The Long Island Music Hall of Fame has a new home right on East Main Street in Port Jefferson.
On Tuesday night, the Brookhaven Town Board approved a license agreement with the Hall of Fame that will allow them to occupy the historic building on East Main Street to run a museum and education center. The building was constructed around 1900 and once housed the Town’s Tax Receiver’s Office. It was originally the First National Bank building.
The Long Island Music Hall of Fame started talking with Brookhaven Town to use the building back in 2007. The final agreement allows the nonprofit to operate a museum and education center in the town-owned building.
Brookhaven Town 1st District Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld who has spearheaded the effort of the nonprofit organization to occupy the building said he was “thrilled that the Long Island Music Hall of Fame will have finally found a home in Brookhaven in the wonderful village of Port Jefferson.” He called the building a “magnificent architectural treasure.”
In referencing Long Island musical history from Billy Joel to Louie Armstrong he said that putting Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s collection of memorabilia on display was an “exceptional” opportunity for the next generation of Long Islanders to “learn about this outstanding culture on Long Island.”
Jim Faith who is Chairman of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors called the agreement the fulfillment of “our dream of a brick and mortar, Long Island Music Hall of Fame Museum.”
“The many artists, musicians and bands that have created the rich music history of Long Island will finally have a home to preserve their legacy,” he said.
The effort to reach an agreement between Brookhaven Town and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame has not been without its challenges. The negotiations between Brookhaven Town and the Hall of Fame board of directors has been .
The building itself had to be restored and repaired over the years to make it ready for a new occupant, including repairing a leaky roof and restoring portions of the building to its original design with the help of local historians.
The helped the Town get the building placed on the New York State and Federal Registries of Historic Places. Nick Acampora, president of the Historical Society, said the building is a link to Port Jefferson’s shipbuilding past and is happy to see it occupied again.
Brookhaven Town used $250,000 in bonded money to refurbish the building, according to a staement by Brookhaven Town.
In an earlier interview with Patch, Fiore-Rosenfeld said that the town had some exterior brick work done, repaired the front doors and did some construction on the interior including mold and asbestos abatement, a new paint job and “a few other odds and ends.” They also did emergency work to the roof.
“Some parts of the building have a brand new roof,” Fiore-Rosenfeld said. “It’s in better shape than when we had town employees in there.”
The agreement gives the Long Island Music Hall of Fame the ability to operate in the building for 15 years with an option for a 5-year extension for a nominal fee.
The Hall of Fame will be responsible for all operating costs including “utility costs, any additional capital building needs such as construction of exhibit and office spaces and any proposed musical training room,” according to a statement released by Councilman Fiore-Rosenfeld.
They will also be responsible for special equipment needed for exhibits and to preserve memorabilia including humidity controls, electrical and alarm systems.
Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant said she welcomed the Long Island Music Hall of Fame to Port Jefferson . She was “very excited and pleased for Jim Faith and the entire board at the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.”
Garant said that she thinks the education center and museum will be a success, while having some fun educating everyone about “an extremely important part of our Long Island heritage: music.”
“Everyone loves music,” she said.