allowing people to go near the barn by the time they arrived. The kids were crying, and one ran past police officers to get close. “They’ve been around these animals their whole lives.” Philbrick said, adding that they’d held the sheep when they were little lambs. “The animals know them.”

PLI explained in a fact sheet provided to TBR News Media that the sheep are slated to get a private enclosure at Berkshire Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit farm in Massachusetts that rescues and rehabilitates “abused and neglected companion and farm animals,” according to its website.

Snowball, the old white pony, PLI’s fact sheet indicated, would move to a private farm “a short distance away from the Sherwood-Jayne Farm,” and would have access to another elderly pony and 24-hour veterinary care. 

PLI provided a statement Thursday suggesting it still planned to move the animals, without indicating when.

“Regrettably, the emotions of our property custodian and some protesters disrupted the attempt to gently move the animals yesterday, and that effort had to be paused. We continue to believe that Berkshire Farm Sanctuary will provide the humane and caring environment we seek for the grazing animals,” the statement read.

Compliance issues for Sherwood-Jayne

In an additional layer of complication for PLI, a Sept. 8 letter from the county procured by TBR News Media informed them the property is out of compliance with the Farmland Preservation Development Rights Program. Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven purchased development rights to the 10.6-acre farm parcel in 2003, requiring Sherwood-Jayne to maintain a working commercial farm. The county also owns the 36 acres directly north of the property.

A county statute about the program stipulates “no owner shall leave agricultural land uncultivated and not engage in agricultural production … for more than two consecutive years.”

The letter also informed PLI it needs to apply for special-use permits to host events like the recent Baseball on the Farm, and the nonprofit also needs to discontinue the practice of allowing nearby schools and camps to use the field for overflow parking.

According to PLI’s fact sheet, the organization met with Mikael Kerr, the county’s farmland and open space supervisor, Sept. 30 to talk through options of bringing the property into compliance with the program.

PLI has not provided details about those options, but it will need to create a plan to put forward for approval by the county’s farmland committee.

Though there was no indication the current animals staying at the farm would hinder that process, the effort to move the animals last Wednesday made clear the organization is so far not interested in rethinking the decision.

“We have made arrangements to rehome our animals to a private sanctuary, where they will peacefully live out the rest of their days in a beautiful, park-like environment,” PLI said in a statement.

But some area residents think the animals should stay. One protester, Judy Wilson, who has helped feed the animals during times Gatz needed coverage, twisted a lock of the pony’s coarse white tail she found in the grass as she watched the situation unfold.

“What has happened today is atrocious,” she said. “The animals don’t need rescuing.”

Herb Mones, land use chair of the Three Village Civic Association, also came to the farm to show support. He took issue with the way the nonprofit handled a delicate situation, because the last the community heard, the plan to move the animals was on pause.

“We are quite shocked that something like this would happen by any organization that depends upon Long Island communities’ support,” said Mones, who is also president of the Three Village Community Trust, another organization that acquires and preserves local properties of historical importance. “These are really actions that go beyond anything that’s reasonable. It just amazes me.”

Gatz said she was touched that so many neighbors and friends stopped by — some who noticed the commotion while driving by and others who got calls to support the effort to keep the animals at the farm.

“People love this place, and they care about these animals,” she said. “I want them to stay here. This is their home, and I don’t know why [PLI] doesn’t understand that.”

Photo from LIM

It’s time to play ball! Preservation Long Island and the Long Island Museum have teamed up to host Baseball on the Farm featuring an authentic 19th-century ballgame with the New York Mutual Base Ball Club against the Atlantics.  With live music, games, prizes, food and more, this one-day special event will take place on the grounds of historic Sherwood-Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Road in East Setauket on Saturday, Sept. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. Rain date is Sept, 17.

Baseball on the Farm is a FREE community event for the whole family featuring an authentic 19th-century ballgame pitting the New York Mutuals Base Ball Club against the Atlantics Base Ball Club, games and craft activities, prizes including Long Island Ducks signed baseball and 4-pack of tickets for 2024, bounce house, live music by The Other Two and food and beverages (available for purchase) from Exotic Bowls, Maui Chop House and Root + Branch Brewing.

