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Friday, December 19, 2014
A sigh of relief – 92 West Lena is landmarked
by Laura Schofer

The first private residence at 92 West Lena Avenue in Freeport was granted landmark status on Monday, thanks to the Freeport Landmarks Commission and the members of the Northwest Civic Association, including Cal Venzen and Marcia Rochester. The Freeport Village Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the designation.

Granting the house landmark status means that the house’s exterior is preserved. 92 West Lena Avenue was built in 1929 and is a French-style fieldstone “cottage,” with leaded glass windows. The home is empty but a future homeowner would be required to submit a design review to the Landmarks Commission to ensure that any exterior changes remain compatible with the building’s historic character. However, local designation has no impact on the interior of the property.

“The village board took an important step in recognizing and preserving the history and beauty of the village and members of the Landmarks Commission are pleased with the action the village board has taken,” said Pietrina Reda, Chairwoman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. “I hope to see it restored to its original beauty.”

Cynthia Krieg, a Landmarks Commissioner and President of the Freeport Historical Society, was also “thrilled. Our hard work paid off, especially Regina Feeney [another landmarks commissioner] who worked very hard on this,” she said. “The mayor listened to residents of the Northwest and hopefully there will be a buyer who will bring the house back to its past glory,” she said.

The Landmarks Commission is not planning on resting on its laurels. Ms. Reda said the commissioners are compiling a list of other buildings that might be considered for landmark status.

Ms. Krieg said there are “nine buildings, both commercial and residential that we are looking at right now, but we need to approach the owners and see if they are willing to have them landmarked.”

For example, Ms. Krieg wants to landmark the 110-year-old cannon located by Church and Main Street. “That cannon dates back to the Spanish American War and is on loan from the U.S. Navy. It was brought here from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1902,” explained Ms. Krieg. “The Grand Army of the Republic [here in Freeport] accepted it for the village.” The cannon is on village property, property that is now being considered for development and will need to be moved, if it is to be saved.”

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