Beautiful Sag Harbor Home Was Never the Summer White House


20 Union Street, Sag Harbor, is a beautiful, historic home, no doubt about it, especially since it’s been given a makeover for the 21st century by one of our favorite designers, Steven Gambrel. But as sticklers for historical accuracy, we feel compelled to point out that the claim that the place was President Chester A. Arthur’s summer home or “Summer White House” is a stretch. As our colleague Brian Cudzilo explained last year, while Arthur was close friends with the house’s owner, whaler and New York Police Commissioner Stephen French, “it wouldn’t be too far fetched to assume that Arthur might have made a trip or two out to his good friend’s Sag Harbor home–where French still maintained various business interests and to which he escaped from New York summers. To call the home the president’s ‘Summer Retreat,’ however, might be a stretch.”

The property was most recently sold in March, 2014, for $3.5 million to Jürgen Friedrich, the former European CEO of Esprit, and his wife Anke, who seem to have a passion for doing up houses. They then put the place through a total overhaul. Now, for example, the finished basement includes a media room and wine cellar.

We absolutely adore the black kitchen (which Gambrel is known for), but we wonder if it’s too different to appeal to most people. We love that Gambrel and the owners just went for it, instead of pushing the easy white marble button, as it were, but could be holding the place back a bit, as could the black bathroom. Isn’t the yacht-style bathroom fab, too?

In all, there is 5,900 square feet of space (quite large for Sag Harbor village), with 6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. The 0.34-acre plot includes a gunite pool, which is coveted on the small plots in the village.

The Friedrichs listed the property in 2016 asking $14.2 million, and then listed again last autumn for $13.5 million, where the price is today. It’s repped by Rima Mardoyan Smyth and Ryan Struble of Douglas Elliman.

Too high? Worth it? Let us know in the comments.

For more, click here. 20 Union Street, Sag Harbor