The historic Windmill House in Amagansett, where Marilyn Monroe stayed with her then husband Arthur Miller, is newly listed for sale at $11.5 million with Douglas Elliman.
The legendary property at 64 Deep Lane, set high on 5.45 acres at Quail Hill, has not been on the sales market since 2017, though it has been rented for the last few years.
Built in the 1850s, the once a functioning windmill pumped water for the working farm. About a century or so later, Samuel Rubin, the founder of Fabergé cosmetics who had an estate on Quail Hill, converted the windmill into a guest house. Bobby Rosenbaum of Douglas Elliman said Rubin added a structure to the back of the tower to make room for a country kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
Throughout the years, many famous faces stayed there, including the novelist Kurt Vonnegut and the actor Terrance Stamp, as well as a number of well-known artists and interior designers. The most well-known is Monroe and her playwright husband, who in 1957, as the story goes, sought refuge there from the prying eyes of New York City press. Rumor has it Monroe studied for her role in 1959’s Some Like It Hot while staying at the Windmill House.
“She would stay at the Stony Hill Farm, but in reality she would shake off the paparazzi because you couldn’t see the windmill from the road,” Rosenbaum says. “She loved it up there,” he says, adding he confirmed that with someone who was good friends with her.
Deborah Ann Light, the heiress to the Upjohn pharmaceutical fortune who was known for philanthropic and preservation work, later bought the property. In the 1990s, she donated the first of 20 acres to the Peconic Land Trust, which is now used as a community farm. Tenants at the Windmill Farm have been known to go down to Quail Hill Farm’s chicken coop and pick their own fresh eggs in the morning.
“Even though we are north of the highway, you do get the whispering sounds of the ocean at night,” Rosenbaum says. The property is just two miles away from Indian Wells and Atlantic beaches.
“It’s magical. I’ve had the pleasure of staying at the windmill a couple of weekends and you do feel the magic,” Rosenbaum says. “The grounds are bucolically beautiful — filled with nature. We don’t have deer fences around the perimeters around the property so we get wild turkey, deer, rabbits — we get it all. That kind of makes it magical, having all these animals roaming around.”
The two-bedroom, one-bath house is about 1,300-square-feet, but what it lacks in space it makes up in character. A brick patio with a sitting area leads to the entrance. An octagon living space on the first floor features wide-plank hardwood floors, exposed beam ceilings and a stairway with a rustic rope banister, Rosenbaum says. The house has been recently renovated, and the bathroom is modern-looking with a marble shower and glass door.
The staircase takes you to a second floor bedroom, which is also an octagon-shape. The main bedroom also features high, beamed ceilings and fits a queen size bed. Up on the third floor, the original windmill’s mechanics remain intact, housed in the exposed rafters of an area now used as a cedar closet. A hand-chiseled brake keeps the windmill’s sails from spinning.
An accessory building, used as a one-room art studio, is also located on the property, along with a separate two-car garage.
The property, with its more than five acres, mostly cleared, offers development opportunity as well. Rosenbaum says a house of up to 20,000 square feet plus could be created in the agricultural-residential zoning.
As is, the house is a great place to quarantine in this age of COVID, because it is so private, he says. “It’s good for two people,” in terms of its size, he says, “It’s a wonderful love nest, which is how Marilyn and Arthur viewed it and used it.”
This Windmill House is not, however, the only Monroe and Miller-related rental available right now. The couple stayed for a week at Squirrel Hall in Springs in the late 1950s. It is listed with Sotheby’s Jenney Landey and Ethan Dayton for $2.475 million.