For Immediate Release: September 22, 2012
At its September 20th meeting, the Brookhaven Town Council passed a resolution sponsored by Three Village Councilman Steve-Fiore-Rosenfeld, awarding Landmark Status to the historic Rubber Factory Worker Houses. “This long awaited decision will enhance our grant funding opportunities for the next phase of restoring these circa 1880’s houses for adaptive use,” said Cynthia Barnes, President of the Three Village Community Trust.
After years of planning, fundraising, and permitting, a Trust team relocated the three structures on December 14, 2011, in an exciting parade along Setauket streets lined by community members. The team consisted of architect John Cunniffe, general contractor John Schoendorf (Long Hill Carpentry), Stan Kazel (Dawn House Movers), Joe Troffa (Troffa Landscape and Masonry Supply), Lou Bove (Bove Industries), Docherty Tree Experts, Norse Tree Experts, LIPA, National Grid, Verizon, Cablevision, NYS DOT, Suffolk County Police – Traffic Safety Division, Setauket Fire District, Town of Brookhaven Planning and Building Departments, its Highway Department as well as the all-volunteer “staff” of the Three Village Community Trust.
The Houses are now on their permanent foundation, in the same configuration as they were on Old Town Road for over seventy years. Research by the Trust and the Three Village Historical Society’s Rhodes Committee indicates that the houses were moved to Old Town Road from their original location on August Street sometime between 1909 and 1917 – probably in 1912. “From the history and from what the structures themselves are telling us,” said Barnes, “ the middle one might have been built at the Old Town Road site from materials salvaged from Golden’s Tavern across the street which had recently burned. In those days, folks didn’t waste materials that could be used again!”
The Three Village Community Trust will complete exterior restoration while continuing to plan the final phase – the interior renovation and restoration to make the three structures useful and productive. “Our mission is for historic structures to be used – not as house museums—but as integral to the fabric of the community, connecting us to our heritage even as we move into the future. Planning for this phase will require additional approvals and permits,” Barnes explained, “and we will seek the advice of the Town’s Historic District Advisory Committee, the staffs of the Planning and Building Departments, as well as relevant Suffolk County agencies.”
Major funding for the Relocation and exterior restoration was secured by State Assemblyman Steve Englebright. Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld also secured Town of Brookhaven Community Enhancement Funds for the project. Further support came from community members and generous “in-kind” services and materials donated by local businesses, including those listed above. The Trust has established an Acquisition and Restoration Fund to help raise funds for this and other preservation projects, and it will seek grants from both private and public sources. Landmark status will enhance those opportunities.
For Immediate Release: June 10, 2010
Three Village Community Trust receives title to the Bruce House from the Three Village Historical Society.
The Three Village Historical Society transfered title to the Bruce House at 148 Main Street, Setauket, to the Three Village Community Trust on May 12, 2010. The Trust restored the Bruce House for adaptive reuse and it is now being used as its headquarters.
Located on Main Street in Setauket just north of the Setauket Methodist Church, the Bruce House is unchanged from its original configuration, with the exception of a small addition to the rear for a bathroom– a modest upgrade from the outhouse (the small structure to the left rear of the house in 1924 photograph). Built c. 1924, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce raised their three children in this house.
In 2002, the Three Village Historical Society, with the help of New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright, saved this modest 1920’s “workforce” house from demolition when it purchased the property from the heirs of the original owners. Trust had been leasing the property from the Three Village Historical Society since March 18, 2006, with the understanding that as soon as the NYS CCAP grant was completed, the property would be transfered to the Trust.
“This transfer through a lease agreement assures that this original structure will serve a useful public purpose as the headquarters for a local not-for-profit,” said Assemblyman Steve Englebright. “The agreement seals a partnership between two local groups with complimentary missions. Preserving this vernacular part of our Main Street streetscape enriches the telling of story of the Three Village area by including the working people who settled here, built their modest homes and raised their families,” says NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright.
Frank Turano, President of the Three Village Historical Society, said, “I am glad that the Historical Society was able to save this authentic structure as an artifact of Setauket’s early twentieth century history. However, the Historical Society needs space for exhibits, educational activities and for its archives and this small house would not meet that need without alterations or additions. The Trust will be able to restore it and use it while preserving the streetscape.”
