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Spanburgh: Historic African-American Home Might Be Saved from Demolition

The Stewart home on Parsonage Lane in Sagaponack might be spared the wrecking ball, all thanks to a little friendly media attention.

In a rare preservationist success story, a home in Sagaponack Village — the only house ever historically occupied by an African-American family in Sagaponack — may be saved from demolition.

Many of you may have already read about this by now, but it’s such an important success story I couldn’t avoid writing a brief follow up.

And, by the way, I resent that some have labeled this "just another save by preservationists," because, come on, how often does this happen? The last "preservation save" I read about was back in 2006.

The other reason I just have to write about this is because for the second time, my blog, Southampton Village Review, may have actually done something good for the community, which just thrills me to pieces.

In mid-February, a woman emailed me after reading about 79 Parsonage Ln, Sagaponack Village — the house built by the African-American Stewart family circa 1913 — on my blog and subsequently . She had been periodically following the “demolition lists” on my blog as she was interested in moving (i.e. saving) a structure and having it relocated to property she owned in Sag Harbor. She had looked into a couple of others but none of them worked out for different reasons  — relocations usually don’t occur because of the seemingly infinite obstacles.

So now she’s inquiring about 79 Parsonage Ln and I emailed her back referring her to a couple of people and that was the last I heard of it, until my BlackBerry started going crazy last week. This lovely savior of a woman is very close to moving the Stewart house to her property. which coincidentally happens to be in an African-American community. Hooray! She has now reached the top of my very short "Preservation Heroes" list. While some believe the house will lose its historic integrity and significance by leaving Sagaponack, I think this is a wonderful second-best alternative. In a recent email, she said that all of the details aren’t yet finalized, but she is getting a lot of generous cooperation by all the parties involved and seems optimistic as she “gingerly” moves forward. Fingers crossed.

Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) March 28, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Get the history of the Captain William Post house in Southampton Village on Spanburgh's blog: http://shvillagereview.blogspot.com/2011/03/375-hill-street-capt-william-post.html

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