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What is that? April 13, 2024

If you know, let us know. Send your responses to [email protected] or phone 631-275-1859.

Last week’s photo of the door to the History Center on South Ferry Road (see right), with intriguing chains on either side, was no mystery to Ed Hydeman who emailed us right away with the correct answer.

(Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

Karen Hunkele was also on it, as well as Kia Pedersen, who identified the door on our Facebook page.

Called “rain chains,” they are part of traditional Japanese architecture, employed from ancient times to the present, on temples as well as small homes, and are used to drain water from roofs and overhangs to the ground without splashing.

Ms. Pedersen knows about the beautiful History Center because her parents are largely responsible for bringing the facility to life. Elizabeth and William Pedersen donated $1 million toward the project, which came out of a simple motivation. “We love Shelter Island,” Ms. Pedersen said.

In addition to the gift, Mr. Pedersen, a world-renowned architect, designed plans pro bono for the ambitious and stunning building project.