A Long Island man is working to raise private donations to purchase the New Concord, Ohio, childhood home of astronaut John Glenn’s widow, Annie.
Adam Sackowitz, 25, of Westbury, is a graduate student at St. John’s University and an avid supporter of preserving aviation history.
On Long Island, he successfully fought to make a Charles Lindbergh monument in Hempstead a town landmark in 2013. A year earlier, he also worked with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to introduce legislation that called for federal recognition of Long Island’s aviation history.
While working on his graduate thesis, Sackowitz shifted his focus to New Concord, where Annie Glenn, 97, and her husband — the first American to orbit Earth and a former U.S. senator — were both raised.
“A lot of people would say that John and Annie Glenn were Ohio’s first family and she was Ohio’s first lady,” Sackowitz said.
Lynn Grimm of Cambridge, Ohio, tipped Sackowitz off when Annie’s foreclosed childhood home was put up for sale.
“My husband had seen the sale come up on Zillow,” Grimm said. She knew about Sackowitz’s interest in John Glenn and sent him the link.
“It’s really an eleventh-hour effort,” Sackowitz said. “This was not on my radar.”
Online records said the four-bedroom house “has a lot of character” but needs “extensive repair.” It was put up for sale by a bank for $60,000, The Associated Press reported.
There is a pending contract currently for the house with a different buyer, according to the realtor Lori Dickens.
Sackowitz is worried that the buyer will not honor the home’s historic value. He called Dickens to extend the bidding window after the house was already in contract and reached out to the New York business community for donations.
“If anybody knows Adam, they know that he has such a pure passion for preserving history,” said Eileen Napolitano, an East Meadow resident running for Nassau County Legislature.
If he manages to raise enough to purchase the house, he hopes to restore it to how it looked in the 1920s when Annie Glenn was growing up, he said.
“She inspired a lot of people,” Sackowitz said. “She’s really a part of this John Glenn story.”
Annie Glenn became an adjunct professor for Ohio State University’s Speech Pathology Department after overcoming a severe stutter at Hollins Communication Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia. She’s one of America’s leading advocates for those dealing with communication disorders, Sackowitz added.
Sackowitz met the Glenns in 2015 and said they were “very kind and nice” and supportive of preservation efforts to honor them.
“I think that this message speaks to our young children and gives them an opportunity to look up to both individuals like Adam Sackowitz, a young person spearheading something he’s passionate about, and it also preserves the legacy of John Glenn,” Napolitano said.