Developer demolishes historic Babylon buildings

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BABYLON -

Crews demolished two historic buildings in Babylon after residents' failed attempts to save them.

They dated back to the 1800s, and according to some residents, they were some of the original buildings from the village's initial founding.

Henry Livingston, a major player in Babylon's early history, built one of them, according to Mary Gallagher of the Babylon Village Historical Conservancy. 

"He was basically responsible for getting the town organized, and he did it in this building," she says.

But supporters of a developer's plan to modernize the properties point to some of Long Island's other recently revitalized downtown areas.

"Babylon's got to get with the times," says resident Tony Montiglio. "Look at all the towns that are changing -- Farmingdale, Patchogue -- they're all adding housing. Brings young people into the village."

Developer Ken Rogers did not immediately return a call from News 12 Long Island, but he has told the town he plans to build new retail space and apartments.

Nearby store owner Jim Wichert says he hopes the developer will try to maintain the village's charm.

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