The Hempstead Town Board, on May 21, designated the Peter J. Herman House in Franklin Square as an historical landmark.
"Our Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended this site for landmark status and we were proud to designate this beautiful late Victorian home," said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Rich Guardino.
Peter J. Herman was born in Foster's Meadow, now known as Elmont, in 1872. He married Catherine Rath of Franklin Square and the couple lived in the Rath family home on Hempstead Turnpike.
Herman rapidly became a prosperous businessman and community leader. He sold farming supplies across a wide area, served on the local board of education, helped organize a Catholic Church in Franklin Square, was the organizer of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department and initiated the Franklin Square water and electric lighting districts.
In March 1901 the old Herman home burned to the ground while the family was away. Herman engaged William Finn, a local architect, to draw up plans for a new home which would reflect the achievements and prominence of the family. Carl Mirschel, a well-known builder from Munson, was hired to execute Finn's design.
Peter J. Herman's two and a half story home was completed in 1902. Typical of middle-class homes of the late Victorian period, the structure exhibits influences from the Queen Anne style. The home boasts ample bay windows, some fretwork decorations and several outbuildings. The home was originally located on Hempstead Turnpike but in the early 1950s it was moved to the back of the Herman property, fronting Herman Boulevard. At that time the rambling front porch was removed.
"This home is remarkably well-maintained," noted Hempstead Town Councilman Joseph Kearney (2nd CD). "The house is an important part of Franklin Square's history, and it remained in the Herman family until 1999."
Peter J. Herman died in 1953 but he is remembered as the most important civic leader in the evolution of Franklin Square from a farming district to a desirable residential community.
"Peter J. Herman left his mark on the western end of the Town of Hempstead for over 50 years," said Guardino. "His home is typical of the homes that lined Hempstead Turnpike from Jamaica to Hempstead in the early 20th century and is an enduring reminder of that era."
The late Victorian home is located at 19 Herman Boulevard in Franklin Square.