Current photo of Shutt House. Photo by Peter Ward.


December 14, 2023: The Islip Town Board is voting on December 14, 2023 on whether to permit the demolition of the Shutt House. Read our letter below to the Islip Town Board asking that they deny the request to modify the current covenants and restrictions that would permit the demolition of the Shutt House. We believe this property is worthy of preservation as it is significant to the early founding of Brentwood. Demolition will irreversibly diminish the richness of Brentwood’s surviving historic resources.

Click to access Shutt-House-Letter-12-13-23.pdf

Why is the Shutt House historically significant?

The house is one of the original homes in Modern Times (1851-1864), Long Island’s Utopian community. It sits at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and Brentwood Avenue in the commercial heart of Brentwood. The site was likely constructed in the early 1850s (though certain historical reports reference a construction date of 1845). The building was renovated in the 1880s. Both phases of the house—the simple 19th-century farmhouse with the Victorian addition—are still clearly discernible. The original owners of the home were prominent participants in the social movements of the mid-19th century, which found expression at the Utopian village of Modern Times (which evolved into today’s Brentwood). The Shutts were also heavily involved in the development of Brentwood through the mid-twentieth century. After the ownership of the Shutt family, the home was owned by another notable family, the Repettis. The Repettis also owned one of the other few remaining Modern Times structures, the landmark octagon school, which was recently renovated.

1892 Image of the Shutt House. Courtesy Peter Ward.

Why is the Shutt House endangered?

Since 2000, the property has been sporadically occupied by renters. The structure is in imminent danger of demolition. If approved by the Town of Islip, the building will be demolished, and a new commercial structure will be built in its place.

This site is threatened by neglect, demolition, and development pressures. Moreover, potentially eligible owners of undesignated historic properties in Brentwood are missing out on opportunities for tax credits and other financial incentives made possible by listing on the National/State Registers of Historic Places.

Preservation Recommendations

  • Nominate the Shutt House for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Site should be evaluated for individual listing and as part of a potential Modern Times Historic District. The site is not on a historic register, but is included on Islip/SPLIA’s 1975 inventory of historic buildings. This listing would make it possible to procure grants and access state/federal tax credits.
  • Create preservation legislation that to protect local landmarks within Brentwood and Islip modeled on the Preservation League and the NYS Historic Preservation Office’s Model Law
  • Work with current owner to create a preservation plan that includes
    • Condition assessment to determine cost of rehabilitation plan
    • Evaluate the potential planned use of the structure