While historic houses are being torn asunder all over the South Fork, Southampton Town has come to the rescue of at least two.
The owners of the Benjamin Foster Homestead in Water Mill, a half-Cape from the Federal period, and the Foster-Downs House in East Quogue, a Greek Revival residence with later Italianate style embellishments, will each receive $10,000, to help pay for the cost of materials and labor for preservation efforts. Both properties attained town landmark status last year.
Preservation efforts allowed by the grants include exterior improvements, structural stabilization, window, door, and shutter restoration, and the resolution of water-penetration issues.
“While about 2,000 historic properties have survived within the Town of Southampton, many are threatened by neglect or deferred maintenance. These buildings are part of Southampton’s heritage and identity,” said Councilwoman Bridget Fleming.
The Landmarks Maintenance Awards are being distributed through a new program managed by the landmarks and historic districts board. Funding for the program comes from the historic preservation reserve fund, created as a community benefit by developers of the Sebonack Golf Club planned development district to help foster historic purposes.
“We expect to award about $20,000 annually for the next five years,” said Sally Spanburgh, chairwoman of the landmarks and historic districts Board.
Town landmarks are also eligible for a tax abatement program and a preservation easement acquisition.