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Old tulip farmhouse could be historic site

Closeup of tulips planted for the 2004 festival

Closeup of tulips planted for the 2004 festival Huntington. In December, more than 17,000 tulip bulbs in several varieties were planted. The flowers are expected to be at peak bloom this weekend. (Credit: Newsday / Michael E. Ach)

The Town of Babylon is holding a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to establish a former tulip farmhouse in West Babylon as a historic site.

The 1929 Tudor-style house was the home of Cornelius J. Van Bourgondien Sr., head of one of the first and largest tulip producers in the nation. From the 1920s to the 1950s, Babylon Town was a leader in tulips and by 1948 had eight major commercial bulb cultivators raising 16 million flowers, according to news articles.

The Van Bourgondien home is considered a Suffolk County Historic Site and has been dedicated to the county’s Historic Trust, according to Babylon Town Historian Tom Smith, who gave tours of the building to several hundred visitors during last weekend’s Tulip Festival. Smith, who said he will also seek state and national historic status for the building, said the farmhouse will operate as a museum, with each room representing a different decade from the height of the tulip boom.

After the public hearing, the town board will vote on a proposal to make the home a historic site and restore its interior and exterior, as well as the grounds “to reflect its appearance over six decades, and establish the restored home as a historical cultural site with educational tours and exhibits for the public.”

Tuesday’s hearing will be at 7 p.m. at Babylon Town Hall.


Tags: West Babylon , farmhouse , tulip , historic , site

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