This building, which you see before you as you leave downtown Huntington going east, was the Huntington town library until 1958. After the library moved to its current location at the other end of Main Street, the building was used by various organizations and from 1969 on, was home to the Town Historian. Over a period of time it deteriorated until it was acquired by the Huntington Historical Society in 2000. That was the beginning of an ambitious eight year restoration project which has brought it back to become a focal point for the community.
The restoration, implemented by the Huntington Historical Society was made possible by the gifts of the many contributors. With a new slate roof, new lighting, new plumbing and electrical service, repaired plaster and new paint, the building now continues as home to the Town Historian, and is being used as an exhibit gallery for the Huntington Historical Society and a visitor center for the town.
The Grand Opening of the restored building was held on Sunday afternoon, September 7th 2008. The participants in the ribbon cutting, all of whom had high praise for the restoration, were, from left to right, : Legislator Andrew Raia, Town Historian Robert Hughes, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, Charla Bolton, HHS Executive Director Carol Maguire, Councilwoman Susan Berland, and Assemblyman James Conti. Looking on the proceedings is a representative of the next generation of Huntingtonians, Aidan Patrick Brown.
The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building was completed in 1892 as a memorial to the 40 townsmen who died in the Civil War. The idea for a memorial was first proposed in 1865. Huntington’s leading citizens joined together to create The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Association in 1886 and fund raising efforts finally bore fruit when the building was completed in 1892. The building is the first of several monumental civic structures built in Huntington in the two decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century. The Memorial Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and as part of Old Town Hall National Register Historic District.
Located at 228 Main Street the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building will be open to receive visitors Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 1:00 pm to 4:00 and by appointment. Please call the office (427-7045, Ext. 404) to confirm docent availability. The building is not open on holidays