Historic home built in 1670 is demolished

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BAXTER ESTATES -

A historic home that had been the centerpiece of a Nassau community for centuries was demolished Monday.

It had stood for more than 300 years, but the Baxter House on Shore Road in the Village of Baxter Estates came down in a matter of moments. Attempts by residents and historians to save the designated historical home from demolition had failed.

Michael Scotto, who was among a group that sought to save the structure, alleges that its owner let the home fall into disrepair after purchasing it in 2003. A fire in February of last year proved to be the fatal blow for the home, which had been built in 1670.

"This was really the gem of Baxter Estates and they really let it fall into disrepair -- and when I say 'they,' I mean the owner and the village. And now it's gone," Scotto says.

Ross Lumpkin, with the Port Washington Historical Society, agrees, calling it "demolition by neglect." He says it's a fate that has met other historic properties.

"This is a common thing all over the country. It's a way to deal with a historic landmark if you are an owner of a private property," Lumpkin says.

The owner of the property, Sabrina Wu, of Flushing, declined to comment.

The home's previous owners were part of history. "Israel Baxter fought in the Revolutionary War, he was a minuteman, he fought with George Washington in the Battle of Brooklyn," Scotto says.

The village would only say that it did everything in its power to save the home. It says it has not received any future plans for the property.

The cause of the 2016 fire has not been determined.

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