Thursday, March 31, 2011

Miller's Meadow

Last Monday, at the Village ARB public hearing, a house at 94 Bishops Lane was reviewed: the existing house will be demolished and a new house built. Happens all the time. Now you think I’m going to harp on why the existing house shouldn’t be demolished right? More that the proposed house is inappropriate, but for the opposite reasons you think. The photograph of the proposed front elevation of the house is pictured at the top of this post.

This little enclave of a neighborhood is just off of Hill Street on the east side of the street. At its entrance is a sign announcing numbers #90, 94, 110, and 120 Bishops Lane, seen here:

This style of the sign is the first indication of the style of houses that make up this little subdivision. Here are photos of all four of them:

This “subdivision,” for that’s what I’m calling it due to its cohesiveness in character, was created in the early 80s. A company called Millers Meadow Corp. bought these lots and others in November of 1980. In February of 1982, at least these four were purchased by a George Wallis, and then the houses were built one by one, with the first selling in ’83, the second in ’85, and so on. At this point I’m not sure of Mr. Wallis’ role, nor who he was. Nonetheless, there is an undisputable character to this enclave which is technically comprised of two front lots and two flag lots with a common shared driveway off of Bishops Lane. But more than two lots makes for a public right of way, right?

Without having any visual aids, I stood up during the ARB review and tried to describe this “Miller’s Meadow” community but either the board members didn’t get it, didn’t care, were sympathetic of their board member, or – because #94 is technically a flag lot – thought the argument was irrelevant. So the application was approved. Don’t get me wrong, I think Brian’s design is lovely; but a traditional house in this perfectly intact contemporary 80s enclave is out of character with its neighbors.

I thought about going door to door to talk with the neighbors, but after the fact? I wish I had done that before…….I wish more village residents would read this blog. And, with all due respect toward Brian Brady, who is a very talented classical architect and has brought a great deal of credibility to the ARB, what does it say that he would be an enabler of this type of contextual disruption?

What do you think?

Monday, March 28, 2011

79 Parsonage Lane Update!

It looks like this blog may have actually helped save a structure!! Yipee! Read about the last African American house in Sagaponack here at Patch: Stay tuned for results from tonight's ARB meeting too. With 17 new applications, there is sure to be a lot to talk about.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New ARB Applications for March 28th

As usual I have looked into the new applications scheduled to be heard at the next ARB public hearing. There are lots of them, some very sensitive. Spring has definitely arrived and the bulldozers are revving up! Read about it on Patch here:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

375 Hill Street: Capt. William Post

This house was built for the Post Family sometime before 1858. There were so many Posts then on Long Island it is easy to get confused amidst all the genealogies, and this house was Capt. William Post’s. There were so many Williams……….Where did all the east end Posts go?

Anyway, this is a lovely quintessential farm house, of which there are many still existing in Southampton that share the same prototype with pointed arch gable end window, flattened out eave extensions, and front wrap-around porch. This one has had obvious embellishments, upgrades, and additions to it over the years, including color changes. In the recent past, say 3-4 years ago, it used to be a burgundy color, but now it is beige with white trim and dark green shutters. Some of the accessory buildings in the back are dark green with burgundy detailing which I find gives them an adorable and whimsical character.

The last known Post owner was Adele Halsey Post (b. 1890) daughter of Emma C. [Halsey] Post (1854-1922) and William H. Post (1844-1893) - who served as village clerk in 1888 after Lewis Bowden[1] - and grand-daughter of Captain William Post (1803-1888), a seaman.[2] They were descendants of Richard Post, the first of the family on record in Southampton in 1643.[3]
The next owner was Gertrude W. Hawes, who may have been an English born nurse who immigrated to the United States in 1880.

The current owners are Gregory and Margaret Hedberg. Mr. Hedberg was a lecturer and fellow at The Frick Collection, New York, Curator of Paintings at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota, and Chief Curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. “In 1987, he left the museum world to help found a new art school in New York City, The New York Academy of Art, and was appointed its first Director. In 1992, Greg joined Hirschl & Adler Galleries as its Director of the Department of European Art. He has since curated several gallery exhibitions including Yanks Paint Brits (1996); New York Classicism Now (2000); and The Grand Scale: New Watercolors by Alexander Creswell (2006). Greg also regularly lectures around the country on European art and contemporary realist painting, and is currently preparing a book on Degas’ Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen.”[4]
1858: W. Post
1873: Capt. W. Post
1894: Mrs. H. Post/W. H. Post
1902: Mrs. M. H. Post
1916: Mrs. M. H. Post

