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Board OKs Hotel Huntington demolition

The Huntington Town Board Tuesday afternoon cleared the way for the former Hotel Huntington's demolition.

The board voted not to set a public hearing on designating the building at 410 New York Ave. as historic. After a public comment session during which at least three dozen people who were about evenly split on the issue spoke, the board voted 3-2 not to do it.

Once the building is razed, Joe Willen, owner of the land, will lease the property to TD Bank, which will build a bank.

"Democracy was played out," Willen said. "Everybody got to say how they feel, there was a lot of passion on both sides."

The building opened in 1929 as the Hotel Huntington. In 1950, it was converted into a department store.

In December, the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals approved an application by TD Bank to demolish the building at the southern gateway to downtown Huntington, despite objections from residents that the building is historic.

Last month, six of the seven members of Huntington's Historic Preservation Commission voted to submit a report to the Town Board in support of historic designation. "I'm disappointed," said board member Susan Berland, who sponsored the defeated resolution to hold the public hearing. "I think the people deserve to have a hearing and to decide it prematurely without a hearing was unfair to the people of the town."

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