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Goodbye Hallock House (Inn at Quogue) - Hello Reproduction

A historic Quogue resource succumbs to "restoration."

Has anyone noticed the slow and steady destruction of the Inn at Quogue over the past four months or so? This building was originally a Hallock family farmhouse built in 1824, and later, as of the 1870s, a boarding house/hotel run by John Dayton Hallock. In October 2012, the owners said they were going to restore the building, and a sign was even posted on the site saying it would be listed on the State and/or National Register of Historic Places when the RESTORATION was finished. Unfortunately, there is maybe only a stick or two of its original fiber left. And who’s behind this destruction? Those who you would believe to be at the forefront of any and all preservation movements in the Village of Quogue, including the higher-ups in their local historical society. Has the public been deceived? It sure seems like it.

I’m sure we will all soon hear the same old argument, that they had no choice: there was too much rot, too much infestation, too much this or that. I say, where there’s a will there’s a way. In this case, however, that will was obviously weak, and the so-called Quogue preservationists seemed to succumb easily to the idea of letting it go. But instead of tearing it down outright, they carefully dismantled it. And now, as we drive by, all we see is new framing and new sheathing.  The old Hallock House is gone.  Hello Reproduction. (Goodbye state/national register listing.)

I can’t help but wonder if this was deliberate because, unfortunately, I’ve seen it too many times before. It’s almost obvious from the beginning. But because you want to believe, so much, that the building will be saved, will be restored, and will – ultimately – be this shining, great example of the positive effects of a great preservation project (like the Abraham Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton – despite how you may feel about the new accessory buildings), you even persuade yourself, while watching more and more of the original building be removed, that – at any moment now – the progress of the work will turn toward what seems more like restoration and reconstruction, and less like destruction. That, however, never happened.

This is the same village that asked me to speak with them less than a year ago about toughening their local preservation ordinance. Ha! This is the same village that allowed their historic field club – the work of American architect Stanford White – to be demolished! I’d like to believe that the Town of Southampton is on the verge of finally swinging over to the pro- historic preservation side in general these days. In Quogue? It’s the opposite. Too bad, for it is ripe with historic structures begging, pining even, for protection.

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Azabars February 03, 2013 at 08:10 PM
This may also be difficult for you to fathom. The earth is round, it revolves around the sun, we've discovered how to make fire very easily now and there are refrigerators in almost every house. Not only that, but told those pesky British colonists to take a hike and it worked. Once we were able to accomplish that, we devised this entire, and awesome if I do say so myself, system of private property. Has the concept of private property presented problems to those that are very controlling and become sad when thing change? Yes. Overall, however, the premise of private property has served us quite well. Like you, I hope that we can someday return to a more primitive, some would say utopian economy based on bartering. For now, the government is taking almost 50% of the samolians we're taking home. That makes it hard to preserve a building so people can feel warmth in their heart as they drive by in the midst of their earning of said samolians.

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