If you’ve always wanted to live in a historic home, and if you’ve always wanted a home in the Village of Southampton, both of those dreams could come true! Now’s a great time to pursue a historic Southampton Village house, for a great price. I myself am envious of anyone able to scrape enough together to make that happen. I’m holding on to the dream of renovating for now, as a way to ensure the survival of my 20s cottage, before I move on. Anyway, there are so many architectural treasures with wonderful history and roots to this village and the lives that have contributed to that history available in gorgeous Southampton Village. I always notice for sale signs around town, as they are all too common these days, but as I was recently perusing the internet looking for a few images of a house I am researching, I was surprised at how many more there were for sale than I realized. Not just any houses, but historic homes of all price ranges.
Here is a small taste of what’s currently available (makes me nervous frankly, demolition always being a concern). And don’t pay too much attention to the listing price; a very historic house on South Main Street recently sold for significantly less than half of its asking price. The realtors always seem wary of lowering the actual list price, but what the owners will accept often seems a completely different story.
This is 82 Prospect Street, listed for $535,000 with three bedrooms and three bathrooms! In 1902 it belonged to James M. Jagger, a carpenter. HREO.com ID#24837.
This is 436 Hill Street, on the southeast corner of Halsey Neck Lane. A perfect location in the village, walking distance to the Main Street shopping area and biking distance to Cooper’s Beach. These days when most of the homes with gambrel roofs are bad McMansions, this is perfectly refreshing. It even has two adorable accessory structures, one for guests and another as a quiet parental refuge. The shutters have quaint horse head cut-outs. Built circa 1920 for Raymond Augustus Halsey, a veterinarian.
This is 77 Elm Street, which I wrote about on February 10, 2011. Built in 1893 for Frederick H. Thompson, it is an architectural landmark (not literally, figuratively) in this village, and is listed for 3.95 million. See HREO.com ID#18853.
This is a house located within the exclusive and unique “Art Village” just outside of the Southampton Village boundary lines. It was designed in 1911 by Charles Ewing as one of William Merrit Chase’s artist compound houses. It is listed for 6.5 million. See HREO.com ID#25668.
This is Balcastle, another house I’ve written about built circa 1910 by and for Joshua Edward Elliston, Jr. “Ansley Elliston recalls that it was to have been a school and that Dr. Charles Jagger, a Southampton man and “a Ph.D from Princeton” was to have joined in the venture as the instructor. Others have suggested that the two men had a “falling out,” which may have accounted for the castle’s unfinished state. Some insist that there never were any plans for a school at all.” It has been impeccably decorated and appointed by the current owner, architect and designer Bill Sofield. It is listed for 3.9 million. See HREO ID#18760.
And of course I couldn’t leave you without showing you something really off-the-charts price-wise. This is 408 First Neck Lane, on the west side of Lake Agawam, designed circa 1923 by Pohlemus & Coffin for Kenneth O’Brien who was not to be outdone by his father, Judge Morgan J. O’Brien, who lived in several fine village residences. It is listed for 39 million. See HREO.com ID#23126.
There are plenty of speculators who say we have seen the bottom of this difficult economic climate, and boy do I hope they are right. But before the upturn begins, or the spring real estate frenzy, consider the privilege of owning and living in not only a piece of local history, but an architectural gem less than a mile from the best beach in America….and the fact that you can get one for a bargain!
 “Craftsman’s Legend Lives In Southampton Landmark,” by Mary Cummings, The Southampton Press, 11/22/84