Behind The Hedges 20.02.2019 06:33 New Photos of Old Southampton at the Rogers Mansion

News & Features

New Photos of Old Southampton at the Rogers Mansion
February 19, 2019
Starting Saturday, March 2, the Rogers Mansion will display an entirely new set of historic photos from the Morris Studio Collection. George W. Morris began taking professional photos in 1892 when he opened his photography studio on Main Street in Southampton. When the shop closed in 2017, over 10,000 glass plate negatives were discovered hidden in the basement. This exhibit includes more than 70 framed photographs taken at the studio spanning over 100 years. Among the photographs are local historic landmarks and family portraits. The public is invited to the opening reception for this new installation on Saturday, March 2, 4-6 PM, at the Rogers Mansion. The Morris Studio, which operated in the same familiar building on the east side of Main Street from 1898 until 2017, actually opened six years earlier in 1892 when photographer George W. Morris  (1871-1959)set up shop above Madame Juliette's Millinery Shop on the other side of the street. Morris came to Southampton at the age of 21 from Sayville where he had apprenticed in photography. An up-and-coming resort for the affluent, Southampton seemed like a good bet for an up-and-coming photographer. Morris was a master of his craft in an era when images were still being captured on glass plates by a very complex process. Because it was essential that the plates be kept moist, Morris would float them in a sticky essence of coffee. [caption id="attachment_71009" align="alignnone" width="662"] Two Women of Fashion on a Bench, c. 1895
The highly styled costumes of these two ladies reveal their attendance at an afternoon reception. Strings of pearls and ostrich feathers, seen in the fan on the left and on the hat on the right, were popular during the Belle Epoque at the end of the Victorian era.[/caption] For studio portraits, Morris liked to use the natural light from a large skylight, which came crashing to the floor in the 1938 hurricane. Out in the field with his primitive camera, Morris captured priceless views of Southampton's dirt roads, vintage automobiles, landmarks and long-gone citizens engaged in forgotten pursuits. Back in his darkroom, he mixed his own chemicals to produce the images that are our best record of Southampton at the turn of the last century. [caption id="attachment_71008" align="alignnone" width="750"] Boarding House with Proprietors, c. 1880
This unidentified photo may be a promotion for a Southampton boarding house. The couple stand on the lawn with their dog and pony. The windows are open and do not have insect screens, which are not needed near the ocean. On the right a pillow on the front porch steps suggests leisure time and on the left a quilt drying in the sun advertises cleanliness.[/caption] Following in their father's footsteps, sons Wilton and Douglas Morris later took over the business and proved nimble negotiators of the rapid advances in photography. When Douglas Morris retired, the business continued under the ownership of Jim Thomason, but his efforts and those of his son who followed him were gradually overwhelmed by the realities of the digital age. The Morris Studio building survives at 72 Main Street as the Henry Lehr retail store; the collection of photographs is now owned by Jim Thomason's son Neal Thomason.   [caption id="attachment_71010" align="alignnone" width="684"] Ron Winters Orchestra, c. 1936 The identification and date of this photo in the Morris Collection is unusual--most of them are not labeled. The band members were good at multi-tasking with clarinets ready at the feet of the saxophone players and an unclaimed standing microphone near the pianist. [/caption]
The Incredibly Glam 6 Olde Towne Lane Is in Contract
February 18, 2019
Glamorous. Luxurious. Sumptuous. Also? Enormous! One of the properties in Keane Development's Olde Towne enclave is now in contract. The 23,000 square foot house boasts every feature a buyer could dream of, including an indoor basketball full court and a rooftop putting green. 3.84 acres of rolling green lawns includes a 60 x 30 gunite pool and of course tennis. And, of course, the asking price was a similarly hefty $35 million. The house is glam enough for any Hollywood star, with decorating by Tony Ingrao. Check out the glass staircase in the foyer, the black stone fireplace in the formal living, and the high ceiling in the family room. Of course there are two kitchens: a family kitchen and one professional kitchen. There's also a kitchen in the staff quarters and a kitchenette in the pool house. So just adding up, there are 4 kitchens and 16 bathrooms in toto. Luxe! In the main part of the house, there are 9 bedrooms, all ensuite. Of course the master is the best, as well as the master bath. There's also staff quarters featuring a full kitchen, sitting room, 2 bedrooms ensuite and an outdoor terrace with dining areas. In the lower level is the basketball court, as well as a home theatre, gym, spa area with juice bar, bath, sauna, steam and massage rooms as well as entertainment lounge with full bar. (Because there just aren't enough places to entertain elsewhere? Oh, we kid.) Moving outside, check out the sunken firepit and the pool house. And last but not least, the rooftop putting green. The listing is repped by Gary DePersia and Tim Davis at Corcoran, Michaela Keszler and Erica Grossman of Douglas Elliman, and Harald Grant and Bruce Grant of Sotheby's. DePersia also brought the buyer. Well done to all, and new homeowner, you know where to send our evite for the housewarming. For more, click here. 6 Olde Towne Lane, Southampton
A Nicely Done Georgica Renovation Fails to Realize Any Profit
February 15, 2019
