Preservation Long Island is pleased to present a 2020 Project Excellence Award to the John and Elaine Kanas Family Foundation​ for the repair and adaptive reuse of the Tuttle-Fordham Mill.

We’ve partnered with Chris Kretz of The Long Island History Project to celebrate our 2020 Preservation Awards with a new podcast series. Listen to podcast about this project with John Kanas:

Aerial view of completed project at the Tuttle-Fordham Mill, 2020. Image courtesy of JLL.
Newly rehabilitated interior of Tuttle-Fordham Mill, pictured above in 2020.
Interior before rehabilitation pictured above in 2017. Photo by Erin McKinley for the Southampton Press.

Once a busy center of local industry, this 1859 sawmill also served as a site of carriage-, wheel-, and coffin-making throughout its storied past. Designated as a Town of Southampton Historic Landmark in 1985, the building was listed as one of Preservation Long Island’s Endangered Historic Places in 2015 after experiencing several years of decline. The mill stood vacant from about 2008 until the John and Elaine Kanas Family Foundation acquired the property in 2017 for use as the charity foundation’s new headquarters, a gallery space, and office suites.

This project involved repairing and rehabilitating the 1859 brick structure as well as a later accessory building (ca. 1970) to the west of the mill. The project also restored appropriate water flow between the mill pond and Speonk River into Moriches Bay to support the surrounding estuary environment.

The rehabilitated Tuttle-Fordham Mill offers an excellent example of the adaptive reuse of an old industrial structure as creative office space on the East End.

A glass floor cut out offers a view of water from the mill pond flowing south under the building into the Speonk River towards Moriches Bay.
John Kanas pictured above at the Tuttle-Fordham Mill in 2017 soon after purchasing the property. Mr. Kanas was born and raised in Center Moriches, NY, and his family foundation is a generous supporter of Long Island causes, including the Peconic Bay Medical Center. Photo by Erin McKinley for the Southampton Press.
In November 2018, the Westhampton Beach Historical Society presented John and Elaine Kanas with the society’s inaugural local preservation award. Picture left to right: John Kanas, Jon Stanat (president of the historical society), and Elaine Kanas. Image courtesy of the Southampton Press.

Preservation Long Island’s biennial Preservation Awards are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.