“As We See It”

SHHS has run a series of advertisements on preservation in the Sag Harbor Express. Because many of them appeared this Winter when people may have missed the Express, we are reprinting them here.

Here’s the first one:

“As We See It”

The Village of Sag Harbor is confronted by the challenge of un-regulated and un-fettered development” throughout the community. Historic structures and character are at risk of being lost forever.

There is a need to control the treatment of buildings of special architectural or historic distinction and, or, that are of value as a part of the historic background of the Village. Detrimental treatment includes demolition, alteration or extension, and new construction within historic areas. In addition, there is a need to protect the natural environment and our historic waterfront.

The Sag Harbor waterfront depicted on a historic postcard

The Historic District designation, the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review, and the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan are designed to meet these challenges. With these tools the Village is able to control and manage change in a manner that allows accommodation without being locked into a “museum” mentality.

The Village’s Historic District is nationally recognized: on par with Charleston, South Carolina, Nantucket, Massachusetts, Savannah, Georgia and New Orleans’ Vieux Carre’. It was created through the researching and cataloging of hundreds of buildings, residences ranging from the colonial period to late Victorian, and by providing the documented information necessary to have a historic district placed in the National Register of Historic Places. The role of Village’s Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review is to administer and apply the requisite standards to proposed construction activities in the Historic District.

Our Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan and its companion Harbor Management Plan similarly researched and cataloged the marine history and resources of the Village. The entire Village is contained within the Plan and actions proposed, whether private or public, are to be reviewed to assure that the result will be consistent with the Plan’s Policies and Objectives. The Harbor Committee is tasked with performing this review and to make recommendations to the other Village Boards, including the Board of Trustees.

Sag Harbor Boards should be confidant that they work with the support of local, state and federal law. The task of application is in the hands of our elected officials and appointed boards, which will find that they have all the law and guidelines they need to make responsible decisions. The education and training of board members and their advisors, today and in the future, is the key to our success.

As members of the community we all, residents and those whose livelihood is derived from real estate related activity, have a responsibility to educate ourselves and potential newcomers as to what we value and hold important for our community. Knowing a building’s context and place in the history of the Village and guiding potential actions accordingly will benefit the individual owner and the community as a whole.
Sag Harbor Historical Society

We will continue to post our series “As We See It” here, between other posts.

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