When the Town Of Oyster Bay behind closed doors decided to approve the landmark destroying plans for the Maine Maid one hour before its public vote I felt I had to say something. It is impossible to get many of the details because the best coverage of the story seems to be on Newsday’s site, which you can’t read if you don’t pay for their subscriber service. We have enough info to know this is not how things should be.
We like to say things have changed and how much landmark preservation has improved since the destruction of Penn Station in 1963. We like to say times are better now for landmarks, but are they really? Certainly not if you follow the developments at the Maine Maid Inn.
The Inn was given landmark status in 2008, at which time we thought the former underground railroad stop would be preserved. But anyone who fought for the status has to now be wondering why they wasted their time. In what is probably an illegal closed door meeting prior to the public vote, the Town Of Oyster Bay approved already progressing work to demolish the site 5-1, which had begun without any prior notice to the town.
Voting in private to approve the plans one hour before the town hall meeting to discuss the event shows us where the public stands in the nature of things when it comes to the Town of Oyster Bay government. We might be better off if Boss Tweed was running things. To call this anything other than a travesty and a gross injustice would be inaccurate. Thanks to the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities for following the story on their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/splia.LI