Advance registration is recommended. For more information and to reserve tickets visit: https://preservationlongisland.org/baseball-on-the-farm/

This special day of vintage baseball at Preservation Long Island’s Sherwood-Jayne Farm in Setauket is a collaboration inspired by two exhibitions currently on view at The Long Island Museum in nearby Stony Brook:

Picturing America’s Pastime (May 18-October 15, 2023): Since the 19th century, baseball and photography have grown up together.  This exhibition of 51 historic photographs has been developed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museums, the world’s premiere repository of baseball photographs.

Home Fields: Baseball Stadiums of Long Island and New York City (May 18-October 15, 2023): This exhibition features exciting objects from several private collectors of historic baseball memorabilia.  Many original items from Ebbetts Field (the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers) Polo Stadium, and Yankee Stadium are on view.

The animals will stay at the farm – for now

File photo by Nancy Trump

Grazing animals on the Sherwood-Jayne historic farm in East Setauket will keep their home — for now.

After area residents protested plans to rehome the elderly pony and four sheep, mourning the slated loss of the bucolic, historical scene on Old Post Road, Preservation Long Island is pausing the process pending consultation with local stakeholders. 

PLI, a nonprofit that preserves historic buildings and uses them to inform and engage the public, owns the Sherwood-Jayne property and had decided the animals were not central to their mission, especially since they also brought possible increased liability. The society’s executive director, Alexandra Wolfe, was hoping to find appropriate new homes for the animals this summer. 

After news of the plans spread, frequent farm visitor Kaleigh Wilson of Rocky Point started an online petition. Wilson, who used to work at neighboring Benner’s Farm, has been visiting Sherwood-Jayne Farm as long as she can remember and knows the property’s caretaker Susanna Gatz well. 

“We didn’t really know what to do about it or how to push back,” Wilson said. So she tried the petition. “I was hoping to create the space for community members to speak up.”

She created the Change.org petition on a Friday night and sent it out by text to people she knew cared about the farm, she said, and by Saturday morning there were already 500 signatures. By press time, the petition had nearly 2,400 supporters.

Wilson said she hopes PLI will ultimately decide to change course, as she doesn’t understand how removing the animals and Gatz could enhance the preservation of the space. “Susanna’s living this legacy in this space that it was meant to be lived,” the petitioner said, pointing out that Gatz, who cares for the animals and the property, processes raw wool from the sheep into fabric — according to the virtual tour of Sherwood-Jayne available on PLI’s website, Howard Sherwood also used wool from the property’s sheep to have blankets made. “It’s not just the animals — it’s her practicing a slower way of life that’s so important that we keep alive.”

Gatz had previously been asked to move by early fall, but Wolfe at PLI said they haven’t made any decisions regarding the property’s custodian just yet.

Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) also stepped in, speaking directly with Wolfe to encourage PLI to seek out a local advisory board. [See op-ed.]

Kornreich is grateful PLI has decided to hit pause. “I think it shows responsive stewardship that they are listening and responding to community concern,” he said.

The intensity of response surprised PLI, which is involved in some local history-related events, like Culper Spy Day with the Three Village Historical Society, and which has had partnerships with The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook and Gallery North in East Setauket. Wolfe at PLI said the organization hopes to consult its local partners before deciding how to move forward.

File photo from the Town of Brookhaven website
By Jonathan Kornreich 

Over the years, residents of Long Island have unfortunately become accustomed to the sight of our farms, meadows and forests being paved over and replaced by housing developments with ironic names that refer back to what was lost.

On the other hand, we are fortunate to have numerous historical societies, land trusts and other civic organizations, as well as public ownership of historically and environmentally significant parcels, serving as a counterbalance in the struggle to protect our way of life and to preserve the special places that make our community such a desirable place to live. These local organizations are part of the fabric of our community. Their board members, directors, staff and volunteers are our friends and neighbors — local residents who understand our past and are invested in our future.

