Dear Friends, Associates and Huntingtonians,
TD Bank has an application before the Town Board to build a branch at 410 New York Avenue. Please urge the Town Board to DENY TD’s application in its present form. A recent google search of banks in Huntington Village yielded 14 banks within a 1/2 square mile, all within walking distance. There are some spots within 200 feet of each other. At Woodbury Road and Main Street there are 3 banks on 4 corners. There are 2 Chase Banks within 1/4 mile. Do we really need another bank in this Historic Town?
Hotel Huntington was one of the first projects of the newly formed Huntington Chamber of Commerce in 1926 to firmly establish Huntington’s place as a sophisticated town. They took great pride in relying on local talent, which is why Galow was chosen. The Hotel directors read like a history lesson of Huntington: Sammis, Conklin, Baylis, Toaz and even Daniel Gale himself. The Long Islander said at the time: “Here men of varying viewpoints and opinions have been able to sink their personal ambitions and desires in the one great object of obtaining what the community as a whole has needed.” The opening of the hotel in 1929 was hailed as “one of the greatest progressive steps in the history of Huntington” and was recognized as one of the finest Hotels on Long Island east of Brooklyn. It was also the first fireproof Hotel in Suffolk.
This jewel is the southernmost gateway into historic downtown Huntington. The Hotel’s architect was a son of Huntington, August H. Galow. He designed the Henry Perkins Hotel in Riverhead, the home to the Suffolk County Historical Society, on the Nat’l Register and numerous other residential and commercial buildings in Suffolk, Nassau and Manhattan. Galow was a graduate of Huntington High School in 1912. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and continued his studies at Columbia’s School of Architecture. He was also good friends with Leroy Grumman who graduated the year before him in 1911. They both played together on Huntington High School’s Baseball and Basketball teams. Together they ran the HHS Life magazine where Roy Grumman was the Editor and Galow was the Art Editor. He not only was a Mason like his father who was a Grand Master before him, but also served his country in WWI. The American Legion used a song he wrote and composed, Alexander Plays Ragtime in Dixieland, as their theme song.
Tearing down the Hotel Huntington to put up a TD bank with a 3 lane DRIVE-THRU at the entrance to OUR historic Town of Huntington is myopic. Anyone who has gone through this area realizes the traffic there from lunchtime through school closing and evening rush hour during weekdays backs up in ALL directions. An entrance on Fairview, a residential street is a terrible idea which must be rethought. This downtown should be made more walkable, not more convenient for traffic, idling cars and pollution. This poses a great hazard to the residents of Fairview along with the pedestrians who come to spend money in OUR Historic Village. This will further destroy the character of downtown Huntington. There are other places in Huntington and Huntington Station where this project would be better served, while helping revitalize vacant properties.
As community leaders and residents, we need you to voice your opinion. Please send emails to OPPOSE this application to your local politicians and attend the Town Board’s February 1st meeting at 7:00 p.m. at Huntington Town Hall. If you plan on addressing the Board, your speech is limited to 2-3 minutes and you need to get there earlier to sign up to do so.
Please pass this email along to your friends in Huntington and its surrounding areas. Tearing down the very fabric which makes this village UNIQUE, CHARMING and VIBRANT is unacceptable. Thank you for helping to preserve our historic village.
Gerard Seitz is a contributor to the Village Tattler’s Huntington POV. The VT welcomes perspectives from all area residents. Huntington POV does not reflect the views of the Village Tattler, rather the individuals who submitted them. Click here for more about the rules and process for submitting an article or other media for publication.