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!

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