A tree-lined street running gently down to a flat blue bay, flanked by over two hundred years worth of American architecture. Bellport, in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, on the South Shore of Long Island, was in all its glory, from its founding by the Bell brothers through its growth as a waterfront resort destination and the ensuing years as a sleepy, forgotten village.
But there came a time when the old place needed saving – when all the Greek Revivals and Victorians could have been razed or replaced with McMansions.
Victor Principe’s new book, Unhampton: Preservation and the Happiness of Place in Bellport Village and Environs, documents the history of preservation in the Bellport area. On this episode, he discusses the importance of preserving a sense of place, protecting streetscapes and historic buildings as well as conserving the natural landscape.
We also talk about the careful balance of forces needed to make historic preservation work, from dedicated individuals to willing political leaders to a commitment over time to following the plans and specific codes hammered out at the local level.
You can listen to the podcast here.
The Long Island History Project is an independent podcast featuring stories and interviews with people passionate about Long Island history. It is hosted by academic librarian Chris Kretz.
Listen to more New York Almanack podcasts HERE.
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