“This is the Three Village Community Trust’s first major preservation project and we are excited to have this opportunity” says Cynthia Barnes, President of the Community Trust. “I know I speak for the entire Board in thanking both Steve Englebright and the Historical Society for making this possible. A few years ago, few people knew that a treasure from the 1920’s was hiding behind the overgrowth. I am very pleased that the Community Trust will be able to preserve it and will have a headquarters.”
The Three Village Community Trust historic preservation principles:
- Restore and protect the building’s historic façade based upon the early photograph (c. 1924).
- Restore the exterior of the building using materials appropriate to the period. Repair and paint trim, repair siding with matching wood shingles, and restore the roof to wood shingles.
- Restore the interior spaces to be consistent with the original period of the building (1920′s) as much as is practicable
- Landscaping: appropriate for the area using native species and traditional horticultural materials that would have been used in the 1920’s through 1940’s.
The restoration and modernization of the Bruce House included the complete rewiring of the building and restoration of electrical service, installation of a heating system with the possibility of adding air conditioning at a future date, reconstruction of the bathroom and basic kitchenette facilities, landscaping, and the restoration of the building’s interior and exterior. The interior restoration is complete enough for use. However, some work remains such as completing the kitchenette area, window treatments, establishing the information and filing systems, and insulating and finishing the loft storage area.
The Trust is planning “work-parties” to work on the exterior (e.g., painting the trim and the porch) and landscaping the front yard. As soon as the Rubber Factory Worker Houses are moved and stabilized on the property (see “Rubber Factory Houses”), the Trust will work on restoring all the exteriors.
State Assemblyman Steve Englebright secured a $95,000 Community Capital Assistant Program grant which the Trust must match in order to complete these restoration projects. Please consider contributing to the Historic Preservation Fund.
For Release: May, 2009
Date and time: Saturday, May 30, 2009 @ 11:00am-12:00pm
Site: Old Town Road and Lynx Lane, Setauket, NY 11733
Attention walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers!
On Saturday, May 30, the first portion of the Setauket-to-Port-Jefferson-Station Greenway will officially open. This newly constructed “middle section” of the trail is one and one half miles in length and thirteen feet wide. The paved trail begins near the Long Island Rail Road overpass on Gnarled Hollow Road in East Setauket and ends to the east of Sheep Pasture Road in Setauket.
Primarily due to New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright’s efforts, state funding was made available to initiate the project. “I am delighted that after years of work and planning, our community is graced with a wonderful recreational and aesthetic connection of neighborhoods, parks, and historic districts,” Englebright said. “It is a great amenity, and I am grateful to all of those who joined together to make it happen.”
Federal funds to complete the entire Greenway were secured through Congressman Tim Bishop. “I was pleased to be able to secure funding for this worthwhile project, which is finally coming to fruition,” Bishop said. “The new Greenway will help link communities, and one day will provide many local residents with the option of walking or biking to work.”
Important local support for each phase of the project was provided by Brookhaven Town Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld, and Suffolk County has provided continual advocacy and assistance in each stage of the greenbelt. Suffolk County Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher and New York State Senator John Flanagan have been supportive throughout the project. The past decade’s partnership between government officials, the New York State Department of Transportation, community organizations, environmentalists and recreational enthusiasts has now resulted in the creation of the North Shore’s newest greenway.
During the 1960’s, the New York State Department of Transportation acquired a 3.3-mile stretch of property running from East Setauket to Port Jefferson Station to construct a Route 25A Bypass. In the 1990’s, members of the Three Village community and government officials began working on an alternative plan for this undeveloped corridor, which borders on three County parklands and is close to several residential neighborhoods. Community activists, state and local officials, and the New York State Department of Transportation eventually envisioned a greenbelt for this area.
The trail allows residents to walk, jog, bike, and rollerblade through a variety of beautiful, natural environments: an old growth forest, woodlands, and meadows. This “pathway to recreation” also helps to connect a variety of communities, neighborhoods, and parks. In the near future, when the eastern and western portions of the trail are completed, individuals from areas east of Port Jefferson Station will be able to easily and safely walk or bike to work in Stony Brook and Setauket.
Please join us for the ribbon cutting ceremony!
For Additional Information: Charlie McAteer – Chair of the Friends of the Greenway: 631-632-6445 Cynthia Barnes -President -Three Village Community Trust: 631- 689-0225