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Franklin Square Bank, Rockville Cemetery nominated as historic sites

Rockville Cemetery, pictured on Oct. 4, 2012, could

Rockville Cemetery, pictured on Oct. 4, 2012, could be among the latest additions to State and National Registers of Historic Places. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has nominated 27 buildings and places in New York for designation as historic properties, including Franklin Square Bank and Rockville Cemetery.

"These sites are the locations of significant moments in New York's rich history that in many cases reverberated across the nation and beyond," Cuomo said in a news release Tuesday.

The Nassau sites are the only ones on Long Island to be nominated. Registration has to be approved by a state historic preservation officer, then a national one, according to the release. Inclusion preserves the legacy of the buildings and makes them eligible for such services as rehabilitation grants and tax credits.

"Listing these 27 places on the State and National registers will help us to better preserve, appreciate and understand New York's profound history," Rose Harvey, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said in the release.

More than 80,000 structures and sites are listed in the national registry, according to the agency's website.

The Franklin Square Bank building, at James Street and Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square, was built in 1929 as a one-story brick building with limestone accents. It featured the first bank-owned parking lot, the first outdoor bank teller, the first bank credit card, and a banking ethic centered on customer and community service. It is now a Chase Bank branch.

Rockville Cemetery, at Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue in Lynbrook, and its Bristol and Mexico Monument represent some of Long Island's immigrant origins. The cemetery dates to 1791 and includes a mass grave for 139 immigrants who died in the Bristol and Mexico shipwrecks. The ships were en route from Liverpool, England, and hit sandbars off Long Island in 1836 and 1837.

Nominated in June, the Babylon Library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August.

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