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St. Ann's Recommended for Historic Preservation

The church, dating back to 1887, is included for its historic architecture.

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation recently recommended that 35 properties and historic districts be added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including Saint Ann's Episcopal Church, located at 257 Middle Road in Sayville.

"Sayville still has a lot of its original charm," said Connie Currie, president of Sayville's Historical Society, who is very knowledgeable about the history of St. Ann's and is also a parishioner there.

St. Ann's was the first stone church built in Suffolk County. Built in 1887 and completed in 1888, the grey granite came from Connecticut, shipped to Patchogue and was brought to Sayville by wagon.

Walter R. Suydam and his sister offered to underwrite the new church in memory of their mother Ann Suydam. The church was previously named St. Barnabas and changed to St. Ann's. They asked, in turn, that parishioners raise annual funds to support the church, plus money for a horse shed.

Isaac H. Green Jr. whose father and uncle were vestrymen, was chosen as the architect. While the church was being built, services were held in the moved chapel.

The Norman design was chosen as it was favored by the Suydams who enjoyed the gothic churches being built in Westchester County.

The Apse windows are documented as Tiffany, as is the bronze Prescott memorial tablet. Charles Tiffany was well-known in the area as he was a member of the Southside Sportsmen's Club.

Rev. Gary Parker, who has been with St. Ann's since June 1, 2009 on a temporary basis, said, "the architecture is so unique. The windows are beautiful. This church is its own gospel – filled with good news and stories."

State and National Historic Register listing can assist property owners in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

"Survival of these noteworthy homes, civic institutions and neighborhoods is crucial in preserving the great diversity of New York's communities and fostering their economic revitalization," said Carol Ash, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Placing these landmarks on the State and National Registers of Historic Places will provide well-deserved recognition and assistance to help ensure they last well into the future."

There are approximately 90,000 historic buildings, structures and sites throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations.

Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.

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