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Peek To The Past

The North Shore Historical Museum opened its doors to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 19, after years of raising funds and completing renovations and restorations. The museum occupies the Justices Court Building on Glen Street, which was vacant for more than a decade.

“The building was in terrible disrepair,” says Brian Mercadante, museum president. 

Mercadante, says they first tried to get the property back in 1997, a process that took eight years, and money was the biggest holdup. Besides doing a lot of renovations, including a handicap ramp and putting on a new roof, they had to get grants. According to Mercadante, they began with only $1000 in funding and eventually raised $750,000.

The building itself is historical, making it an ideal location for preserving the rich history of the North Shore. 

“We thought it would benefit the community at large, and it creates more parameters for more portions of history,” says Mercadante.

 The opening ceremony, held on the 104th anniversary of the original opening of the building by the town of Oyster Bay in 1908, mirrored the building’s original façade and interior.  Museum members, guests and visitors were able to take tours of the building and to hear of planned exhibits.

Glen Cove Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and Mercadante cut the opening ribbon and Museum Director Colleen Yoder hosted tours and explained the museum’s future plans.

Initially, the museum will be open Wednesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guided group tours will also be available. Chartered by the New York State Department of Education, the museum plans to showcase a wide variety of artifacts and archives depicting Long Island’s “Gold Coast.“

According to Yoder, the exhibits will include documents, art work, photographs and a unique collection of oral histories recording the memories and histories of many North Shore residents.

The completely restored building is a National Historic Landmark Building. Fees:  Museum members free; non-members $5 adults, $4 seniors and teens, children free. To reserve a tour call  801-1191 or visit the  website at  www. northshorehistoricalmuseum.org.