Photo of the Week
—– October 10, 2022 —–
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
Henry Perkins Hotel, Riverhead, 1929
Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society.
Henry Perkins Hotel Matchbook Covers. (From the Matchbook Cover Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Image Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)
Thanks to the generous donation of collector Al Velocci, the Suffolk County Historical Society’s Library & Archives now has a collection of matchbook covers documenting hundreds of early to mid-20th-century Suffolk County businesses.
The Henry Perkins Hotel opened in Riverhead on August 11, 1929. Still located at the corner of West Main Street and Osborn Avenue in downtown Riverhead (where it now serves as an adult home), the Henry Perkins Hotel was considered one of the finest hotels of its size and type in the country. August H. Galow designed the building in keeping with the planned architecture of the soon to be neighboring Suffolk County Historical Society, which he also designed. The kitchen was designed by Walter J. Buzzini, who had also designed the large kitchen at the Biltmore Hotel in NYC. Much of the finer class of millwork used in the construction of the hotel was supplied by E. Bailey & Sons, a lumber and supply company located in Patchogue.
The new Henry Perkins Hotel was equipped with seventy-seven spacious bedrooms, a cheerful fine-dining room, 3,200 plates, 2,200 pieces of silver flatware, and assorted modern conveniences, such as stock market tickers so guests could keep an eye on the market. Boasting an inviting and home-like atmosphere and traditional hospitality, as well as safe, “fireproof” construction, the hotel was named after J. Henry Perkins, a Riverhead native who had served as Deputy Sheriff and Treasurer for the county.