Staple in Freeport skyline for 90 years reduced to rubble

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A building that was part of the Freeport skyline for 90 years has now been reduced to rubble.

The Meadowbrook Bank building on Sunrise Highway was visible from the train station and the main streets in the village.

"It reminded me of the Empire State Building, that's how tall it was," says Wanna Smith of Freeport.

Although it wasn't as tall as the Empire State Building, the old bank stood six stories high. Built in 1929, it was known as First National Bank and Trust Company. It was the tallest building east of Jamaica, Queens at the time. The building has been vacant since the '80s.

"It was the first skyscraper of Long Island," says Leon Broughton, of Trimz Barber Shop. "It's a historical thing that's no longer here with us."

According to Preservation Long Island, the building was eligible to become a historic landmark but that didn't happen. Now the property will be the home of a new car dealership.

Preservation Long Island says the village sold the property in 2017.

In a statement, Preservation Long Island says,  "Along with Meadowbrook Bank's irreplaceable craftsmanship and materials, Long Islanders have lost an excellent opportunity for revitalizing one of our region's most unique historic landmarks."

The Freeport Historical Society says the Lexus car dealership in Rockville Centre bought the property, but there's no word yet on when the new dealership will be built.

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