Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy

Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy The Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy aims to protect, preserve and enhance the heritage and character of Babylon Village.

Operating as usual


I must apologize for the lack of postings here. The Conservancy was established in part to keep our Village heritage intact. Last year we lost three historically important buildings. Another was demolished this year.

Having seen the Smith Homestead torn down after a five year battle to save it and in the same month two others was devastating! A lot of our momentum was lost as a result.

Although we had to sit back and rewind we did organize a protest of the proposed demolition of the Brosnahan buildings on West Main Street by Ken Rogers. Sadly, the front building has been demolished. However the disposition of the Red Lion/South Shore Signal Building is being reconsidered by Rogers. He told me that a lot would depend on what he decides to do with the front part of the property and whether or not he can work something out with the Zoning Board of Appeals. He will look into restoring the rear building (Red Lion/South Shore Signal) himself. Pictures of his proposals have been posted on the barrier that wraps around the front of the site.

In the meantime, the Conservancy board has lost several important members and is in the process of re-organizing. We hope to begin holding public meetings after the holidays.

One process we hope to set up is to establish a list of ‘heritage buildings” located in Babylon. To assist owners of buildings over 100 years old to obtain information about the history of the buildings.


From Save Historic Babylon Village Group.

It is with great sadness that I inform everyone, there is a demolition permit to tear down the historic South Side Signal Building (aka The Red Lion English Pub) and the Selah Smith Carll home (a.k.a Aunt Julia’s house/Brosnahan Law Office). There has been no response from the Village or Town of Babylon regarding the petition. Currently, the voices of over 2000 people are being ignored.

We hear the demolition is scheduled for Wednesday April 4.


Don’t know if you saw it but several board members were interviewed by Channel 12 News and CBS last Monday!!! We told them we need a code to help
save heritage buildings!

Home In Babylon
Home In Babylon

Home In Babylon

More interviews Ann Curry Mary E Gallagher


Zoning meeting re Red Lion and Brosnahan office is at 8:00 pm TONIGHT at Village Hall.


Are you interested in the old Red Lion and the small house in front of it? There will be a Planning Board Hearing this Thursday night at Village Hall to review the new owner's new set of plans for the site. Basically, he wants to demolish both historical buildings and replace them with a building that will house two retail spaces on the ground floor and three apartments on the second floor. The area where the Red Lion now sits will be a parking lot. This should be interesting, as I understand there is a C & R (covenant and restriction) on the Red Lion building. The C & R was placed on the building when Kevin Brosnahan bought the property and moved it across Main Street. My information is that the C & R was placed on the property by the Babylon Village Zoning Board, giving the Zoning Board some say as to what happens to the building, no matter who owns it. Unfortunately, both Kevinn Brosnahan and the current owner have allowed both buildings to deteriorate badly. The new owner has previously razed two other historical buildings in Argyle Park, and is building what looks like a McMansion on the small lake just west of Argyle Lake on behalf of a newcomer to the village. The site previously held one of the Argyle Park Cottages, which was torn down last year. DO YOU WANT YOUR OPINION ON THE FATE OF THE RED LION AND OTHER HISTORICAL BUILDING TO BE HEARD? IF SO, PLEASE COME TO THE PLANNING BOARD MEETING AT VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY NIGHT!!! It's a public hearing so any resident may speak and give their opinion.

On Long Island, Protecting These Old Houses

Why can't we do something like this for Babylon Village?

New legislation in Northport requires that plans to demolish or renovate houses a century or more in age be vetted by an architectural review board.

Taken on Saturday, July 22. More houses will fall until Village voters advocate for a historical preservation code. Many...

Taken on Saturday, July 22. More houses will fall until Village voters advocate for a historical preservation code. Many other communities have codes to protect their heritage. Why not Babylon Village???




