Southold, NY

Southold Town Green

Project Type

Conservation

Acreage

0.5

Things to do

Birdwatching, Nature Study

Access

Public

Address
Main Rd, Southold, NY 11971

About

Located at the corner of Main Road and Youngs Avenue, the Southold Town Green was the Peconic Land Trust’s first project in Southold Town.  To this day, 30 years later, it exemplifies how a community can come together to make lemonade out of a lemon.  In 1986, the historic 18th-century Hartranft house that graced this corner was unexpectedly demolished. 

In the wake of the public outcry, George Wells, whose ancestor was the original owner of the Southold Hotel, had a dream for the property.  “Let’s make something positive happen out of this negative situation,” he proposed.  To this end, George donated $200,000 to the Trust in memory of his aunt, Lillian Howell, toward the purchase of the newly vacant corner lot from the owner, Herbert Mandel.  Mr. Mandell’s willingness to accept an offer that was substantially lower than its fair market value enabled the Trust to purchase the property in December 1986. See the news article form the Long Island Traveler-Watchman.   

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Soon thereafter, the Southold Town Green Committee, comprised of Edward Boyd, Frank Cichanowicz, Jean Cochran, Connie Cross, Alice Eckert, Michael Hall, Richard Hall, John Halsey, Frank Murphy, Sarah Sands, Greg Scholand, Paul Stoutenburgh, Raymond Terry, Jean Tiedke, Vincent Tirelli, Joseph Townsend, Jr., Richard Ward, and Jane Williams was established to coordinate planning, fundraising, and improvements to the site.   

Eighteen months later, the Green, with its turn-of-the-century gazebo, courtesy of the Southold Kiwanis Club, plus benches, landscaping, and a brick walkway, was dedicated in May 1988 and conveyed to Southold Town, a public asset born of community action. 

For more on this historic conservation, see our newsletter from 1994! Including an “Historic Lore” essay written by Paul Stoutenbergh about the Howell Farm.

“Let’s make something positive happen out of this negative situation.”

George Wells

The Southold Green has a long and interesting history, as one of the earliest residences in the Town of Southold, with a house standing there since (at least) 1658, although the property was vacant when the Trust acquired it. 

As a result of its ownership by a couple of local silversmiths and the existence of another silversmith’s residence on another corner of the intersection, the area became known locally as Silversmith’s Corner.

Helping to transform the vacant lot into the beautiful green space it is today included a $20,000 donation from Southold Savings Bank for landscaping, the donation of time by the members of the Southold Kiwanis Club, who laid the brick for the foundation for the new gazebo, as well as donated the gazebo, designed and built by North Fork Wood Design of Peconic. A “Buy-A-Brick Saturday” fundraiser was sponsored by the Trust in November 2017 to enlist community support in the new green – over $7,000 was donated from the community!   

On Sunday, May 22, 1988, a dedication ceremony was held for the new town green, which included remarks from George Wells, as well as a performance from the Whalers Chorus of Sag Harbor (a barbershop group), The Island Brass Quartet of Sayville and the Anne Mackesey Dance Group of Sag Harbor. The day also included a ceremonial transfer of the deed of the property from the Peconic Land Trust to the Town of Southold.

Since 1988, the Southold Town Green has been maintained by the Town as a beautiful public green for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors. We thank Mr. Wells, Mr. Mandel, the Southold Kiwanis Club, the Southold Town Green Committee and everyone who contributed to making this possible.

Visitor Information

The Southold Town Green, in the hamlet of Southold, is open to the public to enjoy.

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Southold Town Green

Main Rd, Southold, NY 11971

Things To Do

Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Nature Study
Nature Study