and the Future of the Ministry
Dominican Sisters of Amityville Motherhouse Complex
to the NY State Register of Historic Sites
AMITYVILLE, NY April 9, 2007 – As part of a larger vision
to foster the continuation of mission and be attentive to sustainability,
the Motherhouse complex of the Dominican Sisters of Amityville
has been listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places.
The Motherhouse Complex includes five buildings and two sites – the
130 year old Rosary Hall building, the root cellar or potato house,
Seraphina Cottage, the boiler house, St. Dominic's Chapel, the
grotto area and the cemetery.
The designation is an outcome of a visioning and planning process
of the congregation, Our Life, our Land, Our Legacy, in
which the sisters explored answers to questions of sustainability
and the future of the motherhouse lands and building.
Diane Morgan, OP, Assistant Prioress said, “The essential
question for us is ‘What future uses of the motherhouse
lands and buildings will allow the charism to flourish for the
sake of the mission?’” Study recommendations
including a plan to renovate Rosary Hall for the immediate assisted
living needs of the Sisters. It was also recommended that any renovation
be guided by principles of sustainability and environmentally sound
construction methods. Sustainable design alternatives are being
explored, such as a geothermal heat pump system, LEED certification,
recycling of construction waste and other possibilities.
The designation as a state historic place now moves forward to the National
Park Service for consideration on the National Register of Historic Places.
Designation as a state historic place offers possibilities for
application for competitive grants for the upkeep of the buildings
or for historic tax preservation credits decreasing the construction
costs. A distinct advantage of being listed on the State and National
Historic Registers is that information about the complex can be
placed on the National Park Service website. Information about
the life of the Congregation as well as the buildings becomes more
accessible to the public.
The planning and study process includes considering adaptive uses
of the buildings such as an improved assisted living residence
for the sisters and the continuation as a ministry site that preserves
and enhances the historic aspects of the buildings. The community
is deeply committed to keeping sustainability and “green
building” at the
heart of its planning and mission.
Sr. Diane added, that “We are convinced that caring for the
earth and serving human needs go hand in hand. We can serve the
needs of the larger community, our own members and the earth as
one integrated vision.
At hearing for nomination to
NYS Register of Historic Sites LEFT: Diane Morgan, OP, Virginia
Bartos (NYS Office of Historic Preservation), Committee members – Jane
Creighton, OP, Martha Marie Sutton, OP, Margaret Clines, OP), EYP
architects Arik Mathison and Mark Thaler.