The Heart and Soul of Suburbia
The bustling family- and singles-friendly neighborhood known as Huntington Village is neither incorporated nor an official government entity. But this restaurant-laden, shopper-happy 36-square-block cosmopolitan oasis is popular with residents and tourists as the downtown hub and the unofficial capital of the town of Huntington.
For the last 12 of the 14 years he has been in office, Mr. Petrone said, he has worked on making the village, which has 25,000 to 30,000 residents, a destination on the North Shore of Long Island, embellished with brick sidewalks, gaslight street lamps and hanging baskets.
“People are attracted to the Charles Dickens storybook downtown,” he said, though many of the smaller but incorporated villages in the town of Huntington like Northport have their own charms.
In January, the Long Island Index, which compiles data about the region, concluded in a report that the future of the Island depended on creating vibrant downtowns with affordable housing, and named Huntington Village, with its 352 storefronts, one of the Island’s most popular.
– Marcelle S. Fischler, New York Times
Huntington Village: A Brief History
When English settlers first came to Huntington in the middle of the seventeenth century they built their homes along Park Avenue around the Village Green. When the British army occupied Huntington during the American Revolution, the Village Green was still the center of activity. But in the nineteenth century, business activity began to move west to what we now know as downtown Huntington village.
Wood buildings began to spring up on Main Street—wide enough to turn a wagon around on, it is said. Some of these old wood buildings were destroyed by fire and replaced with more substantial brick structures. The east end of Town saw tremendous development around the turn of the twentieth century, buildings such as the O.S. Sammis Store (now Ann Taylor Loft) and the Bank of Huntington (now Bank of America) still stand. The turn of the century also saw the construction of Huntington’s first civic buildings with the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building erected in 1892 to serve as the Town’s first library (now a museum and visitors center) and the original Town Hall built in 1910, soon to be the site of a hotel.
Huntington village has grown over the years and seen many changes, but it retains its small town feel and walkability that makes it a destination for all Long Islanders.
– Robert C. Hughes, Town Historian
Town of Huntington