Babylon NY Real Estate Market Report For Week Ending 9/5/10
Babylon NY Homes For Sale:
Babylon NY Homes Under Contract:
No homes went to closing for the week ending 9/5/10
About Babylon NY:
What is now Babylon Town and Village was originally part of Huntington Town and known as South Huntington (or Huntington South). Lightly settled from 1689, its main industry, in common with much of the area along Great South Bay and South Oyster Bay (both actually lagoons), was the harvesting of salt hay, which was used as cattle feed and bedding.
When a coherent community grew up in the area by 1803, prominent local citizens sought to adopt a new name. An influential local lady, Mrs. Conklin, was used to living inland in what is now considered Dix Hills and was at unease with the home site that her grandchildren would be raised in. The bible-reading Mrs. Conklin compared the new hamlet to the biblical city of Babylon and proposed that name in apparent defiance of the area's rather bawdy reputation as a stop-over place for travelers on Long Island's south shore. Her son Nat was appalled by the use of an "unholy" name. The family legend states she replied: "But it will be a new Babylon." The name stuck, despite some effort to change it. The adjacent part of Islip town, an effective extension of Babylon, was originally considered as part of Babylon, or as East Babylon, but today is the hamlet of West Islip.
Hotels and Gateway to Fire Island
Babylon soon became the primary gateway to the nearby barrier beaches, including Fire Island, a position it held until the building of the current Captree Causeways allowing automobile access to the beaches nearest the Babylon shore. Beachgoers arriving by train or coach, or staying at local hotels typically took the Babylon Railroad, originally a horsecar line and later a trolley, to the Babylon Dock for ferries to Oak Island, Muncie Island, and Fire Island destinations.
As now, the epitome of the luxury lifestyle was summering on the ocean. This led many affluent individuals and families to reside at Babylon's seaside resorts, both on the mainland and on barrier beach islands. Muncie Island, (was just north of Oak Beach, island was depleted for the construction of Ocean Parkway) was host to one of the most elite sanatoriums and nearby Saltaire was host to the Surf Hotel offering several hundred rooms to guests. Guests of the Surf would take the rail road to Babylon's trolley and then cross the bay by a ferry. Off Robins Avenue at Stone Dock was the South Shore Inn and Watson House on Fire Island Avenue was famed to be "L.I.'s most luxurious hotel" when it was built. Those of even greater wealth would have homes or compounds built on the shore or barrier beach islands for vacationing. Stage stop hotels include the La Grange Inn, now used as a catering hall and is actually in adjacent West Islip.
Some of Babylon's hotels:
- American Hotel, Main Street and Fire Island Avenue
- The Argyle, Arygle Park, Main Street
- Boynes Hotel, at steamboat dock
- East End Hotel, Main Street and Cooper Street (burned in 1982)
- La Grange Inn, South Country Road, (West Islip), still in business and has great food!
- St. James West Main Street
- Sherman House, East Main Street
- South Shore Inn, Robbins Avenue
- Surf Hotel, Fire Island, east of the lighthouse
- Watson House, Fire Island Avenue
Babylon today is part suburban bedroom community, part small-town, and has a substantial shopping and business district. It is situated between West Babylon and West Islip at west and east, North Babylon on the northern boundary, and South Oyster Bay near its merger into Great South Bay on the south.
Today the village is best known for its restaurants and shops, and hosts shopping events during the fall as well as a popular crafts fair.
Housing stock and neighborhoods
The commercial and housing stock in Babylon reflects its longevity as a community. Because of the 140-year presence of the railroad, and its earlier status as a way station on Montauk Highway, originally the only through highway on Long Island's south shore, most of the core of Babylon dates to the era from before the American Civil War to World War I. As a result, there is a mix of building styles, including pre-Civil War, colonial, Victorian, and more recent designs. Nearer the shore, much of the housing was originally summer properties, including mansions and estates, cottages and bungalows: the latter two, virtually all now winterized. As far as large formal mansions and estates, most have been razed, yet one of the last remaining estates in Babylon, and presumably the towns smallest is the Long Island Yacht Club, built by E.W. Howell Co. of Babylon, NY in 1927 at a cost of $26.500.00.
Areas of large old homes and less formal mansions exist in a number of areas, including on Fire Island Avenue, Crescent Avenue and Thompson Avenue on Sumpawam's Neck, the area in between West Creek (Carll's River) and East Creek (Sumpawams River), the main body of the village between Main Street and the Bay.
Because of this history, and the general unavailability of large tracts of building land, Babylon Village has very few tract houses or developments. Some of the few area developed after World War II reflected the conversion of remaining farms and remains of large estates and mansions. There areas generally contain 1950s-style ranch houses, but there are some characteristic Long Island split level homes and high ranches.
Areas of large new homes are on formerly undeveloped or reclaimed former wetlands developed during the late 1940s through 1970s, including on Lucinda and Peninsula Drives, with estate-like homes such as that of Bret Saberhagen until 2001. Most of the affluent homes built in these new areas were large ranch houses, popular in the time of building, but much less favored today. In the last decade and continuing to the present, many of these houses have been expanded by adding a story and changing their style to more colonial appearance.
Babylon Village has also experienced the modern phenomenon in which small sound houses on desirable lots have been purchased and torn down by affluent recent purchasers and replaced with as large houses as zoning will permit, meaning that the new home builder has paid the price of a home just to obtain the lot.
The Long Island Rail Road's south shore electrified line begins at Babylon insuring riders a seat (some would beg to differ with this) and a short ride to mid town Manhattan.
View Babylon Village New York in a larger map
**All Chart Data Is Provided By The Multiple Listing Service of Long Island**