Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Street Residence: 111 Powell Avenue

Front View (Southeast), Present Day
Yes, our village has a street named Henry Street, but the home that is the subject of this blog post was built for Henry Street on Powell Avenue.  (There’s a “Who’s on First” sort-of skit in there somewhere, right?)

The little yellow house at 111 Powell Avenue was built about 1897 on a street created after the arrival of the Long Island Railroad in 1877 and on which the railroad station and lumber yard were located. It has been for sale for a while but doesn’t currently seem listed (I searched the internet briefly, looking for interior images). It’s a charming little house in a neighborhood where most of the houses are still relatively small and were built by house carpenters, just like this one. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,436 square feet of living area.

Technically, it is a one-and-a-half story home that is cruciform in plan. Its primary asymmetrical north-south gable is flanked by matching cross gables to the east and west. Some of its windows have been replaced, and several little one-story appendages have been added over the years. There is a stockade fence dividing the 4/10ths acre property in half, but there is no pool, only a crumbling barn/garage in the back yard.
East View, Present Day
After acquiring the property from Ullman R. & Ida W. Havens, Henry Eldridge Street (1849-1918), a house carpenter, built this home for his son Harry and his wife, Grace Burling. Born in Sag Harbor, Henry married Ella Jane Hurlburt (1854-1930) of Connecticut in 1872 and moved to Brooklyn in the early 1900s before ultimately settling in Glen Head, New York (Town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County, Long Island). In addition to Harry, Henry and Ella had five other children, but only their two daughters, Isabel and Mabel, would live beyond 1910. Isabel became Mrs. George Court (A street married a court….hmmm.). Mabel, who graduated with honors from the Union school here in Southampton Village (demolished, was located on Windmill Lane), became a public school teacher.

Not owning the house terribly long, in late 1911 the Street’s sold the house to John Okuniewicz (b.1879) and his family. Judging by John’s last name, you would be right in assuming that John was a Russian-Polish immigrant. The local Polish church and community was also located conveniently around the corner from this home. The Okuniewicz family owned the home for the next 40 years.  John and his four sons held a variety of jobs around the estate district of the village, from chauffeur to gardner, and of course, house carpenter.  I have been fortunate to meet the descendants of other local Polish immigrant families that held similar positions and had valuable oral histories and photos to share of surviving Southampton estates.
From 1952 to 2004 the home was owned by other local Polish families, the Adamczyks and Marczaks, until being sold in 2004.

Southwest Elevation, Present Day

Thursday, September 6, 2012

32 Armande Street Has Been Demolished

Since about 2009 I have been the Thanksgiving chef for my family and I have found that it takes at least three to four days to make a really great Thanksgiving dinner.......but only about 20 minutes to eat it!

8am this morning.
Not to make light of this situation (and coupled with the fact that life is not worth living if we are angry and frustrated too much of the time), but similarly the house at 32 Armande, which was built for Madame Armande Kleisler circa 1910, was the reason for creating and naming the street on which it was located, stood for more than 100 years in our community, took about 7 hours today to completely demolish.

RIP Madame Armande.

To read the history of the house, prior to its demise, check out my post about it last April, here:

4pm this afternoon.
The east facing front elevation of the home, now lost.

The house and summer kitchen, now lost.