In the recent past, the Oysterponds Historical Society (OHS) Board of Trustees has carefully examined the institution’s critical need for a storage solution that would allow it to better organize, make more widely available, and properly protect its unrivaled collections, which contain over 60,000 historical items.
With the help of outside experts, OHS’s staff and Board decided in 2022 that the best path forward was renovating and adding to one of its existing buildings –Vail House–to create a modern Archives and Offices center.
In March 2023, OHS released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to local and regional architects which laid out the qualifications and experience required to be considered for the project. At the same time, the Board formed a committee to oversee this selection process and the Archives and Offices Project going forward. After months of careful review and consideration of proposals from architects, the Committee unanimously recommended to the Board that OHS enter into a contract for design and architectural services with SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership (https://www.skolnick.com/). The Board enthusiastically endorsed the Committee’s recommendation.
SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership is an award-winning firm based in Sag Harbor and New York City with extensive experience in adaptive reuse projects with landmarked and historic buildings. They have completed noteworthy projects in New York City as well as the East End of Long Island. SKOLNICK’s principals also have strong track records in community engagement, fundraising support, and in working with local authorities—all important factors informing OHS’s choice.
Alison Field Ventura, Executive Director of Oysterponds Historical Society (OHS) states, “We’re thrilled by the prospect of working with SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership. A productive collaboration with its team of accomplished professionals will without a doubt help us fulfill our longstanding goal of properly storing and protecting OHS’s collections and making them more widely accessible for generations to come.”
Paul Alter, SKOLNICK A+DP’S Design and Managing Partner based in Sag Harbor and NYC, will lead the Project. ”Our firm is thrilled to have been selected by Oysterponds Historical Society for this challenging and important project which will result in the creation of a state-of-the-art archival storage facility for the fragile elements of the collection. The Project will also attend to much needed renovations to the Vail House to consolidate curatorial, and collection care staff with the existing administrative staff with the goal of creating an integrated, connected, and improved archival storage, collection care, and administrative facility.“
The OHS Board and staff are excited about reaching this important milestone in the project. As OHS moves forward with SKOLNICK, it will periodically provide updates and progress reports, while involving the community in this important work.