Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
This is only the fifth time I have done a “Before and After” and most of the time I haven’t really been a fan of the outcome. But this time I am showing you an example of a ‘Before & After’ that, in my opinion has had a positive outcome. Not perfect, but positive nonetheless.
Located on the northeast corner of Wooley Street and Hampton Road, this eclectic Colonial style home was built circa 1910 and is a two story three bay home with symmetrical composition and center entry. The windows on the front are almost exactly as they used to be, except that the double hung windows used to have a 9 over 1 divided light pattern (which I found charming) and they now have a 6 over 1 pattern. I am so glad the new owners chose to keep the arched 3rd story dormer windows and main entry porch with elliptical arch supported by paired slender columns (even though the sidelights to the
entry door were replaced with wood panels) as I find both very attractive and essential to the street façade’s appearance. However, the center window on the 2nd story, both on the front and back, was made shorter. I understand the desire to raise its sill above levels of predictable snow accumulation, but wish they could have remained a little longer so as to remain more proportionally in-line with the windows on either side and not to draw attention to themselves. I also wish the arched windows on the side elevations hadn’t been removed and replaced with ordinary double-hung windows.
There were four coniferous trees in the front yard that were removed, which is a shame but sometimes necessary due to the dangerous proximity of the trees’ roots to the house’s foundation, and sometimes due to the poor health of the trees. And I find it the choice of the color for the asphalt roofing curious; now it coordinates well with the natural color of the shingle siding. Do they plan to stain the shingles? If not, they will weather to a brown or grey, depending on how they are treated, whereas the asphalt
roofing will stay tan.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The two story Colonial style house sits on the east side of North Main Street but its main entry door faces south, a common trend in Colonial days. It has a center hallway and symmetrical interior chimneys. Its pedimented entry trimwork and corner boards are likely 20th century modifications. Its rear wing is an early addition and was enlarged more recently. There is an accessory garage which seems contemporary, but there was a large barn associated with the property which I believe still exists but has been converted to a residence and belongs to an adjacent owner to the rear.
While the property is thought to have been originally developed in the 1700s, I was only able to trace the chain of title to Caleb & Maria R. Halsey and so I will start there. Caleb (1794-1881) was a direct descendant of Thomas Halsey, (1592-1678) one of the first European settlers to arrive in Southampton circa 1640. The Halsey family “was of high social position” in England. Caleb’s family were farmers and they tended their land, which years ago encompassed much more area, stretching north to Layton Avenue and east to Hildreth Street, until 1950 when Carrie L. Wilde acquired the property from the Halsey heirs outright. Sometime before then it was split in half, with the eastern portion along Hildreth Street owned by a Real Estate company, and acquired by Ms. Wilde in 1947.
Carrie L. Wilde was the wife of Anthony Wilde. Anthony was partners with Arthur Havens in a joint real estate company named Havens & Wilde. The Havens were notorious real estate brokers and land owners in Southampton Village history. So you see the story coming together here. While Charles Selden Halsey inherited the farm from his father, and left the property to his heirs, Carrie L. Wilde was somehow able to step into the inheritance. But the Halsey heirs and Ms. Wilde co-owned the property for 38 years before she owned it outright, and then she passed it to her heirs who owned it for the next 28 years. So you have to imagine that both the Halseys and the Wilde’s were quite smitten with their property, as I would have been too. But it does leave room for questions.
The current owner is Henry Koehler, the renown American equestrian painter. I had the privilege of meeting him earlier this year and touring his house. He is a charismatic gentleman and I would have enjoyed spending the whole day with him, so easy to talk to, so charming, and filled with stories about his experiences and collections. He is also very proud of the heritage of his home which will hopefully be passed to his children one day, assuring its careful survival for many more years.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Halsey Neck Lane: “Named after David Halsey (1663-1731)…” Again, if you were a regular reader of this blog you would know David Halsey built the lovely home on the northeast corner of Moses Lane and Hill Street that was featured in this year’s house tour coordinated by the Southampton Historical Museum. It’s one of my favorites.
Job’s Lane: “An original 1640 Southampton settler, Job Sayre owned land in the vicinity of the Parrish Art Museum. A path here, created by cows, became known as Job’s Lane.”