The oldest house in Northport Village has been designated 'historic.'
Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin and his partner Ted Kaplan are in contract to purchase the 1763 Skidmore House located at 529 Main Street, Tobin told the Architectural Historic Review Board Wednesday.
"The owners are out of state and because of the severe condition of the building and the need to get all or most of the work done before winter the owners have been very gracious to allow us to represent them here," Tobin said of Brian Goodro and James McGuire, noting that he was before the board as a village resident "not as a member of the Village Board of Trustees or deputy mayor."
Incidentally, Kaplan was recently elected to the Northport Historical Society Board of Trustees.
Tobin said that the building is in "fine structural shape overall meaning it's not a collapsing building. However, he said, "the shingling stands outward "so the proper design for shedding water is really disrupted and that shows in leaks."
Tobin said that he and Kaplan bought the house in order to save it. According to legislation approved by the Village Board of Trustees in February 2010, the historic designation entitles the couple to certain tax benefits and prevents future buyers from renovating the house without first appearing before the historic review board. The law applies to work that requires a permit and does not include cosmetics like changing siding, doors, windows or paint.
"We know there is a fair amount of insect damage from termites and ants but there is no current infestation," Tobin said. "So our approach is to get to a point that we can repair the historic aspects as needed and then do any alterations that make sense."
The board approved the historic designation unanimously and told Tobin they had faith in his intentions.
"The most important thing is saving the building and we know Henry wants to do the right thing," Board Chair Gary Blake said.
As for special treatment, the board assured him it would not give him any.
"If you're going to do anything that requires a permit you're subject to this board,"said member Steve Keller. "Are you doing anything that requires a permit?"
"We might be," Tobin said.
"Then you'll be subject to the board," he said.