Before Snug Harbor became a popular Island attraction for plays and art opening, its original intention (and location) was the opposite. Known as Sailors Snug Harbor, was built in 1801 as a home for retired sailors as per Captain Robert Richard Randall's will request.
His will stated the wish for "his Manhattan estate be used to start a marine hospital for 'aged, decrepit and worn-out seamen.'"
Snug Harbor was moved from Manhattan to Staten Island when Randall's relatives wanted to maximize land profits. As a result, Snug Harbor was relocated to Staten Island in 1831.
Sailor's Snug Harbor opened in 1833, with an initial 37 residents and over time expanded in population and buildings, including chapels and music halls.
In the 1960s a few of the builds were falling under despair and the Trustees of Snug Harbor considered demolishing the facilities; however, the City Landmarks Preservation Commission ceased the idea making the property a National Historic Landmark. Sailor's Snug Harbor and residing residents were moved to Sea Level, North Carolina.
The Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Inc. was created to ensure the preservation the property and landmarks. In September 12, 1976, Snug Harbor opened to the public.
Considered to be the oldest established charitable institutions in the nation. Snug Habor now has a total of 26 Greek, Italian and Victorian inspired buildings.