Back in 2014, this East Hampton property, with 3.5 acres of sumptuous landscaping by Ed Hollander, along with a 7,700-square-foot, 7 bedroom house, pool, and tennis, was listed for $11.9 million. The interiors were suffering a bit from the 90s (see below). After some price cuts, the property sold in 2015 for $9.5 million. It then was renovated and brought up to date with new decorating, new kitchen, new baths, and the lower level was made into a media room. Great. The property was then listed in April 2018 asking $12.9 million, repped by James Petrie at Compass. There was one price cut of $1 million, and then the property went into contract in January this year. It closed February 1. Final price? $9.5 million. Unfortunately, the market is slow. The new buyer got a deal, we think. The place looks great now. And, again, this is 3.5 acres in a prime location. There is a 60' pool and pool house with sauna, a tennis court with a pavilion, an apple orchard, and specimen trees. To the seller: well done on the renovations. To the buyer: congrats, you got a great deal. For more, click here. 15 Ruxton Road, East Hampton
Amagansett Lanes Fixer-Upper Sells in 9 Days
February 14, 2019
This listing intrigued us because of the quick sale. We're not sure why it sold so fast: the interiors are definitely tired and it's not cheap enough for a teardown. Guess it was just some combination of the right location, right price, and right buyer. Location is very good, in the peaceful, pleasant Lanes, just north of Bluff Road and an easy walk to the beach. Asking price was $4.5 million. There's a pool out back and a cute pool house, too, on a reasonable (for the area) 0.61 of an acre. What we'd do if we were buying would be gut the interiors, which are a bit dated. We'd close up some spaces like the below open up the kitchen and dining and finish the lower level. As the house is now, there are 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. We'd change some of the windows and add a pergola with flowering vines to the rear. Given that new builds can run to $7 million in the same area, we'd say there's room there for upside potential. The property is repped by William Wolff and Robin Bender at Elliman. Well done to all, and congrats to the new owner! For more, click here. 117 Atlantic Ave, Amagansett
Westhampton Beach's Grassmere Inn Is for Sale
February 13, 2019
The well regarded Grassmere Inn B&B in Westhampton Beach has come on the market. Asking price for the 14-guestroom inn is $2.55 million, which is set on 1.03 of an acre of land. This place seems ripe for gentrification/hipsterification. There's plenty of space in the 1885 Italianate mansion; in addition to the guestrooms, there's a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and an owner's apartment with a separate living room, bedroom, and bathroom. There's also a 2,100-square-foot "sports loft" (nope, us neither) which offers three bedrooms, two living rooms, and six bathrooms. (The owners also run a successful tennis camp.) There's no pool, but there's clearly space for one out back. However, this looks to be mostly parking: we wonder if the place could be relandscaped to involve parking in front, which would allow for a pool in back. Or, and we're definitely not sure about this, perhaps the "sports loft," which looks to be built onto the back, could be knocked down for pool space. The property, repped by Adriana Jurcev at Douglas Elliman, is well-sited; it's within easy walking distance of Main Street, with restaurants, the WHBPAC, and so on. What do you think? Looking for a project? For more, click here. 7 Beach Lane, Westhampton Beach
Ten Questions for Paul Brennan
February 12, 2019
Paul Brennan has seen it all in his 40 years in the business. A Hamptons native, Brennan was mentored by legendary broker Allan Schneiderman; he then co-founded Braverman Newbold Brennan, later sold to Sotheby's. In 1999, the year Brennan joined Douglas Elliman, he was instrumental in establishing the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund in 1999, which has collected more than $1 billion in revenue to preserve land in the five East End towns. Where did you grow up? How long had your family lived there? I'm a Bridgehampton local. My mom's side has been here since 1640. My dad's, relative newcomers, have been here since 1910. How did you wind up in the Hamptons? I'm the son of a potato farmer, and my maternal roots can be traced all the way back to the founding of Southampton in 1640. It's in my DNA! What did you do before you were an agent? I attended Mercy High School in Riverhead, and then went to Assumption College in Massachusetts. After college, I ventured out to Sydney, Australia, to play professional basketball with the Bankstown Bruins for two seasons. Otherwise, I've spent most of my life living and working here in my beloved hometown. What do you like to do in your spare time? I'm fortunate enough to be doing it! Real estate and showing up for my two children and the people I love. If you weren't an agent, what would be your dream job? Wouldn't it be wonderful to be a farmer who made money? What are some of the best things about being an agent in the Hamptons? It's a real pleasure to be in a position to develop mutually beneficial relationships with wonderful people whom I otherwise would perhaps never get to meet. What are some of the drawbacks of being an agent?  Unsatisfactorily attempting to build relationships with difficult people I wish I would never have to meet! Seriously, it's a great life and I'm blessed to be able to work with the best people in the business. What's the best advice you ever got, personally or professionally? Getting to the top is hard work, and 90 percent of a successful life is just showing up for it. What do you think of the Hamptons real estate market right now? Currently the real estate market is in a paradoxical state. The economic forecast has been positive and yet the buyers appear hesitant to forge ahead with confidence. Time will tell, but the Hamptons have historically been a strong market and I'm confident. Do you think 2019 will be a good year in real estate? Why or why not? I do think 2019 will be a good year. I feel there is a great deal of unrealized demand to coincide with more realistically adjusted prices. I'm sure there will come a point where the buyers will return with renewed vigor.
