The Southampton African American Museum was recognized for bringing attention...

The Southampton African American Museum was recognized for bringing attention to Black heritage in Southampton. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

A restored 19th century house in Northport, a new addition to an educational institution in Glen Cove and a museum dedicated to chronicling Black history were among six awardees for preservation efforts from a Long Island nonprofit.

The biennial awards by Cold Spring Harbor-based Preservation Long Island recognize “extraordinary achievement” and “organizational excellence” in historic preservation. The awards were announced Friday.

“Many of these are people who we work with, who have overcome obstacles and have developed real chops to do preservation,” Alexandra Wolfe, executive director of Preservation Long Island, said Tuesday. The awardees have “shown and demonstrated a commitment” to preservation, she said.

The Webb Institute, an engineering college in Glen Cove that focuses on naval architecture, was recognized for a new addition called the Couch Academic Center, behind a 1912 Gold Coast mansion. The design, by Locust Valley-based Bentel & Bentel Architects, adds 30,000 square feet of teaching space, matching the style and feel of the existing estate overlooking Long Island Sound.

“It's not just about the materials and the styles, but it's thinking about how the building occupies the landscape,” Wolfe said. “What they decide to do is set the addition almost like underground. It's in the hillside and it's behind the main house.”

The approach to the mansion, which has been featured in films like "Batman Forever" as Bruce Wayne’s mansion, was left unchanged.

The rehabilitation of the Stanley H. Lowndes House in Northport by owners Paul and Catherine Herkovic was also recognized for project excellence.

“This one is significant because this is a private property owner who has really gone above and beyond to restore a historic house,” said Sarah Kautz, preservation director at Preservation Long Island. The 19th century house had been subdivided into apartments over the years and had become dilapidated when the Herkovics bought the house.

“They purchased the property, recognizing what it was and really loving the history and the craftsmanship of the house,” Kautz said.

The house is not protected from development, but the couple got it listed on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, she said.

The Southampton African American Museum, which was recognized for bringing attention to Black heritage in Southampton, was among several organizations awarded for "organizational excellence."

These include: Van Wyck-Lefferts Tide Mill Sanctuary and Huntington Historical Society, for their innovative approach to giving public access by boat to an 18th century mill that is surrounded by private property; Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio, for preserving a house at the Shinnecock Indian reservation as a shared art space and library, and the Village of East Hills, for using the environmental review process to save the 1929 John Mackay III house from being demolished to make way for new development.


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