Audio kiosks in works for historic sites in Greenport Village

01/01/2015 2:00 PM |
Dominic Antignano, Peconic Landing's arts curator, with an audio kiosk that's smaller than the ones planned for Greenport. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Dominic Antignano, Peconic Landing’s arts curator, with an audio kiosk that’s smaller than the ones planned for Greenport. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Hoping to expand their reach outside Peconic Landing’s walls and gardens, the Greenport lifecare facility’s residents and its arts curator, Dominic Antignano, are working on a project to bring artistic and informational audio booths to historic sites in Greenport Village. 

Dubbed “The Wave,” the initiative is an extension of Peconic Landing’s popular garden exhibition “Art without Barriers,” which enables the visually impaired to hear descriptions of the site’s sculptures by downloading a podcast, Mr. Antignano said.

Unlike “Art without Barriers,” he said, Greenport Village kiosk users would simply need to press a button to hear a 90-second history of the location they’re in.

“What you hear is what you see,” Mr. Antignano said. “This is a part of Peconic Landing’s ongoing commitment to give back to the community. The objective is to strengthen community ties, create public participation, enrich the lives of and enhance the visit by the individual accessing the information.”

The proposed freestanding welded aluminum structures will be curved to resemble a wave, Mr. Antignano said. They will be seven feet tall, one foot wide and powered by a solar panel.

Information for the kiosk’s audio clips is currently being compiled by Floyd Memorial Library director Poppy Johnson and Gail Horton of the Stirling Historical Society, Mr. Antignano said.

Mr. Antignano said there will be three or four kiosks in all. For now, Peconic Landing is fronting the bill for a prototype he hopes to erect in Mitchell Park.

“I figured we try one out and test it first,” he said. “Then, if everyone is happy with it, we can move forward.”

If community feedback is positive, Mr. Antignano said he would then need to raise roughly $5,000 to help fund the remaining kiosks. He hopes community organizations like the Greenport Improvement District would contribute if the project comes to fruition.

So far, the Greenport BID has welcomed the idea.

“Mitchell Park is just a perfect space,” board member Blake Dowling, who owns One Love Beach on Main Street, said Friday during a BID meeting. “I have often heard that the park needs a little warming up and this installation of the auditory kiosks could do that.”

While another kiosk project initiated by Southold Town in recent weeks has residents worried about those structures’ placement and aesthetics, Mr. Antignano said Peconic Landing’s project is unlikely to create the same stir.

“I don’t even like to use the word ‘kiosk’ to describe this project,” he said. “They are artistic structures. It won’t be an eyesore.”

Mr. Antignano’s prototype is being constructed by North Fork Welding and should be finished in a couple weeks, he said.

Mr. Antignano still needs to go before the Village Board to obtain approval to install the kiosk in Mitchell Park. Should the project gain support from the board and community, he said, he hopes to recruit Greenport Elementary School students to help with it.

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