Wednesday, September 7, 2011

550 Hill Street, "Hanhausen Cottage"

This quintessential two-story Colonial style cottage in the middle section of Hill Street (short for "the road to Shinnecock Hills") was built circa 1910 for Oswald Hanhausen. It sits on a lovely piece of property, with a nice set-back from the road in front, and a nice swath of yard in the back; a far cry from those properties currently maxing-out their square-footages and leaving little real propyard or garden remaining. The simple gabled form of the building, its two-over-two windows, and its symmetricality give it a charming character. And the choice of traditional lanterns on each side of the main entry, and the addition of a simple trellis overtop, add nice embellishment while also meeting practical needs.
Oswald (b.1854) and wife Marie (1865-1945) Hanhausen were both French born and arrived in the United States in the mid 1880s. They had one daughter and three sons. Oswald was a coachman and then an estate "overseer," but he must have been hard-working and appreciated because his wife was able to pass on a proud inheritance to her children in 1945.
The home stayed in the Hanhausen family for over 60 years and was a popular rental in the 30s by such people as Mrs. Raymond J. Schweizer, Mr. & Mrs. Bingham W. Morris, and Mr. & Mrs. H. Jackson Starke.
For nearly 20 years the property was owned by the well-known artist, Robert Zakanitch. "Robert Rahway Zakanitch was born in New Jersey in 1935 and studied at the Newark School of Industrial and Fine Arts working as a commercial artist for a New York-based advertising company. After leaving the commercial arts world in the mid 1960s, Zakanitch worked in an Abstract Expressionist style. While he retained some of the spontaneous, gestural qualities of this style, his later work.....became more representational." (
Rumor has it the current owner wants to tear the house down. How sad.

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