Hoyt Farm’s historic water tower was restored recently, with its unveiling held on Tuesday, January 3.
John Baker, a Smithtown resident and builder dedicated to many preservation causes in the township, wished to restore the water tower before his untimely death.
Carrying on Baker’s legacy, Peter Cosentino and Realty Group (PJ Venture – Cosentino Realty) undertook the project to honor Baker’s memory.
“I want to send my deepest gratitude to the Cosentino Family for seeing through on this magnificent vision, which originally John Baker had planned to complete as a gift to the people of Smithtown, prior to his untimely passing,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim. “The Cosentino family and Realty Group (PJ Venture – Cosentino Realty) have gone to great lengths to honor John Baker’s creed. They continue to give back to the community, enrich the environment and go to work daily to leave this world in a better place for our future generations. I’d also like to commend our Planning department, and our team at Hoyt Farm for coordinating together with the Cosentino’s to see this project through to completion. This was a wonderful way to honor John’s memory.”
Baker moved to the township in 1973, where he married his wife, Joanne. He served honorably in the U.S. Army from 1965-1967. Before Baker began his career with PJ Venture, he worked as a heavy machinery operator for the Local 138 Engineers Union.
Baker’s close working relationship with the Town of Smithtown has had an enormous impact, benefiting both the community and the environment equally. Over the years, Baker preserved properties such as the Hauppauge Springs, the historic Harned Sawmill in Commack and the Saam property. His efforts resulted in the preservation of historic and environmentally sensitive properties, which the Town of Smithtown would not have been able to acquire without a significant cost to the taxpayer.
During Baker’s career with PJ Venture (Cosentino Realty) for over 35 years, he oversaw and managed the construction of over 1.5 million square feet of commercial retail in the Town of Smithtown. Notable projects include Cosentino Commerce Center (Commack South Shopping Center,) Crooked Hill Commons, Café Corner and the second Chick-fil-A on Long Island.
Before his passing, Baker was in the process of constructing Floor and Décor’s in Commack South Shopping Center and the new Geico headquarters located in Commack’s Café Corner.