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SOUTH SHORE ESTUARY SURVEY 2396 BELLMORE AVENUE BELLMORE, NEW YORK

MAIN HOUSE

HISTORIC GARAGE


Building Address: 2396 Bellmore Avenue, Bellmore NY Section / Block / Lot: Surveyor’s Name: Nancy Solomon Survey Date: April 6, 2011 Building Type: Residence Owner’s Name:

Stevens Family Estate

Building Name: Stevens House Date of Construction: c. 1923 Architect:

Charles Stevens

Building Dimensions:

20 x 40

No. of Floors:

Decorative Features: Exposed roof rafters, integrated porch with Tuscan columns, original wood shutters with heart shaped cutouts, original 6/1 windows Siding Material(s): Roof Style:

clapboards

gable

Roofing Material(s): rolled asphalt Foundation:

cement

Window Style(s):

original double hung sash with 6/1 and 4-pane casement windows

No. of Entrances and Placement: center eve front and rear side Chimneys and Placement: original exterior gable end brick chimney Condition: fair - good condition Architectural Integrity: High architectural integrity Architectural Style: Vernacular Bungalow Description: This vernacular eve front clapboard bungalow has a eve front façade with a center door flanked by two original double hung 6/1 sash windows. The house contains its


original integrated front porch with columns and shingled apron. There are many original features including its two paned casement window shed dormers, exposed roof rafters, and side bay windows. All windows have their original wooden shutters with heart pendant cutouts. Original interior features include its original floor plan with a full width living – dining area and rear kitchen, and original wooden oak floors. The original beveled panel doors are intact. Accompanying the house is a detached historic garage built during the same period. The gable front structure sits behind the house. It contains two sets of original wooden garage doors with multi-paned casement windows and like the main house has exposed roof rafters. The structure is also clad in clapboards. The structures are situated on a large lot with various historic plantings including a pine tree, willow tree and neatly trimmed bushes. These plantings are typical of bungalows built during this time period and are symbolic elements of the bungalow design. Significance This bungalow is one of the least altered bungalows in the community, and one that has a long history according to research by local residents. In a well written narrative prepared by Christine Keller, the following is known: The Stevens Home was built in 1923 (although foundation construction began as early as 1917) by Charles Stevens, a man of German heritage (Sprague family), machinist by trade, who ran the Bellmore Ferry Service to High Hill Beach (he owned three ferry boats). His wife, Pauline Annie managed The Breakers Hotel on High Hill Beach. The home was built with and for their son Stan (1896-1972) and his wife Lucy (18981974) who had a daughter, Joan (1933-2010). Stan, Lucy and their daughter Joan were Quakers and worshipped at the Quaker Meeting House in Wantagh. Lucy Stevens was a Swiss immigrant who worked as a nanny on High Hill Beach. It was on High Hill Beach that she met Stan Stevens. Lucy’s ideas for the design of the Stevens Home came from the memories of her homeland and the Swiss Cottage Style architecture with unique characteristics. The home’s almost century-old picket fence, brick walkway, garage, fireplace, build-in furniture that includes daybed, window seat, and caddy-corner cabinets still remain. The Stevens Home has a large parcel of land that included beautiful gardens with flowers, bushes and trees of the time period. It was planned, planted and maintained for decades with great care by Lucy and Joan Stevens. It represents a sampling of native Long Island flora and fauna along the original Bellmore shoreline. “Captain” Stan Stevens owned a tugboat business that had been involved in many historic building projects within the Bellmore community and on the South Shore of Long Island. His two tugboats were “The Husky” and “The Wrestler” (referred to as a bridge builder). Stan Stevens’ tug boat business was involved in the building of the Wantagh Parkway to


Jones Beach, moving brick and cement to build the Jones Beach Water Tower, dredging the land for the building of “South” Bellmore, and the towing of steel and other work in the building of the Fire Island Causeway. Stan worked directly with Carl Koch and is given credit for his labors in the book Men of Steel – The Story of the Family That Built the World Trade Center (also documented in his work diaries). Stan was an active bayman and boat builder who was very involved in the local boating community. He owned a boat house on Barbara Road and a boat yard bordering Carlson’s on Public Highway in Bellmore (going south on Bellmore Avenue, first block on the left after “Captains Inn”). He owned a classic sail boat “The Kid” that is now on display at the Sayville Maritime Museum. Its skiff, named after his daughter, was the “Joanie”. He is well-known for his building of the community (literally and figuratively) and for the annual Stevens Clam Party at the Boat House. A recorded interview with Stan Stevens towards the end of his life is part of the Long Island Traditions, South Shore Estuary archives. In this interview, Stan offers a glimpse into his life and work. A notable statement made was: “He had a tugboat like a cowboy has a horse”. Joan Stevens, daughter of Stan and Lucy was raised in the Stevens home and lived there until the end of her life in 2010. Her life as a member of the Bellmore community is well-documented in her photo albums. Her home was left as a “time capsule” providing us with a momentary look into Bellmore past (1930’s-1970’s) to the benefit of all those interested in the history and camaraderie representative in life along the original Bellmore shoreline.


Stevens House