Property Owners:
Gregory & Margaret Hedberg, 1997 – present
James M., Barbara Jean & John Eric Huntley, 1973-1997
Irene D. True, 1965-1973
James T. & Roberta E. Parry, 1963-1965
Gertrude W. Hawes, 1948-1963
Adele H. Post, to 1948
William H. Post
Capt. William Post, before 1858

[1] Sag Harbor Express, April 12, 1888
[2] 1850 Census
[3] The Early History of Southampton, L.I., New York with Genealogies, George Rogers Howell, 1887

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

130 Jobs Lane, Bridgehampton

So sad. This house will be the next historic structure to be lost in the Town of Southampton, at least officially. One of the owners is Marya Martin, the founder of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. It is disappointing that someone who has brought such a great cultural endeavor to Bridgehampton would be so insensitive to the hamlet's heritage. Read about it on Patch here:

Monday, March 21, 2011

143 Years Ago, Part V

Continuing along with this historic series, here are excerpts from the fifth of a series of articles published by The Southampton Press titled “Southampton Sixty Years Ago,” beginning in December of 1927 and written by Benjamin C. Palmer. (In other words, the series, written in 1927, was referring to conditions in this village circa 1867.) This part focuses on religion rather than buildings.

“We have stated that the old timers were a good and a Godly class of people, quite right are we in that assertion. They were a hard working, honest class, remembering always the Sabbath day to keep it holy. No stores were ever open on the Lord’s day, no work of any kind, except labors of necessity, ever broke the hallowed precincts…..To be a loyal member o this hallowed community one had simply to be a faithful Presbyterian and a full blooded republican……..There was no opposition to this form of home happiness, until about 1835, Evangelists from Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton found their way into these peaceful precincts and disturbed the harmony of the religious hearts that had held their own communion ever since the establishment of the village. These interlopers were Methodists who would not be frowned down, conversions were made and a society formed right here on the hunting grounds of the society who had never had any opponents to interfere or to combat with. The Methodists stuck like ivy to a stone wall, and they grew in numbers, casting their nets out among those whom the Presbyterians considered rightfully belonged to their bailiwick. When the old [Presbyterian] church had been removed in 1844 to make place for the new one, the Methodists tried to buy it and while the old building was a white elephant on the hands of the owners, they would not under any condition sell it to that band of interlopers whose very existence disturbed the peacefulness of the community….the building was sold to one of [the Presbyterian’s] own members, who, when he became the actual owner, found that he too had a white elephant on his hands, too big to handle. He got rid of the immediate burden by running it onto a plot of land purchased of Capt. Charles Howell, and there it has stood ever since, though partially destroyed by fire a few years ago. The owner only too glad to get rid of it at any price sold it to “them air Methodists.” There was no kindly feeling or brotherly love existing between the two churches standing in such close proximity though two or three revivals stirred the town and more or less contact with each other became necessary until after the fire of the revival died down when various members of the two congregations reverted to the old time suspicion and jealousy……There was no harmonious assimilation until the Y.M.C.A. established a society here…….Today there exists perfect peace and harmony, freely assimilating with each other, two well established Episcopal, tow Roman Catholic, two colored churches, a Christian Science Society, a Christian Alliance Mission, and we hear rumors that a Jewish Synagogue is to be established here.”

I love these accounts and hope you do too. Part VI will follow, and Part VII will end the series.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 14th ARB Summary

Monday's ARB meeting was pretty straight forward; Wooldon Wall discussions continue. The next meeting on the 28th will be lengthy and interesting. Here's Monday's recap on Patch. Stay tuned for new applications, 75 South Main Street among them!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

"There can be no tradition without innovation."
- Earle Hitchner, Irish music journalist

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Villages across the Town of Southampton

The Town of Southampton has 7 villages: Westhampton Beach, Westhampton Dunes, Quogue, North Haven, Sag Harbor, Southampton, and Sagaponack. Ever wondered why there aren't more? Me too:
Postcard courtesy Eric Woodward Collection.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Abraham Bagley

As I am often going on and on about ancestry and genealogy, I thought I’d share a little bit of my own. This is my maternal great-great-grandfather, Abraham Bagely.

