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Historic Preservation Options In The Hamptons: Know Your Resources

The Rogers Mansion is part of Southampton Historical Museum. (Courtesy Photo)

There are a number of historic preservation societies in the Hamptons which are devoted to the preservation of both land and homes, and which offer educational opportunities and programs for interested residents and visitors to learn more about the areas where they live, work or are visiting.

One such lecture and workshop was recently held at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton. Combining the efforts of the Southampton Historical Museum, Peconic Land Trust, The Town of Southampton Landmarks and Historic District Board and the Rogers Memorial Library in an effort "to promote the preservation of our local architectural heritage," a panel of experts discussed the benefits of and opportunities for preservation, including how to use available conservation tools and resources.

Tom Edmonds is the Executive Director of the Southampton Historical Museum, an organization originally known as The Southampton Colonial Society, which was organized in 1989 and incorporated in 1910. He explained that the public's interest and attendance at these types of information gathering lectures is imperative. "Historical preservation is our mandate, and today historical preservation not only preserves the stories of people who worked and lived in these buildings, but it also helps save our environment by restoring a property as opposed to tearing it down and building new - we are preserving our natural environment as well," noted Edmonds.

Sally Spanburgh, author and Preservationist and Chair of Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic Districts, along with Kim Quarty, Project Manager at Peconic Land Trust, both made presentations. The moderator was Melanie Cirillo, who is the Peconic Land Trust Director of Conservation Planning.

"A lot of people simply aren't aware of all of the tools available to them, and some benefits that go along with them, if they are at all interested in making sure that their homes survive for future generations," explained Spanburgh.

Panelists at the lecture included Southampton Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, appraiser Larry Indimine, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Board Member Michael Devonshire, and owners of historic homes Linda Euell, Richard Wines and Nancy Gilbert, and Dan Heston (also a member of the Trust's staff).

"The Town is restoring many of the historic structures it owns," added Spanburgh. "There is currently a momentum of home owners designating their properties as landmarks and exploring the various benefits and easement options consequently available to them."

With many new homes replacing the older and more traditional homes that have survived for numerous years, the importance of preserving, and in many cases restoring, these buildings to their original state is a testament to where we live, how we live and why we live where we do for the benefit of generations to come and enjoy.

For more information, visit www.southamptontownny.gov; or www.peconiclandtrust.org.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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