43° Good Evening
43° Good Evening
Long IslandNassau

'Reconstruction' of Maine Maid Inn was authorized, Oyster Bay officials say

Renovations being made to the Maine Maid Inn

Renovations being made to the Maine Maid Inn in Jericho can be seen in this photo from April 21, 2015. Credit: Ted Phillips

Oyster Bay officials said the town issued a permit for the "reconstruction" of the landmarked Maine Maid Inn in Jericho, but a Landmarks Preservation Commission member said his group was not informed.

Town code requires that proposed alterations and construction to the exterior of landmarked buildings go before the commission before a permit can be issued. Preservationists noticed demolition at the structure earlier this month.

Commission member John Collins was upset that the panel was not consulted and said members were concerned some of the home's historical features had been destroyed. The Quaker house was built in 1789 and was a link in the Underground Railroad. The town granted it landmark protection in 2012.

Town spokeswoman Marta Kane said in an email Friday that the Department of Planning and Development issued a building permit on Feb. 27, for reconstruction at the inn at 4 Old Jericho Tpke., "on the basis that the building was damaged beyond repair."

Town officials have not identified the damage that warranted the permit.

Kane also said the town attorney's office has determined "the issue of reconstruction should be forwarded for consideration to the Landmarks Preservation Commission."

Town officials have called a commission meeting at town hall Thursday, at 7 p.m.

In an interview on Tuesday, Town Supervisor John Venditto said, "There was talk of it being in danger of collapse ... We're going to have to go back and talk to the people who witnessed it," he said.

Collins, president of the Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay, said Wednesday that he had walked through the building about a year and a half ago and that suggestions it was in danger of collapse were "bogus . . . There was no major damage to the building. There was no fire, there was no explosion, the roof was reasonably tight."

Collins said the original part of the historic structure was in good shape.

Venditto said the Department of Planning and Development used a provision of the town code that allows it to approve work on damaged buildings without commission consent. But it was unclear why the town did not notify the commission.

Last week, no permits were visible on the fence around the site, which the Scotto Brothers restaurant and catering company purchased last year. Kane said on Saturday that Scotto Brothers had voluntarily stopped work there.

On April 22, Diana Aquiar, who has taken on some of the duties of planning and development Commissioner Frederick Ippolito while he is on leave facing federal tax evasion charges, said she was reviewing the building's records.

Ippolito has gone on paid leave, while he faces federal tax evasion charges. On Friday, Aquiar accompanied Ippolito to an appearance in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. Afterward, she pushed him in a wheelchair to the court parking lot. Asked whether he had signed a permit for work on the building, Ippolito did not respond.

Nassau top stories