Making and saving village’s history

Should the Greenport historic district cover the entire village?

The chairman of the village Historic Preservation Commission thinks so.

“Currently the historic district is very small and complexly laid out,” chairman David Murray said. Many homeowners don’t know whether or not they’re in the district, he said. By extending the boundaries to cover the entire one-square-mile village, the HPC would be empowered to provide guidance on all renovation and construction projects and would be able to better assure the quality of work and materials being used, Mr. Murray said.

“All architectural styles are welcome in the village, from historic to modern and everything in between,” he said. But his goal is to be able to “enhance the nature of our community and not detract from the inherent beauty which surrounds us,” he said.

Any chance in the historic district’s boundaries must be approved by the Village Board.

Past HPC members have discussed expanding the historic district, but this is the first time anyone has publicly suggested covering the entire village.

Through the years HPC members have expressed dismay that much of the downtown area — considered the face of Greenport — isn’t included in the historic district. To enable the HPC to weigh in on projects in the downtown area, it has frequently been necessary for either the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals to refer a project to the commissioners. Then the commission’s opinions have been advisory only.