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Making progress on Island History Center

COURTESY PHOTO Shelter Island Historical Society trustees at gables construction on October 17: Thom Milton, secretary; Jean Dickerson, trustee; Chris Fokine, owner Fokine Construction; Nanette Lawrenson, Historical Society executive director; John D’Amato and Emil DiLollo, vice presidents.

COURTESY PHOTO
Shelter Island Historical Society trustees at gables construction on October 17: Thom Milton, secretary; Jean Dickerson, trustee; Chris Fokine, owner Fokine Construction; Nanette Lawrenson, Historical Society executive director; John D’Amato and Emil DiLollo, vice presidents.

The new Shelter Island History Center, being built to complement the Historical Society’s Havens House museum, is progressing nicely.

Foundation work in the basement of Havens House is complete, and the Havens House museum is now stabilized. The concrete work in the lower level of the History Center is also complete and there is daily progress to the framework and building façade.

Once completed, the center will house the Historical Society’s collections and create new spaces for exhibits, offices, meetings and educational programs.

The facility will have two levels, one below grade. The new space in its entirety will be approximately 2,800-square feet. The main level, which will be flooded with natural light, will include a meeting room, a space for curators and a 425-square foot climate-controlled archival vault where the Society’s collection will be permanently stored.

This will allow the Society to properly house, preserve and expand the existing collection of 100,000 documents.

The lower level will include a workroom, an exhibition gallery, collections storage and a mechanical room to supply utilities for the new building and the Havens House museum. The two floors will be connected by dual staircases and a lift to provide access for people with limited mobility.

The Havens House Museum may be closed during construction, but  staff members are already starting the planning process for the 2018 programs and exhibits — a programming year they refer to as “a year of celebration.”

While they haven’t yet released too much information as of yet about the celebratory exhibits, events, and programs in the works, one exhibit will feature an multi-layered, interactive, digital art piece by Roz Dimon focusing on Havens House itself and the history of the Havens family. The exhibit will be a focal point of the grand opening of the new History Center.

As Fokine Construction moves into the final phase of building the new center, which is expected to be completed next spring, Janet D’Amato, acting president of the Historical Society’s board, is reminding her friends and neighbors they have one last chance to ensure their names appear on the donor wall in the building.

“Twenty years from now, people will visit the building and point out the names of their parents and grandparents on the donor wall,” Ms. D’Amato said. “I tell people that they absolutely do not want to miss the opportunity to have their names on the list.”

A minimum donation of $100 prior to mid-December will guarantee a listing on the donor wall, which will be a prominent feature in the History Center building.

“Every donation is important,” said Nanette Lawrenson, the Society’s executive director. Anyone interested in contributing to the project can visit the Society’s website at shelterislandhistorical.org or email Ms. Lawrenson at [email protected]

In the meantime if you’d like to schedule a tour of the construction site, contact the Society at (631) 749-0025.
SUBMITTED BY THE  SHELTER ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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