City and State: Sag Harbor, New York
Listed: 1973, expanded in 1994
Type of district: National Register historic district, local historic district
The Sag Harbor Village Historic District is located on the north shore of the South Fork of Long Island. The village is a port dating from the 18th century, as it has a wide deep harbor on two sides. Most of the almost 900 buildings in the district are 1- to 3-story, detached frame houses, dating from the 18th through 20th centuries. Typically, the houses are set on fairly small plots of land with private yards. The downtown area is comprised of masonry and wood commercial structures from the 19th and 20th centuries, some of which are attached. In the 18th and early-19th centuries, the primary economic driver in Sag Harbor was the whaling industry. As such development clustered around streets radiating from the harbor. Fires destroyed much of the commercial development from this time period, but the houses survived. As whaling declined in the mid-19th century, village growth slowed despite the opening of a few small factories. However, the late-19th century tourism boom changed the village’s fortunes again, spurring new development at some remove from the harbor and sparing the older structures closer to the 18th century port.