Born on January 2, 1870, “Abe” Bagely came to the United States in 1889 from the “Munsterberg” settlement in Switzerland. Abe settled in Berne, Indiana where his uncle, Laban, started the first sawmill and was one of the founders of the first brick yard. In 1893 Abe married Bertha Clara Gilliom who was born in Hickory County Missouri. Her relative, Simon, owned a prominent lumber company in Berne.

Abraham Bagely became an architect, civil engineer, and builder after completing courses for such in the United States circa 1905. “About all the business blocks and residences built in Berne since that time that required the plans of an architect were drawn up by him and many of them were built by him, especially the business blocks……He has planned in all twenty-two churches, sixteen school houses, residences he doesn’t know how many, and Lincoln Hall of Bluffton, Ohio, College.”[1] He is attributed with the design and construction supervision of the First Mennonite Church in 1921 in Berne also, which is a well-known architectural treasure, and of which Abraham was a member. It is a large Gothic style church clad in brick which survives to this day, has been added onto, and has a large thriving congregation. It has seating for 2,000, a choir loft capacity of 175, and a clear-span design (meaning no interior columns).

As if he wasn’t busy enough, Abe started a company which manufactured cement blocks in 1903, today known as The Artificial Stone Co. In 1924 he became a United States citizen.

I was not one of those people who knew they wanted to become an architect since their childhood years but rather organically found my way to the profession. Once there however, it was somehow comforting to know that maybe it had been in my genes, or a part of my destiny, all along.

[1] Thirtieth Anniversary Souvenir Edition of the Witness, 1926

Friday, March 11, 2011

156 Church Lane, Bridgehampton

Adjacent to the long gone historic "Gernda" estate, this charming little cottage always catches my eye. Read about it on Patch here:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

462 Captains Neck Lane: Frank Carpenter Raynor

This is a gorgeous estate house just south of Boyesen on the east side of Captains Neck Lane. Designed circa 1900 in the all too common northeast Shingle Style, the house has a symmetrical design with bay window dormers, pedimented porte-cochere, fluted Tuscan style columned front porch, and jerkin-headed north and south projections. There is also a barn, greenhouse, and carriage house, all of which seem to still exist and are in good condition.

This gambrel roofed three story beauty was built by and for Franklin Carpenter Raynor (1856-1920), a house carpenter. He was from Westhampton. In 1882 he married Amy Louise White (1864-1918) which must be a big part of the reason why he left his native Westhampton for Southampton. Amy is a descendant of one of the first settlers of Southampton, John White, and the White family were prominent land owners across the east end. In fact, that is probably how they acquired the land, through Amy’s family. Frank and Amy had seven children, six of which survived: 3 boys and 3 girls. Two of the boys, Lester and Lawrence, also became house carpenters.

The next owners were Grace J. (b. 1885) and John G. (b. 1881) Jacksons. John was a lawyer. When not in Southampton, they lived on East 79th Street in Manhattan. They travelled frequently.
The next owners were known on an international scale. “Ahmet Ertegun ( 1923–2006) was the Turkish founder and president of Atlantic Records, writer of classic blues, pop songs, and served as Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum. Ertegun has been described as "one of the most significant figures in the modern recording industry." He also co-founded the New York Cosmos soccer team of the North American Soccer League.[1] His wife, known as Mica, is a well-known interior designer.

Following the Erteguns, the Michaelcheck’s owned this lovely home. Bill is a Wall Street titan, and his wife, Pam, has been very involved with the very worthy local charity, the Fresh Air Home.

Property Owners (incomplete):
Susan B. Margules/Steinhardt & John Steinhardt, 1991 – present
William Michaelcheck, 1987-1991
Ahmet & Ioana M. Ertegun, 1968-1987
John G. & Grace J. Jackson, 1939-1968
Mrs. Frank C. Raynor, before 1902-1939
Heirs of Eli White (Henry E. White, Fanny L. White, Nellie M. White, & Sarah A. Rose)
Eli White
[1] Wikipedia

