Friday, July 29, 2011

A New Restaurant Coming to 200 North Sea Road?

Rumor has it, the lovely old brick building pictured above at 200 North Main Street, may become a new restaurant! The building is on the northeast corner of North Sea Road and Prospect Street and has really great old character. It was built before 1902 and used to be one of the Suffolk Light, Heat & Power Co. locations. If you look closely, you can see the lintels in the brickwork identifying where the original doors and window openings were.

I say it would be a great restaurant, but what do I know? I just love the idea of this building being adaptively reused and vital to the community again. It seems to have ample parking and be in a great location, even though North Sea Road can be awfully congested at times, but such is life in a popular Village. Yes, naysayers will proclaim that the village has enough restaurants, many of which can’t fill their seats during the winter. And again, I am not in the restaurant business, but isn’t there always room for another choice, and for healthy competition? It’s exciting news. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Exciting News for Windmill Lane

Many of you may not realize this, but behind the defunct building at 22 Windmill Lane, near the bicycle store, is an amazingly intact 18th century residence built by Henry Rhodes circa 1760. It was originally located on the northeast corner of Main Street and Hampton Road but was moved in the early 1920s, just before the new Southampton Town Hall - or as we know it, the Saks building - was built there. That's also when the storefront facade was added on. Its interior is full of Georgian style cabinetry and detailing, the Georgian style having been popular in English speaking countries from 1720-1840.

The building has been essentially abandoned and neglected for years but nonetheless survives. Its owner and other preservation-minded saviors on the east end have never stopped brainstorming about its rejuvenation but funding obstacles were always an issue.

Alas, the village is stepping in to save the day! On July 20th the Southampton Press published an article proclaiming plans for the Rhodes house to become the new Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Apparently, they have wanted larger accommodations for awhile now and adaptive reuse will give them just that. They will stay in their existing location, but the building they are in, a non-contributing/non-historic structure, will be demolished, and the Rhodes house will be relocated there and rehabilitated for its new use.

This is amazing and wonderful news! Hooray for historic preservation, for adaptive reuse, for all those that pushed for the realization of this project, and for the Southampton Chamber of Commerce!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Enstine's!

The gas station on Hill Street turns 98 today! Happy Birthday Enstine’s! It is wonderful to have such a thriving family business survive in our Village after all these years.
The Milton P. Enstein & Son Inc. gas station may have been in business since 1913, but the property, at 635 Hill Street (just west of Captains Neck Lane, on the north side of Hill Street), has been in the family longer than that. The Enstine family goes “way back” in Southampton, at least to John Henry Enstine (1792-1841). John Henry Enstine married Anna Reeve – which is how the Enstine family obtained the property. Anna’s father was Thomas, who inherited the property from his father John, who acquired it from Prudence Foster, the widow of Joseph Foster, who left it to her in 1767. I wonder if any of the existing homes to the east are from the old farmstead.

Back to the Enstines, John and Anna had a son by the same name as well as others. John Henry the 2nd (1840-1924) married a daughter of the Fanning family in 1850 and they had 10 children together, one of them John Henry the 3rd (1886-1958). He did not have children, so his brother, Simon Milton Perigo Enstine (1888-1951), inherited the property and business.

Like most other families, the Enstines had farming roots before the invention of the automobile changed their destiny.

In 1894 it was reported that some children were playing with matches on the property and accidentally set fire to a pile of oats next to a barn. The barn immediately caught fire, and while fireman responded quickly, the barn was not able to be saved. There were many other accessory structures on the property – which you can see by the detail of the 1902 map I’ve included, but none of them were threatened. Phew!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

65 Prospect Street: The Residence of Walter Franklin Havens

Sorry about the snowy pictures. With all the lovely and warm summer weather we have been enjoying, maybe the winter images will cool you off and make you relish every moment of the warm weather even more, before it passes by so quickly.

I took this property’s photos during the winter because I have always admired it and have been planning to write about it for some time. It’s also a street I happen to drive on often.

This lovely home and carriage house was built for Walter F. Havens III (1828-1911) in the late 1800s. He and his brother, Daniel Shepard Havens, inherited both sides of Prospect Street between North Sea Road and Main Street circa 1875 from their father, Walter F. Havens Jr. at which time I’m not even sure Prospect Street existed. In 1882 they subdivided the property into about 25 house lots. Daniel S. had an estate on the eastern end of the property, the remnants of which may now be the Seasons catering facility. In addition to being a landlord, he was also known as a merchant and had a “shop” along Main Street.

This house is one of the largest on the street consuming lots 14, 16, and 18 of the subdivision. It is a classic and simple late 1800s two-story farmhouse with a two-story front gabled porch also not uncommon but not prevalent either. It is the porch and its decoration which contribute so significantly to the house’s character.

The carriage house is curious as it is the first I’ve encountered in awhile that wasn’t a symmetrical design or a miniature version of the main house. But this property had other accessory structures associated with it historically which no longer seem to survive. The carriage house has since been converted – appropriately – into a garage and pool house, the pool being added about 2004.

The Havens family, whose ancestors came from Rhode Island, then Shelter Island, were considerable land owners. They owned a lot of property in the village’s estate section, including 40 acres which was sold to Frederic Betts, a builder of some of the first cottage colony homes, as well as in Flanders, Canoe Place, and Water Mill.

Property Owners:
Elizabeth Rad, 2003-present (paid $850k)
Carol Maryan Zoob, 2000-2003 (paid $460k)
Christopher & Cynthia Hamer (formerly Wolak), 1995-2000
Raymond D. & Linda L. Smith, 1985-1995
Henry, Peter, Teddy, Paul & Raymond Tureski, 1973-1985
Paul Tureski, x-1973
Catherine Tureski, 1955-x
Peter Tureski, 1945-1955
Ada H. Wells, from Walter F. Havens III Will (her father)
Walter F. Havens III, 1893-1911
Frederick H. & Annie H. Thompson
Walter F. (iii) & Daniel S. Havens
Walter F. Havens (Jr.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Future of the Art Museum of Southampton

I was visiting the Southampton Village website recently to reference a section of the village building codes and noticed, on the home page, the invitation to take a survey regarding the future of the Parrish Art Museum. Have you noticed this? Have you taken the survey? You should! ( )

The Parrish Art Museum was the first cultural institution built in the downtown area of Southampton Village. Built in 1897 by Grosvenor Atterbury for Samuel Parrish’s collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture, the museum was originally named “The Art Museum of Southampton.” (Now that the museum seems to be taking Sam’s name with them out of the village, I wonder if it’s name should revert back….?) The museum’s entry was originally via footpath off of Main Street. Later, after two additions – also by Atterbury in 1902 and 1913 – the main entry was changed to the new brick clad loggia off of Jobs Lane.

The building - in the heart of downtown - will soon be vacant as the museum is moving east, next door to Duck Walk Vineyard in Water Mill in 2012. So what should it become?

On Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 5:00 p.m., there will be a presentation/meeting at the police station on Windmill Lane regarding the future of the Parrish Building. Village officials and Webb Consulting will be seeking community feedback and discussing various options. After you take the survey on the village’s website, you should attend the meeting to provide your opinion about what uses should occupy this historic village structure, and what community needs it should fulfill. I know for me, the preservation and vitality of that structure is very important.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

"It is forbidden to disfigure external decorations on private buildings through modern additions, and to spoil historic buildings in an important town out of avarice and the desire to make money."

Theodosius, Valentinianus, Arcadius [309 AD]
Quoted by Anthony Crosby in the APT Bulletin [1987]