Tom Suozzi turns to history for 1st office

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Tom Suozzi turns to history for 1st office
U.S. Rep.-elect Tom Suozzi will open a congressional office in Huntington on land once owned by Silas Wood, a 19th-century Long Island congressman. (Photo from Tom Suozzi)

U.S. Rep.-elect Tom Suozzi will open his first 3rd Congressional District office on a site once owned by a 19th century Long Island congressman, he announced Tuesday.

Located near Nassau County’s border with Suffolk County in Huntington, Suozzi’s office will occupy two recently restored and adjoined 18th century houses on Sunny Pond Farm, land once owned by Silas Wood, a onetime state assemblyman who represented Long Island in Congress from 1819 to 1829.

Suozzi, a Democrat, said he will house eight to nine staff members in the 2,400-square-foot space, including Cindy Rogers, his office’s district director, and caseworkers Edward Aulman and Barrie Stevens, who will handle veterans issues and constituent services, respectively.

The office reflects Suozzi’s tendency to keep his government offices in historic buildings, he said — he moved Glen Cove’s City Hall to a restored building as mayor and moved Nassau County’s government offices into the old county courthouse as county executive.

“Everyone thinks of Long Island of having started with suburbia and I like to remember our history, because history is such a great lesson for our present and our future,” Suozzi said.

Suozzi, who will replace retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), put his main office in Huntington to provide easy access for all residents of the North Shore congressional district, he said. He also plans to open a satellite office on the district’s western side in northeast Queens.

Suozzi is renting the Huntington office for $3,000 a month from Tom Hogan, a former Republican Town of Oyster Bay councilman who purchased the Sunny Pond Farm land.

Hogan said he worked with the Huntington Historical Society to relocate and make offices out of the two houses: the 1770 Ketcham House from East Northport, and the 1790 James P. Chichester House, formerly located on Woodhull Road in Huntington.

Hogan and the society are working to turn Sunny Pond Farm into a preserve for historic structures that are in danger of being torn down, he said.

A native of West Hills, Wood also served as a Suffolk County district attorney and wrote two books about the North Shore’s early history. He died in Huntington in 1847. The South Huntington School District named the Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center after him.

Hogan said he thinks it is “serendipitous” that a congressional office now sits on Wood’s former land.

“I don’t think there’s any place with history like that,” Hogan said.

Reach reporter Noah Manskar by e-mail at nmanskar@theislandnow.com or by phone at 516.307.1045 x204. Also follow us on Twitter @noahmanskar and Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

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