Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Surprised by Good News in Greenport

Sometimes, when you least expect it, you learn something good. It happened to me tonight at the Greenport Planning Board.

At the beginning of the meeting, Planning Board chair Ed Stiffler announced that Greenport Land Partners (TRG) had asked that their project be deferred until August. The project in question is the new retail development to be located at the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Healy Boulevard, with a new McDonald's as its centerpiece and a new location for Aldi's as its anchor. The development as proposed involves the demolition of the Gothic Revival house once known as "The Pines," which was the home of Joseph Farrand and later of his youngest son, Arthur, who helped to create the section of Hudson we now know as "the Boulevards" and the man-made, spring-fed Oakdale Lake.

Photo: Paul Barrett

Having said the project was deferred, Stiffler shared the good news. SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office) has determined that the Gothic Revival house is eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. SHPO is asking TRG to incorporate the historic house into the design for the retail development. If they cannot do this, they must, in the words of Stiffler, "build a very strong case for demolishing it."

The Greenport Planning Board doesn't allow the public to speak until the end of the meeting, and, regrettably, by that time I didn't have the presence of mind to ask if the SHPO determination also applied to the little Gothic Revival structure--a cottage or some other kind of accessory building--located behind the current McDonald's. I suspect it doesn't, but I hope it does.

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