From the American Hotel and Schiavoni’s Market to the John Jermain Memorial Library and the Whaling Museum, Main Street in Sag Harbor has rightfully established itself as the epicenter of the village, stretching from the intersection of Jermain Avenue and Brick Kiln Road all the way to the Long Wharf marina.
Lined with historic homes, picturesque trees and plentiful mom-and-pop shops, Sag Harbor’s Main Street exemplifies the quaintness of a small New England village in the midst of one of the wealthiest regions in the nation. It not only boasts a bustling business district but also a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
All of that, and more, has earned the street a spot on the American Planning Association’s list of 10 Great Streets in America.
Compiled every year in time for National Community Planning Month in October, the APA’s 10 Great Streets list is part of the association’s Great Places flagship program, which celebrates the character, quality and planning of areas all over the United States. The APA receives hundreds of recommendations from people throughout the country about which neighborhoods and public spaces, in addition to streets, it should honor.
Main Street is in the company of many other famed streets on this year’s list, including Broadway in Manhattan and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
According to Sag Harbor Village Clerk Beth Kamper, the APA nominated Main Street for the designation.
Roberta Rewers, an APA spokesperson, said the association takes into account the geography, demographics, setting and historical connection of each street when deciding which of the hundreds of contenders will receive a Great Streets designation. Sag Harbor’s Main Street, she said, still showcases the last vestiges of the whaling industry while housing many of its family-owned businesses in preserved historical buildings. The APA described Main Street as “a nine-block, cosmopolitan meeting place for village officials, business owners, residents and visitors going to work, doing errands, shopping, getting coffee, eating or simply people-watching.”
“It’s really vital and important to the community as a whole,” Ms. Rewers said of the APA’s designation, adding that the recognition could boost Sag Harbor’s tourist industry.
“It’s important for main streets to be recognized by national organizations. It brings the awareness of main streets to people,” she continued.
Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride said he was excited to hear the news of Main Street’s new designation, and that the proclamation the village will receive from the APA will be on display at the Municipal Building.
He added that the honor would not have been possible without all of the previous mayors, elected officials, business owners and chambers of commerce that have shaped that part of the village into what it is today.
“I’m very proud for Sag Harbor. This is a credit to a lot of people. I feel very fortunate that I happen to be mayor at the time,” Mr. Gilbride said. “On behalf of the planning group that took the time to look at this and get us in the running, it’s a great accomplishment. It’s really a great testament to Sag Harbor. It is a special place.”