One of the remaining "cottages" of the Argyle Hotel is being destroyed. It sits on the back of the small lake in the west side of the park. It is white with blue trim. Is it in terrible shape? Falling down? Neither. Until recently it belonged to Laura and Steve Poppe who have moved to North Carolina. For many years prior to that it was owned by the Fauth family. Why would you buy a historic building only to destroy it? Icannot answer that question. Apparently the new owners thought that they could renovate it, but couldn't find an architect able to do that. What could they do then? Well, the reasonable answer is to put it back on the market and find a housethat does suit you or buy a piece of property and build the house of your dreams. But the new owner's instead decided to tear down the historic home and build a new house on the site. That makes three of the Argyle Hotel cottages destroyed in the past ten years. How long will the Village continue to allow this erasure of our heritage? We need you to demand that the Village of Babylon construct a code to preserve such sites. Purchasers should be told they are responsible for preserving such homes and denied permission to demolish such buildings.


Babylon Village Hall. New Owner wants to take apart and reconstruct the building, adding 4 feet, making it a 3-storey building. He wants to have 2 apartments on the 2nd floor and 2 more on the 3rd floor (total of 4 apartments). Owner is Ken Rogers who destroyed 2 cottages of the Argyle Hotel. He says he wants to preserve the two buildings as long as he can pay off his investment with the rents from 4 apartments. The question is, will Babylon Village allow him to add the 3rd floor and 2 additional apartments? The other building, which fronts on Main Street, will be all retail space. WE NEED YOU TO COME AND EXPRES YOUR OPINIONS. Ken has said at one point that if he cannot get permission, one option would be that he may tear down both buildings and put up a commercial buiilding.
The RED LION building is actually the site of the SOUTH SIDE SIGNAL. Henry Livingston ran the paper and it was there that he proposed and worked on the creation of the Town of Babylon. At that time, Babylon Town was known as South Huntington. The Town of Babylon has made several attempts to purchase the building as a historic building and would use it as an official building. The Conservancy wants to see both buildings conserved and, if possible, added to the State and Federal lists of historic landmarks. Both are eligible, we believe.


Mary E Gallagher
Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy

This is something that the Village of Babylon may want to consider.  Far too many historic buildings have been demolishe...
Sagaponack's New 'No Demo' Law Makes Restoration A Village Priority | Community | Main Articles

This is something that the Village of Babylon may want to consider. Far too many historic buildings have been demolished in
the past few years. Right now, at least another three buildings that are part of the Village's heritage are threatened with demolition in the near future.

Hamptons features on real estate, art and culture, entertainment, celebrities, style, parties and events in the Hamptons, community news, vineyards and restaurant guides covering the Hamptons and north Fork of Long Island, New York.


The David Smith House-built by David Smith, a Revolutionary War soldier-was demolished on July 3..during the 4th of July weekend.


Right now, the Conservancy is facing the possible destruction of at least three more properties that are part of this village's heritage. We expect to hold a general meeting in June so we can update you on what's happening. In order to make our general meetings more meaningful, the Board decided to hold these meetings quarterly, rather than monthly. Please check this page for a date, time, and place.

We have a special board meeting this coming week to view and discuss plans by Ken and Jen Rogers for the Brosnahan buildings. (One was morerecently known as the Red Lion, but was also the home of the South Side Signal, Babylon's first newspaper, and the place where plans were made for our town to stop being South Huntington and become Babylon.) The front building was known as "Aunt Julia's House".

We will also be discussing how to make sure that we do not continue to lose Heritage buildings to developers. You will hear about the results of this meeting soon.

Mary Gallagher,


Update to come shortly

Homes in Argyle Park...taken in 2013.

Homes in Argyle Park...taken in 2013.

Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy

Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy

Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy's cover photo

Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy's cover photo


More terrible news aside from the Smith House travesty. Beautiful historic home on Argyle Ave in Argyle Park is next up on the chopping block.
From Mary Gallagher:
Last night I went to the Zoning Board of Appeals where they announced that the Board's lawyer had made recommendations to the Board. Without saying what those recommendations were, they voted to accept them. Jerry Miscovsky, who did the lion's share of the tremendous amount of work in the Conservancy's attempt to save the house, tried to get the ZBA to send a copy of the notification to him, pointing out that by the ZBA's own rules (which he had with him and offered to the ZBA) he is entitled to such a copy and as he had submitted a letter requesting it back in February, it was a disappointment when he was told that his request would be submitted to the Board's attorney who would then advise the ZBA how to handle it.. While we still don't know what the ZBA's attorney recommended, the general feeling is that the Smith house is doomed. As soon as we find out the ruling, we will bring you up to date.
At the same ZBA meeting, the new owner of 43 Argyle Avenue (previous owners were Laura and Steve Poppe) unveiled plans to demolish the 100+ year old home and replace it with a center hall colonial. After saying he and his wife had loved the feel of Argyle Park, he wants to destroy part of it. To his credit, he did say they intended to save Snake Path, the winding path that connects Argyle Avenue to the Ramble (the path around Argyle Lake). The new owner, Mark Maurino, seems to be a very nice man. That makes it more difficult to reconcile his desire to destroy the existing home and replace it with a style at odds with most of Argyle Park's homes. If anyone wishes to let the ZBA (Babylon Village Zoning Board of Appeals) know your opinion on the matter, please send a letter at once to the Zoning Board of Appeals, 153 West Main Street, Babylon NY 11702. Mary E Gallagher, President, Babylon Village Heritage Conservancy.


From today's Newsday: The Babylon Village Zoning Board of Appeals voted Wednesday night to lift restrictions protecting a Revolutionary War-era home on Deer Park Avenue from demolition.

The vote struck a blow to efforts to preserve the 18th century farmhouse, which some village residents view as historically significant while others say it is derelict and a haven for animals.

A soldier in the American Revolutionary War built the original wing of the white 2 1⁄2-story home in about 1790. It is one of the last such farmhouses on Long Island, historians say.

For the Ognibene family, which for years has sought to develop the site, the vote represents a major hurdle cleared in their goal of building new homes at the Indian Crossing subdivision.

The zoning board specifically voted to accept a statement of findings prepared by the board’s legal counsel on the Ognibenes’ application.

Those findings will not be public record until Friday, board chairman Bruce E. Humenik said after the vote. But he confirmed that the statement approves the lifting of the requirement that the historic structure be preserved.

Humenik declined to say why the board voted in favor of lifting the demolition restriction, saying the reasons are elaborated in the statement of findings.

Tearing down the home would count as a serious loss to the village’s architectural heritage, Babylon Town Historian Mary Cascone said, given the building’s unique features and back story.

The wood-frame farmhouse with interlocking joints is a rarity in the area, Cascone said.

“They’ve all but disappeared,” said Cascone, who called the prospect of demolition “very sad.”

The developers have argued that the cost of restoring or moving the home would be prohibitive, given its poor condition. But as a compromise, they have offered to build a replica in its place — a suggestion that historians like Cascone said is insufficient.

It remains unclear whether the developers will now seek to demolish the historic home.

“The ball is in their court to decide the next steps,” Humenik said.


Bad news re the David Smith House.
The David Smith House, built in Babylon in 1790 by a returning Revolutionary War soldier, will lose a five year battle to see it saved. This house, covered in Newsday articles (by Nick Spangler), will have its fate announced at this evening's Zoning Board meeting (7:30PM at the Babylon Village Hall. The owners have rescinded their promise to save the house on one lot of their subdivision and will be granted permission to tear it down. The hundreds of residents who petitioned to have this house saved, but who lacked the support of the Mayor and Trustees, will hear of this at this evening's (Wednesday March 15) ZBA meeting.
If you can, try to attend.
Thank you for all your support. Perhaps this miserable event will inspire the Village to implement some kind of protection for our Heritage Homes.


I spent Christmas with my sisters and nephew, and we were discussing the David Smith House. I brought up the rumor that the house had been a stop on the Underground Railroad. My sister shook her head, "No, it was a station for the Pony Express!" Can you imagine? It turns out that her friend, Barrie Lynn, who lived in the Smith House in the 80's gave her this information. Wow! I never even thought about the Pony Express here on Long Island! One more reason to NOT TEAR THIS HOUSE DOWN!


