Organization Name: SKA Marin and Dattner Architects
Project Title: Landmark on Main
Project Location: Port Washington, Long Island, NY
Landmark on Main Street, Inc. is the product of years of visionary planning and dedicated work by the citizens of Port Washington. It developed out of a commitment to preserve a historic landmark built in 1908, the Main Street School, which was planned to be torn down. A unique model of community development, Landmark is a collaboration of civic-minded individuals, government, business, and not-for-profit organizations all sharing the belief that a community’s commitment to a richer cultural, recreational, civic, educational and social life and the celebration of diversity benefits the quality of life for all. The former school, built in 1908 and later expanded in 1916, was converted into 59 units of affordable senior housing, with 7 units for the developmentally disabled, a two-acre Town Park and a 25,000 square foot Community Center and Theatre. The project was originally developed by SKA Marin in 1994 and was the first LIHTC project on Long Island. Landmark won the 1994 New York State Landmarks Preservation Award. The on-site Community Center provides affordable space for not-for-profit organizations for both long-term and per diem usage.
By 2013, the historic building required urgent renovations and repairs to the interior and exterior. The challenge was to perform the work with tenants-in-place, requiring careful planning and scheduling with limited construction budget of just over $5 million. At the interior, bathrooms were gutted and received new floor and wall tile, new fixtures, including a step-in shower. Kitchens received new cabinets, counters, and appliances. As much as feasible, dwelling units were modified for visitability and 5 handicap-accessible units were fully renovated. Public corridors were painted and security cameras were installed. Exterior renovations included replacement of roofing, masonry re-pointing, repairing glazed terra cotta ornament, repair and repainting of ornamental sheet metal. Existing windows were replaced with insulated, double-hung windows that match the historic muntin configurations. Site and landscape improvements included replacing the resident’s parking lot and walkways.
When Landmark was a mere idea, the founders’ had a dream of “enhancing the spirit of the community” and worked together to mobilize community support for Landmarks’ goals. In a high income area with limited access to affordable housing, being able to offer seniors housing to age in place was of utmost importance. Each classroom was turned into an apartment and are therefore configured differently one from the next. The apartments are spacious and there are large hallways. One hallway still has its tin ceiling from 1907. The Town of North Hempstead has a van that takes seniors to and from doctors appointments, shopping and other activities. On any given weekday, over 600 members of the Port Washington community come through Landmark’s doors to attend programs in the 425-seat theater or to participate in activities held in the rentable spaces. The Jeanne Rimsky Theatre at Landmark on Main Street is vibrant with concerts, speaker engagements, shows, body building competitions, dance performances, meetings and birthday parties. Local small businesses and families utilize the wonderful versatile space.
The developer and project sponsor is SKA Marin. Dattner Architects is the architect and Lispky Enterprises Inc. is the General Contractor. The design team’s sub-consultants include Rodkin Cardinale MEP Engineers and Abel Bainnson Butz, LLP, Landscape Architects. SKA Marin provides comprehensive services to clients and partners who seek to develop, rehabilitate, or expand property. Dattner Architects is a leading designer of sustainable, affordable housing, senior housing and special needs housing. The firm also has extensive experience in adaptive re-use of historically significant buildings. Dattner’s projects shape and rejuvenate neighborhoods across Greater New York City. LM Port Washington, Inc, and the Board of Directors are owners of the property and were vital to the planning of the renovation.