Happy Ending Stories for The Holidays Part II

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, In The News, Old House History

I am continuing from where I left off at my last posting with a few more old house stories. These are all stories I came across this week, and they all have happy endings.

The first is about an old house that Booker T. Washington spent time in during the last years of his life. The old house is located on the Long Island Sound, and Booker T. Washington spent several of his summers there just prior to his death. The home was built in 1900, and Mr. Washington purchased in in 1911. The home was used as a summer residence for his family until he passed away in 1915.

The present owners of the property submitted a request to the Town of Huntington, NY to have the house’s historic designation removed so that they could demolish the home, and build another in its place. They submitted the request in June of this year, and enough people came forward voicing their objections that the owners rescinded their request in August. This historic old house will remain on Long Island Sound just as it has since 1900.

The next story is an excellent example of how an old house can be made a part of the future, rather than being considered a hindrance to progress. This old house dates from the 1880’s, and is considered to be a part of the history of Medway, Massachusetts. As so often happens, a developer purchased the property with the intention of demolishing the old house, and building on the lot. Perhaps the developer came to their senses, and realized that it would be a historic loss if they sought to have the house removed. Or, and maybe I am too cynical, they realized their overall plans had a better chance of being approved if they found a way to include the old house in the development. Whichever the case, the end of the story is happy, the old house will be saved, and will be used as offices.

The last story I found fascinating, and an example of what can be done if you have the resources. It isn’t a recent story like the first two, this story happened last year, but I still found it interesting. The National Park Service moved Alexander Hamilton’s old house to a new location, so that it is more accessible to the public, and not in danger from the development around it. The old house was completed in 1802, and Alexander Hamilton lived in it until 1804, when he was killed in the famous duel with Aaron Burr.