A Jewelry Designer's Water Mill Compound Is Cut $5.9 Million
February 11, 2019
The Hamptons real estate market right now is just like Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812: cutting! Slashing! Prices falling faster than the battle of Smolensk! Asks retreating like the Grande Armée!  Wait, where were we? Right. This appealing 3.8 acre property is on Burnett's Creek (right off Mecox Bay). The asking price has recently been slashed to $20 million, down from $25.9 million, quite a jump. We think you get a lot for your 20 large. Check it out: That's pretty swell, actually. As are each building in the compound. We're a little annoyed that there are no interior shots of the main house, but given this place belongs to well known (and tasteful) jewelry designer Joan Hornig, we're sure they're attractive. The main house is 7200 square feet, with 5 bedrooms and 7.5 baths. In the kitchen, "reclaimed hexagonal ceramic tile was imported from a French pub." The pool house boasts a second-floor studio with a screened in dining room, kitchenette, barbeque, and an additional two-car garage. The barn would be great for parties. It was rebuilt in 2012 from the original barn on the property, located in the same spot. There's a full kitchen here too with a La Cornue stove, a custom sound system, and a conservatory imported from England.   There are also two guest cottages, both with living rooms with fireplaces, full kitchens, dining rooms, two bedrooms each, and two full bathrooms. The two-story cottage also sports a half bath and a screened-in porch. Still not enough? The landscaping was beautifully done by Ed Hollander. The plantings are lovely, and there's even an apple cider orchard that surrounds the tennis court. Oh, did we mention the two docks for your water toys? If interested, contact the folks at Bespoke, who listed the estate. We bet even Napoleon Bonaparte would enjoy summering here. For more, click here. 675 Flying Point Road, Water Mill
Springs Is Hot in a Cool Market: And Here's a New Record Price
February 08, 2019
We've been noticing for a while now that Springs prices have been heating up. Unfortunately, this is difficult to quantify easily, as none of the brokerage market reports breaks Springs into its own category. (Town & Country, which provides fairly granular data, distinguishes between "East Hampton Area," which includes Wainscott, and "East Hampton Village." Corcoran too only singles out East Hampton Village.) And why not? In a market known for sky-high prices, Springs is one of the most affordable areas east of the canal. This new-build has just set a record for non-waterfront new construction. It closed last Friday (2/1) at $1.975 million. And, showing there's a hunger for family-friendly new builds at this price point, the property was listed Labor Day weekend (at $1.999 million), in contract by Thanksgiving, and closed before Presidents Day. Ed Bruehl at Saunders, who listed the property with Saunders' Jennifer Brew, told us, "The house was designed right, built well, located perfectly and priced correctly." The house was completed within seven months of breaking ground. Builder Taylor Stuart Herman of TSH Development initially opposed Ed Bruehl's asking price suggestion of just under $2 million, but relented. Herman says that while many builders shy away from this price level, they see opportunity. So let's take a look at the property! The house, which features covered porches front and rear, is a traditional shingled style. There's 3280 square feet, with 4 bedrooms, including one on the ground floor, and 4 baths. The lower level is not finished, but offers high ceilings and egress, so in the future another 1600 square feet could be added to the house. Everything inside is pleasant and simple, with an attractive kitchen and bathrooms. There's a separate garage on the 1.08 acre of land, and of course a gunite pool. Well done to all involved and congrats to the new owners. For more, click here. 24 Wildflower Road, East Hampton
Christie Brinkley Finally Sells in North Haven
February 07, 2019
