Lindenhurst history museum gets new location

The Village of Lindenhurst purchased a building on

The Village of Lindenhurst purchased a building on South Wellwood Avenue to serve as its new history museum. (Jan. 17, 2014) Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

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Lindenhurst Village has purchased a building for its history museum -- right across the street from the old location.

The building, a former residence at 272 S. Wellwood Ave., was owned by Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church and had been used in a variety of capacities over the years, most recently for the church's St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. The village spent $312,000 for the building and another $4,200 on related expenses. Officials said a bond anticipation note will cover the costs.

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The original museum, called the Old Village Hall Museum, opened in 1958 on the other side of South Wellwood Avenue, in a 1914 building that had been used at various times as a village hall, a courthouse and a police station. Last month, that structure was moved to Irmisch Park, where it awaits a new foundation. The building, placed next to a 1901 railroad depot and train car, will become a historic exhibition site, officials said.

The move occurred because the village is rebuilding and expanding its main firehouse, which the museum sat next to. The village is bonding for $5.9 million to pay for the firehouse.

Village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said the next step is for the historical society, which runs the museum, to meet with an architect to work on a general design concept. Considerations such as space allocation and handicapped access will need to be addressed, he said, along with cosmetic improvements such as painting and landscaping.

Village historical society members have said the three-story building will allow the museum to put many more objects on display than in the museum's previous one-story building, which is only 27 feet wide. Such items include a late 19th-century penny-farthing bike and a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

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Cullinane said he had no estimate for the public opening of either the old village hall or new museum. "There's just so much work to do when you take on two major historical projects at the same time," he said.

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