The Sherwood-Jayne Farm on Old Post Road in East Setauket is a jewel of the community. Built around 1730, the site was an operational farm for more than 150 years. For many residents, a drive down Old Post Road meant a view of the bucolic farm setting which includes historic structures, fields, meadows, pasture and of course, a peaceful flock of sheep and an old pony named Snowball. Even if it was only a momentary glimpse of the animals in passing, generations of residents have been reminded that elements of our agrarian past still survive, and not just in names like Sheep Pasture Road or Sherwood-Jayne Farm.

Sherwood-Jayne is owned by an organization called Preservation Long Island. It owns four historic properties: two in Huntington, one in Sag Harbor and the one in East Setauket. According to their website, their mission is to “celebrate and preserve Long Island’s diverse cultural and architectural heritage through advocacy, education and stewardship of historic sites and collections.” This is a vital function, and one which is best done in partnership and consultation with the local community.

Recently, the community became aware of a proposal by PLI to discontinue the residency of the animals at Sherwood-Jayne. Coming from an organization dedicated to the preservation of our cultural heritage, this proposal was difficult for many people to accept, and the negative public reaction has been understandable.

After consulting with a number of highly involved residents about the matter, we agreed that PLI should consider recruiting an advisory board of local residents to help explore ways to build bridges between their organization and our community. This would go a long way to addressing the perception that PLI is not really a local organization, and dispel some of the mystery about their intentions, which I believe are good and worth supporting. 

In a frank conversation with PLI’s executive director, Alexandra Wolfe, I communicated these concerns and feedback on behalf of the community. She indicated that PLI would put a pause on any action related to the animals while they reevaluate their plans and work on developing a sustainable course of action that prioritizes the well-being of the animals while being sensitive to the cultural context of the property.

I am grateful to Preservation Long Island for their responsiveness to the concerns of our residents. More than that, I am thankful to them for their excellent stewardship of our cultural heritage. I look forward to seeing them expand their presence in our community and continue building strong working relationships with our existing organizations.

 

Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) is Town of Brookhaven councilmember for District 1.  

The Sherwood-Jayne Farm House in East Setauket where animals currently graze in the roadside fields. Photo by Mallie Kim

By Mallie Jane Kim

East Setauket’s historic Sherwood-Jayne Farm will bid farewell to its grazing animals this summer as nonprofit Preservation Long Island seeks to focus its programming to align closer with its mission.

“The animals serve as a visual respite for people on the road, but they don’t really connect the property to what we do,” said Alexandra Wolfe, executive director of PLI, an organization that works to preserve the cultural heritage of the region by preserving historic buildings and using them to engage and inform the public. “We have to think about how we use the Sherwood-Jayne property in ways that are more education-based and talk about history in ways that are more focused on Setauket and Long Island.”

Snowball the horse and four sheep currently live on the grounds of the Sherwood-Jayne Farm. Photo by Nancy Trump

Going forward, Wolfe said, the organization wants to engage the community with history — more than just maintaining small museums or a beautiful farm tableau. “We want to think about interpretation as a very interactive experience,” she said. “Try not to just tell the public about history, but get them to interact with the property.”

But the property’s caretaker and some community members are upset about the change. 

“What they’re doing is ruthless and insensitive,” said caretaker Susanna Gatz, a doula who coaches and supports women through childbirth, and who has lived in the farm’s carriage house apartment for eight years, managing the property and the animals. 

Gatz said she is sad both to say goodbye to the animals and to lose her home. PLI hopes to install an employee in the carriage house, according to Wolfe, someone who can represent the society and the house’s history while keeping an eye on the property.

The farm hosts an aging white pony Snowball — some 40 years old — and four sheep in the fields on Old Post Road next to the 18th century farmhouse, all managed by Gatz, whose goats and chickens also live on the property.

The current flock of sheep was established in 1933 by Howard Sherwood, founder of the organization that later became PLI, according to information in a virtual tour of the property available on the nonprofit’s website. The tour text explains the organization has been maintaining the flock “as a tribute to Sherwood and to preserve the working nature of the farmstead.”

PLI asked Gatz to discontinue the breeding program about three years ago. 

Gatz, who mows, mends fences and liaises with the community, calls the work “heart led” for the amount of time, energy and care she puts into it. Gatz is currently nursing a sheep back to health from injuries it sustained on an unsanctioned romp in the woods, and she looks out for the nearly deaf-and-blind Snowball, giving her the extra care she needs, like approaching upwind so she can smell Gatz is coming.

