Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby are taking steps to preserve the take-off site of Charles Lindbergh’s historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight. The officials, joined by a 20-year-old Hofstra student, Adam Sackowitz, announced their preservation plan for the property in the shadow of Westbury’s Source Mall, which is slated to go on the auction block on August 28th. Murray and Goosby are working to safeguard the historically significant site, concerned that it could potentially be threatened with development under any change of ownership that may occur after next Tuesday’s auction. At a press conference detailing their preservation plans, Murray and Goosby were joined by Angelo Corva, Chairman of the town’s Landmark Preservation Commission, Assemblyman Ed Ra and Cradle of Aviation Museum Executive Director Andrew Parton.
“This site is one of the most important locations in aviation history, as well as the history of our nation,” observed Murray. “We must take steps to preserve the place where the Spirit of St. Louis began its ascent on its journey to France in 1927.”
In response to a quest by Adam Sackowitz, the Hofstra student, to see the Lindbergh historical monument behind the Source Mall protected from prospective development, Murray and Goosby pledged to recommend the site for landmark status by the Town of Hempstead. The granting of landmark status entails a review of the property in question by the township’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. After a review by the Commission, the site could be recommended to the Town Board, on which Murray and Goosby sit, for landmark status consideration. Both officials expressed confidence that the Landmarks Commission and their colleagues on the Town Board would look favorably on the proposal.
“This site deserves landmark status,” stated Goosby. “I am committed to working with Kate Murray and the entire Town Board to see that Lindbergh’s take-off location receives designation as a landmark.”
Upon the granting of landmark status, the monument would benefit from protection against alteration, development or other construction. Specifically, property owners would be required to seek the approval of the town’s Landmarks Commission to make any alterations to the monument and a small section of grass surrounding it. At the same time, the officials stated that the designation would not hamper commercial development of the rest of the property, which is currently home to the Source Mall. The Supervisor and Councilwoman pointed out that the area under consideration for landmark status is a small grassy median and the stone monument, which are on a perimeter roadway median behind the mall. What’s more, the designation would not impact the site of the mall building or any likely replacement structure.
“Granting the site where Charles Lindbergh began his historic trans-Atlantic flight landmark status will protect the site and preserve it for generations to come,” said Murray. “At the same time, we will take steps to ensure that future commercial development at the Source Mall site is not adversely impacted.”
Murray and Goosby displayed a sample of a Hempstead Town historical marker that would be placed at the site upon designation by the town. A replica sign was given to Adam Sackowitz in recognition of his efforts to protect the important historical location.
“Protecting our region’s history is part of preserving our identity,” concluded Murray. “I am grateful that Councilwoman Goosby and I have an opportunity to work with Adam Sackowitz to safeguard part of the Lindbergh legacy.”