Kevin VeseyMar 1, 2017, 11:54 pm

Fate of historic Baxter House uncertain as owner mulls options for property

Area’s only landmark has serious damage after a fire broke out in early February

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After the historic Baxter House was seriously damaged by a fire in February, the owner of the property revealed at a town meeting that she doesn't yet know whether to restore the house or tear it down.

"It's one of the oldest buildings in town. It used to be featured on all of the walking tours by the historical society," Baxter resident Elly Shodell said.

The Baxter House was built in colonial times and serves as a gateway between Port Washington and the Village of Baxter Estates.

The 344-year-old house was long a symbol of pride for area residents but had fallen into disrepair and was recently vacant leading up to the February fire.

The owner of the property, Sabrina Wu, had declared an interest in both tearing the house down and building a replica or restoring it to its former glory, according to her attorney Thomas Levin who spoke before the Baxter Estates Landmarks Preservation Committee on Wednesday night.

But since the fire, Levin says his client doesn't know what to do with the historic house.

"As of this afternoon, in my conversation with her, she has not decided how to move forward with this,” Levin said.

The property owner's attorney says he expects his client will make a decision on what she wants to do with the house in the next few days. At that point, they'll have to bring the application before the landmarks preservation committee.

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Oyster Bay, New York