Wednesday, September 14, 2011

499 Hill Street: The Corrigan Home

Just east of the house featured in my last post, this home was built circa 1910.
In 1909 Mrs. E. J. (Marie) Corrigan purchased 33 acres from Almon L. Drake at what is now the northeast corner of Hill and Corrigan Streets. Almon Lawrence Drake (1834-1921) was a farmer, "marketman," and "huckster" which meant a sort of peddler. Back then, Corrigan Street was named Halsey Street because one of the largest property owners in that area was a Halsey (some things never change). Corrigan Street was opened circa 1880.
The home on this property is in the Colonial Revival style, and there are loads of Colonial Revival examples of architecture in Southampton Village as the style more or less spanned the years between 1880 - 1940, also known to be when the Village really exploded as a summer colony.
This home encompasses two large gambrel roofed volumes assembled in a 'T' configuration and has a symmetrical compostion with shed dormers on the front and sides, six over six windows, and east side porch with a flat roof. I especially like the front entry door decorated by its flanking windows and the brackets under the roof overhangs. I think the home would have had chimneys on both sides of the front of the house, like bookends, but because the house is on a corner, the west elevation was given some dressier embellishments. I also love the windows, which mostly seem original. Notice how all of the panes, or divided lights, are all proportionate to each other, regardless of the overall unit size. These are the little clues I wish more designers and builders would notice and continue. As the saying goes, "God is in the details."
Marie S. Lauinboley Corrigan (b.1872) was French, immigrating to the United States in 1889. In 1899 she married Edward J. Corrigan (b.1869), a New Yorker whose parents were Irish and who was a "pottery salesman" before becoming a mason. Before having this home built, they rented on Bowden Square, with their first son and Marie's mother living with them. They went on to have several other children. I can even think of several vital Corrigan families still on the East End today.
Edward died circa 1925, and in 1933 Marie had her acreage subdivided (of course), but she held on to her corner home until selling it 52 years later, in 1961.
Since 1971 the property has been owned by Bruce R. Grier (b.1935), and it's a mess (sorry Bruce). It was quite a challenge to even get good shots of the home, not because of thick screening surrounding the property, which is often the case, but because of all the "stuff" all over the place, which you can see for yourself in the photos in this post. Many have complained.......to me at least. But the home is an architectural treasure, a gem worth preserving in Southampton Village. Maybe the owner needs some assistance around the house? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and lend him a neighborly hand.

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