A sign outside the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills....

A sign outside the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills. (Feb. 21, 2011) Credit: Ed Betz

A former Huntington hotel, a Venice-themed office building in Copiague, a Commack farm and a jazz musician's home in Dix Hills have all earned places on a Long Island preservation group's second annual list of endangered historical sites.

"We were looking for properties that had a real imminent threat facing them and/or properties that had a lot of significance," said Alexandra Wolfe, preservation services director for the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, which owns historic buildings, a Cold Spring Harbor gallery and a collection of antiques. The group also lobbies to preserve Long Island's architectural and cultural heritage.

After nominations from officials and historical groups, the organization selected the former Hotel Huntington, the American Venice Administration Plaza and Laguna San Marco in Copiague, the vacant Marion Carll Farm in Commack and the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills.

The group has no authority over the buildings, so being on the list may not save them.

"The point of the list is to raise awareness of the types of endangered properties that are out there and galvanize public support to save them," Wolfe said.

Here's a look at each property. The Hotel Huntington was built at 410 New York Ave. in 1929. The town Zoning Board of Appeals last month approved TD Bank's application to demolish the three-story white brick building with Classical Revival features and replace it with a one-story branch with a drive-through. The town Historic Preservation Commission voted this month to recommend to the town board that the building be designated a landmark to save it.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation wrote this month that "the interior was gutted for retail use and the exterior has been substantially altered," so the building would not be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

But SPLIA's report says the building "continues to contribute to the streetscape's historic character" even after it was converted into a department store in 1950 and office space in the 1990s.

The American Venice Administration Plaza and Laguna San Marco was constructed at 711 W. Montauk Hwy. in 1925-26 to serve as the recreational center of a Venetian-themed planned community, only some of which was built. It includes the man-made lagoon, two administration buildings currently enclosed in a 1960s addition, two winged-lion columns, and an island that once contained a gazebo.

"The property's remaining historic features are threatened by continued exposure and decline," SPLIA says.

In 2007, the Town of Babylon designated the plaza, laguna and surrounding neighborhoods a local historic district and made the first of two offers to purchase the property from owner Terry Pulvidente Sr., who operates a marina there. He declined to sell. Pulvidente could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Marion Carll Farmstead at 475 Commack Rd., SPLIA says, is a "time capsule of Long Island rural life spanning the late 19th into the early 20th centuries." The nine-acre property containing an 1860 farmhouse and outbuildings was given in 1968 by Carll to the Commack School District for historical-educational purposes. BOCES used it until 1992 and it has been vacant since. A proposal to sell the farm for townhouse development was rejected by voters last June, and a new Friends of the Marion Carll Community Farm has formed to press for preservation.

The John Coltrane Home, a 1952 postwar suburban tract house at 247 Candlewood Path in Dix Hills where the saxophonist-composer lived from 1964 until his death three years later, was purchased in 2006 by the Town of Huntington and Friends of the Coltrane Home. It is protected from demolition as a town landmark and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

SPLIA said "the Friends have successfully stabilized the house, but have accomplished little in the last five years towards restoring it or creating its planned center for education." Town spokesman A.J. Carter attributed that to the economic downturn.

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