Monday, March 7, 2011

Current Happenings

Maybe it’s me, but as spring approaches I seem to be aware of more and more activity. Lately, three projects in the early permitting process have caught my attention. If I had time I’d go to more of the various board meetings, but at least one can always watch them after the fact via the village’s website.
Polo Club (52, 54, 58 David White’s Lane): Awhile back (before the creation of this blog), a condominium project was approved for this site between the Land Rover Dealership and the historic house to its east. Construction had begun and foundations had been installed when the project then came to a stop…………for a long time. The site became an eyesore with overgrowth and some dumping activity….. I think even a poor deer or two got trapped in one of the foundations. But now there is a flurry of activity. Farrell Building Company has gotten involved and the site is being cleaned up. The project is now in front of the Planning Board again for renewed permits. We’ll see what transpires next. It’s on their agenda tonight, at 6pm. Agenda item #1.
220 Hampton Road: This has been a mostly vacant property since forever, and of course, my curiosity about the property’s history is now peaked. In fact, the entire eastern half of the block, including this property, used to belong to John H. Goodale, and there used to be a house up near the street, in line with the buildings on each side of it. J. H. Goodale (b. 1855) was a landscape gardner, a Fire Department Chief and Trustee, and a likely descendant of one of the village’s most prominent citizen’s Capt. Charles Goodale, who owned the State and Nationally registered Second Empire style home (with the ugly glass addition on the rear) a bit east of this property. John married late and had no children.

Anyway, I have also always wondered if this property would ever get re-developed and now it seems the rumblings of that action may be occurring. The Planning Board agenda says the matter is only a property boundary clarification and land transfer issue, but I still suspect near future building endeavors. What do you think should happen with that property? The also, is on the Planning Board agenda tonight, at 6pm. Agenda item #2.

59 Pierpont: The owners of this home wish to put a second story on the house and some of the neighbors are not too happy about that. I LOVE when the neighbors participate in the process! Kudos! This neighborhood has lovely homes, but not gigantic and some of the neighbors believe that adding a second floor over the center/main portion of the house will make it one of the largest on the street, and thus disparate with the character of the neighborhood. In fact, this house’s existing first floor area is already larger than many other nearby homes, so multiplying that by 2 will physically make the house appear twice as large, no matter what the actual habitable area numbers may be. Remember though, that the owners don’t need a variance to build a second floor, only to build a second floor whose second story front wall aligns with the existing first story front wall, because that does not conform, by just under 3 feet, with current setbacks. I think the real issue here is that, again, people are allowed to build much larger houses on smaller lots ever since the code was changed circa 2006, and as more and more people catch onto this they don’t like it, especially in the more local, quasi-seasonal parts of the village. I think someone should put together a photo montage to demonstrate the scale consequence here, rather than to rely on the board’s familiarity with the neighborhood. The application was adjourned on February 24th so that neighbors could have more time to review the building department file.

So those are the happenings around town that caught my attention just by the display of a sign out front and/or activity on the site. But I always am peeking at the agendas and videos available online. That sure is a nice convenience.

Friday, March 4, 2011

ARB Meeting Summary, March 14, 2011

As usual you can find my recap of the latest ARB meeting for Patch by clicking on this link: The Wooldon Manor wall near the Bathing Corp. was reviewed, and I learned a little bit more about the house near the south end of Coopers Neck Pond.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Crescent Moon Cut-Out

While perusing new ARB applications recently, I came across a house with window shutters that had a crescent moon pattern cut-out. I couldn’t help but chuckle. Shutters are lovely adornments to homes which come in a variety of patterns and styles, and yes, with a lot of little cut-out embellishment options. Anchors, clovers, horse heads, acorns, apples, pine trees, and many more profile choices are available when choosing to add a little extra something to your house’s shutter design. But did you know that the crescent moon’s pattern is most often associated with ………………the outhouse???

While there aren’t many surviving outhouses anymore, sure enough, more than a few have the crescent moon cut-out on the door. Some theories postulate its purpose was to let in light. Others say it was the right shape to grab as a door handle, whether from the inside or out, prior to the inexpensive availibility of actual hardware. Another even older theory claims the crescent shape was a female symbol, while the star or sunburst was a male symbol. But the males’ privies weren’t as well maintained and fewer survived, leaving us with far more outhouses with the crescent moon pattern on the door.

Little cut-out patterns are sweet embellishments no matter where they are located, and while I am familiar with the origins of the crescent moon cut-out, I won’t hold it against any owners who find their own reasons to assign it to a feature of their house. I’m sure we could think of many other things that have made similar transitions, from awkward assignments, to those celebrated.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Remnants of Agriculture on County Road 39

There are more than two structures that evoke the agricultural past of Southampton along County Road 39, but I've highlighted two of my favorite barns in this next post written for Patch: