Abram Lent House
On Saturday April 4, 2015, the c. 1752 Abram (Abraham) Lent was
demolished unexpectedly. Although development plans for the property
were known, it was hoped that a positive resolution, including the
relocation of the Lent House, could be achieved.
Built almost a
quarter-century before the Revolutionary War, the house stood within
the "neutral ground" of the British-held New York City
and the upriver lands of the Colonists. Not particularly firm in his
beliefs, and probably tired of having his farm raided by soldiers from
both sides of the war, Abram
Lent decided upon becoming an open Loyalist and he himself
eventually raided farms in the Hackensack River valley. Lent and his son
were exiled to Nova Scotia after the Revolutionary War, but it was a
short stay and they returned to Orangeburg. Abram Lent's descendants
owned the house through 1918. It was later surveyed by Rosalie Fellows
Bailey in her book Pre-Revolutionary
Dutch Houses and Families in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York.
Bailey cited the house as an "outstanding
example of the steep, equilateral gable roof over a house two full rooms
The Lent House was a
private home through the early-mid 2000s when it was sold and became an
office and rental apartment for a construction company, which partnered
recently with the shopping center to redevelop the house site. When I
first became aware of the Lent House it was occupied and located at the
end of a dead-end street (South Greenbush Road) adjacent to railroad
tracks and surrounded by woods and fields, formerly
the site of a pipe factory. In the early-mid 2000s, a Lowe's
Home Improvement store was built there, followed by a Stop-n-Shop
several years ago. More recent plans called for the expansion of the
shopping center, Orangetown Commons, and the small old stone house,
which had been there for 263 years, even undisturbed by the
railroad and the factory, was all of a sudden in the way and just had to
be removed, according to the developer.
of the Lent House has sparked interest in historic
preservation and in preventing similar fates from befalling other endangered
homes in Rockland County, such as Nyack's John
Green House. Post-demolition outcries are fairly common, so it
remains to be seen whether this case will be any different. But communities
do have the power to enact local landmark preservation laws and to
appoint preservation boards that can make recommendations to their
respective town boards regarding irreplaceable historic architecture threatened
by ever-expanding commercial and residential developments.
Photographs September 19, 2014.
This photograph is doubly-historic, showing
also my trusty and dear-departed Subaru Legacy.
Posted April 10, 2015
Additional Source Articles:
Times - May 1, 2014
Times - December 4, 2014
Journal News - April 4, 2015
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2015 by Robert J. Yasinsac. All rights reserved.
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