Long Island's Hidden Past: Protecting and preserving historic Long Island locations

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FIRE ISLAND -

Every two years, Preservation Long Island puts together a list of historic Long Island structures that are in danger of disappearing.

One place in danger is the Summer Club Clubhouse on Fire Island. It was one of the original lifesaving stations along the Great South Bay. The Blue Point lifesaving station was moved to Fire Island and has been part of the Summer Club community since the 1940s.

In this companion podcast for News 12 Talks Long Island, Danielle and Sarah discuss the structures in danger:

"It's a vibrant place where everyone gathers for the summer," says Sarah Kautz, of Preservation Long Island.

However, because of rising tides, the beloved community hot spot needs to be saved.

Local historians are also keeping a close eye on a South Shore community that became a movie star mecca and rumored to be named after a famous resident, Clark Gable.

"Merrick Gables is a 1922 planned community and it was designed by, among others, Mr. Fox of 20th Century Fox," says Kautz.

The homes were built in typical California style. They were made to attract the Hollywood elite who worked on the East Coast.

"Unfortunately, some of them have fallen into disrepair and that makes them really prime for someone to buy and demo the property and rebuild," Kautz says.

Residents who live in the Merrick Gables and members of the Summer Club Clubhouse hope the endangered list will bring attention to their part of the Long Island story and keep it from being bulldozed or swept away.

"That's what preservation is all about," Kautz says. "Finding ways to keep these places alive and relevant."

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