Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Memorializing a Historic House

Back in 2018, when it became known that the proposal to create a new retail center in Greenport with McDonald's as its centerpiece involved the demolition of the Gothic Revival house once known as "The Pines," Paul Barrett and John Craig worked to bring the house and its history to the attention of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Their efforts were successful in persuading SHPO to make the determination, in October 2018, that the house was eligible for listing for the State and National Registers of Historic Places. But, alas, that determination was insufficient to spare the house. 

In November 2018, it was revealed that SHPO, despite determining its eligibility for listing, had approved the demolition of the house on three conditions: (1) the building must be documented; (2) a public exhibit of the building must be located in the new building or on the site that depicts the history of both the building and the site; (3) the building elements and materials should be offered to a local non-profit architectural salvage or other capable organization.

It is not known if the first and third conditions were ever met, but the second has. Yesterday, Gossips learned that the requisite "public exhibit" has been installed on the site of the building, where people can see it as they wait in line at the McDonald's drive-thru.

The exhibit was been described as "a very Readers Digest version that meets the minimum requirement."

Thanks to Paul Barrett for all the photographs that accompany this post


  1. Wonderful attempt and I applaud the effort, but McDonalds could have done better than this. A great piece of history lost for fast food and more concrete. McDonalds has produced a number of billionaires who should do better.

    1. I don't believe it was McDonald's responsibility to create the exhibit. Rather it was the responsibility of TRG (Trinity Realty Group), the developer and owner of Greenport's newest "retail center," as well as the strip mall across the street.

    2. That explains it. TRG only did what they had to do. Lucky that there is a sign at all!

  2. When I look at the wasteland that is there now, and remember the beautiful house and the green trees that surrounded it, I shudder. But indeed a good effort on Paul Barrett and John Craig's part. I'm surprised at SHPO allowing it since the McDonalds and Aldi's already existed nearby.