Nassau County is seeking new life for the historic George Sumner Kellogg House in Baldwin after it was saved from demolition by community members.
The county is considering selling or leasing the 117-year-old home to developers for use and development that are “consistent with its historical significance,” according to Deputy County Executive Ed Ward.
The county issued a request for proposals (RFP) on Sept. 8, and it remains open until Oct. 11, according to the county’s website.
“It stands today as the very last remaining artifact of a period of enormous transition in town, as well as a steward of local history and history of military involvement,” the RFP read. “The house stands as a valuable link to the past for the town and surrounding communities.”
The county is considering a sale or lease of up to 30 years, as well as a public-private partnership, but could reject all proposals. Any contract must be approved by the county legislature.
“We don’t want it to fall apart,” Ward said. “We’re saying to anyone that’s interested — including the Baldwin community — what would you like to do with this? What would you like to see?”
The green and white shingled Queen Anne-style home on Merrick Road was built in 1900 for Civil War veteran George Sumner Kellogg. The house, with a wraparound porch, sits on less than a half-acre of land in a residential and commercial area. Its hardwood floors, decorative cast crown moldings and stained glass sidelights remain intact, according to the RFP.
Owned by several families until 1982, the home was then used as antique store and phonograph repair shop until its sale to Nassau County in 2011 for $1 million.
The county scrapped its plans to build a police precinct on the razed property in the face of community opposition. The home has since been listed on state and national registers of historic places.
Karen Montalbano, vice president of the Baldwin Historical Society, who helped stop the county’s plans for demolition, said her organization was “totally surprised” to see that a potential sale was on the table. She said the group is worried a sale could mean losing the home’s historic workmanship and details.
“It’s a survivor, it has a pretty original interior. It’s made it through all this time,” she said. “We asked for the house to be preserved for a reason.”
Ward said the historical society was not contacted before the RFP was released because then it would have an unfair advantage if it filed a submission.
Steven Greenfield, vice president of the Baldwin Civic Association, said his organization wants to see the house used by the community, possibly for performances or the arts.
But, he noted, it made more sense to “sit tight until November,” when a new county executive will be elected. Nassau Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin), who represents the area, is running for county executive against Republican Jack Martins.
“It is my hope that the house will be restored back to its former glory, and repurposed in a manner that provides various benefits to the Baldwin community,” Curran said in a statement.
“Nassau County has had a strong influence on national and international events and this presents an opportunity to preserve history for the benefit of future generations,” Mollie Conkey Fullington, a spokeswoman for Martins, said in a statement.