Like many communities in Suffolk County, Hauppauge, as we know it, was born over the course of the 1960s and 70s. Hauppauge also has many meanings, it is found in the springs that roll off the hills of the Ronkonkoma Moraine, the School District, the Fire District, the Library District, the Postal District, and perhaps something greater than these entities. But in a sense we grew up too fast, when there was little desire to found new downtowns, so Hauppauge is left with little to identify itself. We have plenty of stores, upwards of 90 (More than some downtowns!), and some notable anchors (A.C. Moore, Staples, Shoprite, Dressbarn), but nothing to define us from other shopping centers on Route 347, or 454.
So in the hopes of sparking a conversation about where our community is going, I write this blog post. The first picture I include roughly defines what I've found to be the Hub of Hauppauge. This is where commerce happens for those of us who live in the hamlet. Most of the businesses we use regularly are located here, as are our institutions (schools, post office, library, and fire department), and the historic foundations of our community (The original Wheeler homestead, the Methodist Church).
The second picture I feature simply identifies the six roadways that provide access to the "Hub" (111, 347, 454, Townline, Lincoln Blvd, and Brooksite Dr). They each have unique qualities and settings which I am sure many of us can appreciate and which, with some thought, we may be able to enhance. They are also crucial to defining Hauppauge and making our community one of the best connected on Long Island!
Finally, the third spark I offer is a picture identifying the "gateways" to this "Hub" of our community. These are the places where visual cues, buildings, monuments, landscape, or other visually appealing features tell you you're in Hauppauge. It is: the stand of tall trees in the median as 347 and 454 split, the Middle School as you enter from Townline, The Office Park coming down off the high hill on Lincoln, the new Brooksite Drive sign and the church cemetery's hill behind it, the pine trees in front of the Woodlands office park and Sears Plaza heading north on 111, and finally the vacant land of the old hospital, the new Hess, and the Hauppauge Palace Diner as you head south into the "Hub" on 111 or 347.
I look forward to hearing back from you. I hope I've given you at least a good means of beginning to envision our community, but I greatly look forward to being educated as well.