JERICHO - A civic group in Jericho has halted construction work at the historic Maine Maid Inn.

Built in 1789, the Maine Maid Inn served as a safehouse for the Underground Railroad. The East Norwich Civic Association claims it is being torn apart piece by piece by developers.

Matt Meng, from the civic group, says the Town of Oyster Bay is ignoring the Inn's landmark status that was granted back in 2012. Meng claims the owner, Scotto Brothers, demolished parts of the building without getting permission from the town's Landmark Preservation Commission.

"We had asked that the chimney be preserved and then the next thing we know…there were jackhammers destroying the chimney," says Meng.

The civic group took the Town of Oyster Bay to court and won a temporary restraining order halting work at the site.  

The town's landmark commission issued a statement that appeared to support the developer: "Were it not for this applicant's willingness to invest its own time and money into the restoration of the Inn, it would have already been lost to foreclosure or collapse."           

The Scotto Brothers have not returned News 12 calls for a comment.