Architect-Designed Midcentury Modern in Northern Amagansett
By Laura Euler
May 05, 2017
modern

Looking for a super-cool weekend pied a terre? Here you go. This house was part of architect Richard Bender’s Amenity project in the early 1960s. Weekend Utopia: Modern Living in the Hamptons by Alastair Gordon described Amenity as

… a mini-utopia of modestly-priced summer homes that was built in the woods of the Springs (1960-63). Bender had wanted to build a house in the Hamptons, but couldn’t afford a small piece of property on his own. Together with a number of acquaintances, he purchased a 20-acre lot on Red Dirt Road that was then subdivided into eleven smaller lots. Bender designed his own flat-roofed pavilion as the prototype unit, and variations of this were built around a looping drive “like a cluster of cabanas.” The center of the property was preserved as “common land” with a communal tennis court and wooded area. The Amenity houses were designed using a modular system, standard building part, and prefabricated framing to save costs. The 85o-square foot houses had small sun decks, Japanese-style landscaping, and cost less than $15,000 to build (including furniture and landscaping but without central heating).

All photos via Sotheby’s

This house is now 1500 square feet, with two quite small bedrooms and two baths. It’s been nicely maintained and updated, with a new kitchen sporting “oak cabinetry colorblocked with Bender’s original palette.” Cool features include a midcentury style fireplace and a plywood bathroom sink. Of course there are walls of windows to make the most of the peaceful vistas outside, as well as extensive decking. The 1.23 acres of land includes a spanky freshwater pool with what looks like a tiny cabana next to it.

Sadly, of course, the asking price for the listing, represented by Rylan Jacka and Bayard Fenwick of Sotheby’s, is just a titch higher than $15,000: $2.2 million. Since the place is sui generis, hard to say whether it’s worth the ask, but it just might strike someone’s fancy enough to put in an offer.

For more, click here. 233 Red Dirt Road, Amagansett

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