Happy holidays to all of you! May 2017 be great for you, your family, our country, and especially Babylon. May there be peace on Earth, or at least calm!

Next year we hope to extend our efforts to several homes and buildings in the business district, with the belief we can help their owners to have them declared historical landmarks. We also want to do the same for a couple of neighborhoods, including The Crescent and Argyle Park.

For better or worse, I expect we will see the fate of the David Smith House decided. Trying to save this historical home was a huge task for the Conservancy to start off as a first project. I hope that future projects will not be quite so challenging.

If you have suggested projects for the Conservancy, please outline the proposed project , including your reasons for this suggestion. Simple age may not be sufficient. Who lived there? Is the architecture an example of a certain style? If you ] Is there anything special about the home or property? Did something special happen there? Is there someplace special near your home that you think might qualify for historical landmark status? Send your suggestions to us at P.O. Box 423 , Babylon, NY 11702


The hearing held on November 16th was long and exhausting. The Board disposed of the matters scheduled prior to the David Smith House. No sooner did the attorney representing the Ognibene family get up than he allowed an attorney representing the family that lives at 521 Deer Park Avenue get up to make a presentation ahead of him. The reasoning was that the Board's decision in 2012 had supposedly imposed a condition on 521 Deer Park Avenue. The problem as explained by John Bennett and Richard Fernan, the attorneys representing the Fernan family who had bought the new house at 521 Deer Park Avenue, was that in spite of numerous reassurances by Village Building Inspector Steve Fellman to both Scott Fernan (purchaser) and Richard Fernan (attorney and father of the purchaser) prior to the purchase that there was no problem at all with the Certificate of Occupancy (C/O). Subsequent to the purchase having been completed, the Building Inspector withdrew the C/O and issued an amended CO which was, according to the Fernan attorneys, backdated and drawn up without notifying the new owners of the home and thus "the second C of unconstitutional and deprives my client of his property rights."

Both Fernan and Ognibene attorney Christopher Modeleski insisted that by scheduling this hearing (on Nov. 16) made it a re-hearing of the 2012 hearing. Attorney Rachel Schelfo, a member of the Zoning Board, disputed that, insisting that it was not a re-hearing, as did other Board members.

Zoning Board Chair, Bruce Humenik, reminded Modeleski several times that the ZBA used the map provided by the Ognibenes for the 2012 hearing, which indicated that the Smith House would be moved and saved. Subsequently Modeleski brought up construction and real estate experts who testified that the home could not be safely moved, and that if Ognibene refurbished the house to the extent demanded by the Park Services it would cost
over $350,000 to $400,000, per architect Louis Santoro of St. James. Conservancy President Mary Gallagher refuted that argument by pointing out that no one had asked the Ognibenes to bring the house up to historical preservation standards prior to selling the building. In fact, in the negotiations with Steve Ognibene and the Conservancy, the Conservancy made it plain that the purchaser would be responsible for the cost of restoring the home. One of the would-be buyers had not only proposed that they handle the restoration of the home, but also offered to handle the moving of the house and all costs that would go with that. That would have included erecting a foundation, putting in new utilities, etc. This offer was made in writing to the Ognibenes, who basically refused to even negotiate with any of the would-be buyers, in spite of the oral agreement between Steve Ognibene and the Conservancy.
Several residents spoke out pro and con the saving of the Smith House before the hearing came to an end. Members of the Conservancy pointed out how absurd it would to demolish a home built by a patriot who fought in the American revolution and then replace it with a replica. The hearing on this matter lasted until well after 11 p.m. The Zoning Board has a 60-day period before their decision must be handed down.


Babylon Post Office Box 423
Babylon, NY

Opening Hours

Wednesday 14:00 - 16:00
Saturday 14:00 - 16:00


(631) 587-0335


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