Snowball may not survive a move, according to Gatz, and the sheep were born on the farm. “My wish would be for the animals to live out their lives in the place they know best,” she said.

Longtime neighbor of the farm, Nancy Trump, believes getting rid of the animals is a loss to the community. “It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “They represent a part of society that’s just dwindling away.”

Trump passes the farm at least twice a day, and she brings her grandchildren to greet the animals and take pictures of them as the seasons change. “I don’t know how you have a farm without the animals,” she said.

Gatz agreed. People stop by often to watch the animals graze, she said. A bus full of children passes by daily during the school year, honking while the children wave out the window. “I could set my watch to it,” Gatz said. “It was really cute.”

Other passersby have expressed concern about the animals, in particular the ancient — in pony years — Snowball, who has lost most of her teeth, causing her to drool and her tongue to loll out. According to Wolfe, PLI hears from citizens upset about the pony’s condition. 

“It’s not that she’s sick or neglected,” Wolfe said, noting that Gatz takes excellent care of the pony. “Things like that become problematic. People who don’t understand call, and you have to explain.”

Wolfe added that the animals bring in extra liability, as well, especially with people who may not stay on the outside of the fence.

She said she hopes to finalize the animals’ new homes by the end of the month, and she is dedicated to finding good placements for Snowball and the sheep. “I want to make sure they are cared for,” she said, adding that she’s careful to vet good Samaritans who aren’t prepared for the undertaking of farm animals. “I want to make sure that whatever life they have left, there is quality of life.”

The Sherwood-Jayne House is open for public visits on Saturdays this summer, and the grounds, including nature trails around the property, are open to visitors year round from dawn until dusk.

The Sherwood-Jayne House will be open for tours on Saturdays through October. Photo from Preservation Long Island

Preservation Long Island has announced that for the first time in three years all three Preservation Long Island owned historic properties in Suffolk County will be open for the season through October. With the enlistment of a new interpretive team of Museum Educators, trained volunteers, and redesigned tours, each house preserves extraordinary examples of early American architecture and design and showcases the diverse stories of Long Islanders connected to the sites.

“Preservation Long Island’s historic properties are embedded within communities across Long Island and attract diverse groups of visitors,” said Elizabeth Abrams, Preservation Long Island’s Assistant Director of Operations and Programs. “We are excited about our newly designed guided and self-guided tour options that address specific themes related to each site’s historical narratives.”

“An impactful tour should convey the broader significance of the site, invite personal responses to the historical narrative, and draw connections between the past and the present,” said Andrew Tharler, Preservation Long Island’s Education and Engagement Director. “Rather than lecturing, Educators at Preservation Long Island facilitate meaningful understandings of the past through inquiry-based interpretation. We encourage visitor participation and invite them to contribute their own observations, questions, and ideas.”

In addition, Preservation Long Island has joined Museums for All, a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits. The program supports those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits visiting all Preservation Long Island properties, historic house museums and Exhibition Gallery by offering free admission per person, up to four people, with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Similar free and reduced admission is available to eligible members of the public at more than 850 museums across the country. Museums for All is part of Preservation Long Island’s broad commitment to seek, include, and welcome all audiences and to increase accessibility of high-quality museum learning resources.

Regularly scheduled self-guided and guided tours are free for Preservation Long Island Members, and Museums for All eligible visitors and $5-$10 for general admission ticket.

Tour Preservation Long Island Historic Properties:

The 2023 tour schedule and new online reservation system is now live at:

https://preservationlongisland.org/tours/

Joseph Lloyd Manor (1766–67) in Lloyd Harbor. Once the center of the Manor of Queens Village and a 3,000-acre provisioning plantation, the Jupiter Hammon Project, a multi-year initiative, is transforming how Preservation Long Island engages visitors with the entangled stories of the Lloyd family and the individuals they enslaved for more than a century at this site, among them, Jupiter Hammon (1711–before 1806) one of our nation’s first published Black American writers. House opens Saturday, June 17th.

