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Rubber Factory Worker Houses Get Official Landmark Status

Status is the latest step towards restoring the houses for an adaptive use.

The Brookhaven town council on Thursday unanimously voted to give landmark status to Setauket's three historic rubber factory worker houses.

"This long awaited decision will enhance our grant funding opportunities for the next phase of restoring these circa 1880’s houses for adaptive use,” Cynthia Barnes, president of the Three Village Community Trust, said in a statement.

from their longtime location on Old Town Road behind the Setauket Fire Department's station 1 to Community Trust property north of Main Street.

They were originally built in the 1890s to house immigrant workers employed at the rubber factory, which opened in Setauket during the late 1800s. It cost $20 a month and took four, sometimes more, full-time workers to pay the rent, Barnes previously told Patch.

Barnes said planning will require additional permits and approvals from the town. Funding for the restoration has come from both the state and the town. She previously told Patch that the Community Trust will seek for the houses "a use that will not be a fiscal drain."

“Our mission is for historic structures to be used – not as house museums – but as integral to the fabric of the community, connecting us to our heritage even as we move into the future," she said.

Sam September 26, 2012 at 01:02 PM
what a waste of tax payers money
LivingSmall September 26, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Preserving a community's heritage by restoring buildings which will be put to use is much better than allowing them to rot or knocking them down. The grants received might have amounted to a fraction of a percentage of a penny out of a NYS taxpayer's pocket. The move did not cost residents of the Setauket Fire District anything -- but the new fire house the Fire District wishes to build will. Plenty of local business people have donated goods and services toward this effort, significantly reducing funding via grants. Local businesses support communities which support them. The reality of the project, which some might find distasteful, is that in the not-so-distant past, immigrants toiled in a local factory and lived here in conditions modern Setauket residents would find deplorable. We weren't just Revolutionary spies and merchants. The rubber factory worker's story is a chapter in the book of how modern Setauket came to be. So much of Long Island's history has been bull-dozed in the name of progress. Look at Nassau or western Suffolk with all the plain vanilla, mass-produced housing developments and generic strip malls. Then look back to our area with its preserved homes dating as far back as the colonial era. Why do you think people want to live here? For the nail salons and froyo on 25A or for the history and character of the community?


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