Baxter House: the end, 2016-2017

The Baxter House
Spring 2016 

It is 2016 and it is sad to say that the Baxter House today is terribly neglected. For several years, it has been allowed to deteriorate rapidly by an owner who doesn’t live there and who reportedlyh wants to divide the property into two pieces, building brand new house in what is now the back yard. It is also being allowed to happen by a Village who claims that there is little that they can do.  In the parlance of those involved in historic home preservation, this is often referred to as Demolition by Neglect. Everyone voices concern, but little is done.

Take a look, see for yourself, and then consider for yourself:

Several Baxter Estates residents have told us that if a village homeowner allows their lawn to grow wildly to an unkepmpt and unsightly state, the Village has the power to send in a crew to clean up the mess.  The Village then sends the homeowner the bill. If that is so, why doesn’t the Village employ the same principle, and fix the roof, the gutters, the front porch? 

This historic house has been allowed to deteriorate for many years. Water, time & temperature are its enemies. Water is seeping into the structure with every rainfall and as the temperature drops, the freezing rain, snow and ice will do tremendous damage. It can be prevented in one of two ways.  Either fix the roof and the gutters or tarp the house.  Blue construction tarps could be draped over the house for the remainder of the winter until the Village, the owner, and the residents of Baxter Estates come to a solution.  Just do it. Waiting for more board meetings, more wringing of hands, month after month gives the rain and snow time to do affect their damage.  Fix the house or tarp the house. Anything less is willful neglect of this iconic house from the colonial days of Cow Neck.  Anything less makes the owner and the village accomplices in Demolition by Neglect.

There is nothing the historical society can do other than bringing this to everyone’s attention. This was up to the citizens of Port Washington, especially the residents of Baxter Estates, to voice their opinions.

2/5/17: Fire Consumes the Baxter House

local TV coverage here and here

New York Times coverage here

Photos Courtesy of Patti Ann Stanchio 


Baxter House, RIP, October 2017

As one engineer stated, with years of experience 

"Any structure can be restored. 
Just two things are required: The will, and the money.

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