Sherwood-Jayne Farm (ca. 1730) in Setauket. The house contains period furnishings and features original late eighteenth-century hand-painted floral wall frescoes. Located in a bucolic setting, the house maintains its agrarian context with hayfields, meadows, woodlot, orchard, and pasture. House opens Saturday, June 24th.

Custom House (ca. 1790) in Sag Harbor. Henry Packer Dering, Sag Harbor’s first United States custom master, acquired the property in the early 1790s. The activities of Dering, his wife, and nine children are vividly portrayed in room settings and interpretive exhibits. House opened June 4th.

For opening hours at each property and to reserve tours through their online reservation system visit:

https://preservationlongisland.org/tours/

In addition to tours, upcoming special programming at Preservation Long Island’s historic properties will be announced throughout the season including:

  • Jupiter Hammon Birthday Celebration, poetry readings and curator-led tours at Joseph Lloyd Manor in Lloyd Harbor
  • Culper Spy Day and fall outdoor activities at Sherwood-Jayne Farm in Setauket

Registration and ticketing links to all programs, events and tours are accessible on Preservation Long Island’s website:

https://preservationlongisland.org/category/upcomingevents/

https://preservationlongisland.org/tours/

For more information about Preservation Long Island’s programs and services visit:  https://preservationlongisland.org/

Peter Fedoryk conducts a tour of “Looking for Lange Exhibition” at Preservation Long Island’s Exhibition Gallery. (Courtesy of Preservation Long Island)

This award celebrates museum professionals with five years or less experience who think creatively, inspire change, spark innovation, and exemplify leadership.

Cold Spring Harbor: Preservation Long Island Curatorial Fellow, Peter Fedoryk, is a recipient of the 2023 Rising Star Award, one of the fourteen awards made by the Museum Association of New York (MANY) that celebrate unique leadership, dedicated community service, transformational visitor experiences, community engagement, and innovative programs that use collections to tell stories of everyone who calls New York home.

 

Peter Fedoryk with Preservation Long Island collections. Fedoryk was named a recipient of the 2023 Rising Star Award, presented by the Museum Association of New York. (Courtesy of Preservation Long Island)

Peter Fedoryk will be honored at the Museum Association of New York 2023 annual conference “Finding Center: Access, Inclusion, Participation, and Engagement” in Syracuse, New York on Monday, April 17 from 12:30 p.m. at the Syracuse Marriott Downtown.

“New York’s museums and museum professionals are reimagining and reinventing their roles within their communities, how they interpret their stories and collections, and the visitor experience,” said Natalie Stetson, Executive Director of the Erie Canal Museum and MANY Program Committee Co-Chair. “This year’s award winners are outstanding examples for the museum field.”

“We were incredibly impressed with the quality and quantity of award nominations this year, which made the review process highly competitive,” said Clifford Laube, Public Programs Specialist at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and MANY Program Committee Co-Chair. “Museums and museum staff across the state are demonstrating creative thinking and are inspiring institutional change.”

“During the time Peter has been with Preservation Long Island, he has positively impacted the organization in many ways, contributing his diligence and thoughtful creativity to everything from collections management to grant writing and community engagement,” said Alexandra Wolfe, Preservation Long Island Executive Director. “We are delighted that Peter is among our New York State museum colleagues being recognized as an outstanding example to the museum field.”

Since July of 2021, Peter has led Preservation Long Island’s Art of Edward Lange Project, a collaborative effort to reexamine the life and Long Island landscapes of the late 19th-century German immigrant artist. In his role, Peter launched an interactive website featuring nearly 150 artworks accompanied by in-depth catalogue information and interpretive content, curated an in-focus gallery exhibition, published and presented on new scholarship, and spearheaded numerous public programs. He is currently co-authoring and co-editing a new publication on Edward Lange that is slated to be published next year.

Lauren Brincat, Preservation Long Island Curator added, “I am continually impressed by Peter’s initiative, creativity, and leadership. As Curatorial Fellow, he has pushed us in exciting directions and exceeded all expectations. Peter’s future in the field is bright, and it’s been a real pleasure watching him grow as a museum professional.”