Just about two years ago, supermodel Christie Brinkley put her stunning 1843 Greek Revival in North Haven up for sale, asking $25 million. Since then, the price has been trimmed gradually, and now it's in contract, at a last ask of $18 million. Listing agent Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman told us that the house needs work, or otherwise he'd ask $40 million for it. Did the buyer get a good deal? [embed mce-style="width: 825px;"][/embed]   [caption id="attachment_60976" align="alignnone" width="750"] All photos by Jake Rajs, courtesy Douglas Elliman[/caption] The property is 4.5 acres, including 327 feet of sandy beach overlooking the harbor, yachts, sailboats, and open bay. There are lovely gardens and a gunite pool overlooking the water. The beautiful three-story house includes many period details: columned facades, the wide-plank pine floors, and multiple fireplaces. There are five bedrooms and 5.5 baths in 5500 square feet, and the master suite sports its own sitting room and terrace for taking in the breathtaking views. [caption id="attachment_60981" align="alignnone" width="750"] 1 Fahys Rd, Sag Harbor, NY[/caption] [caption id="attachment_60980" align="alignnone" width="750"] 1 Fahys Rd, Sag Harbor, NY[/caption] [caption id="attachment_60979" align="alignnone" width="750"] 1 Fahys Rd, Sag Harbor, NY[/caption] [caption id="attachment_60978" align="alignnone" width="750"] 1 Fahys Rd, Sag Harbor, NY[/caption] One thing we know: if we were buying the place, we'd make a deal for any of Christie's furniture or antiques she'd part with. We love her taste. It's known as the Benjamin Payne house, after its first owner. It all began in 1843 when carpenter and sometime whaling captain Benjamin Crowell Payne build the house. Payne was born in 1813 in North Haven and died in 1879 in North Haven. (These days he's a resident of Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor.) He lived on Sunset Beach Road before building the house on Fahys Road. As a carpenter, Payne was involved with the building of at least four other houses in North Haven. The brother of whaling captain Charles Watson Payne, Benjamin was also involved in the whale trade, serving as the captain of the ship Henry Lee from 1845-47. He and his wife Amanda were the parents of six surviving children. By April 1911, Payne's heirs were ready to sell the place. Henry C. Ham purchased the estate for $12,000, with the idea of opening a hotel. Ham was a hotelier by trade, owner of the Nassau Hotel in Sag Harbor. With summer tourists increasing and steamboats running between New York, Connecticut and Sag Harbor, he thought the area could support another hotel. Ham had plans drawn up to remodel the house into a modem summer hotel with an extension in the rear and accommodation for eighty people. He called it the Colonial Hotel In 1920, Ham sold the hotel to Theodore Dixon, who renamed it the Dixon Hotel. He and wife Madeleine Cook (a daughter of Joseph Fahys, owner of the Watchcase Factory) owned the hotel as late as 1934. Later, they turned it back into a private home called Chalot. Brinkley purchased the place for $7.15 million in 2004. Yes, it took a while to sell, but as Morabito says, "The place is just magnificent." We'll be excited to see the next chapter in the long history of this stalwart home. For more, click here. 1 Fahys Road, North Haven
An Enchanting Victorian Cottage in Sag Harbor
February 06, 2019
Sag Harbor must have more cute, charming cottages than any other place in America. And this is one of them. It's a Victorian house (built 1889) that belongs to Greg Therriault, who purchased the property in the 1960s with his partner from descendants of the original owners. Therriault's partner, playwright Joe Pintauro, passed away last year. We think this place is just darling as is and we hope the new owners don't strip away the layers of history and make the interiors into a sterile box. The 2320 square foot house offers three bedrooms and and a half bathrooms. There's also a glassed in sun porch. With 0.21 of an acre of land, there's room for a pool, but the yard also boasts a very pretty pergola, an outdooe shower, and a Gothic carriage house, which used to be a boat house. Mr. Pintauro used the carriage house as a writer's studio, but it could also serve as a pool house. Asking price for the property is $2.25 million, which we think is fair. It's repped by Marilyn Clark at Sotheby's. For more, click here. 49 John Street, Sag Harbor
Handsome Compound with Tunnel in Sagaponack South Now $4 Million Less
February 05, 2019
Ah, it feels like spring today in the Hamptons. Sunny, pleasant temperature, and you hear the slight buzzing noise? That's the sound of prices being chopped everywhere. Such as this property! We've liked it ever since it hit the market: there's a new build with very appealing decorating, and the older house, now a guest house, which can be accessed via a tunnel. But we like the place even more now that it's asking under $9 million instead of $13.25 million! In Sagaponack village, the property is 1.3 acres, which overlooks 25 acres of reserve. The new build sports a gorgeous kitchen, enormous windows, and a finished lower level with wet bar, gym, and a home theater. Outside, of course there's a lovely pool and pool house. The historic guest house is also beautifully renovated, with two bedrooms, two baths, a living room with fireplace and kitchenette. In all, the property offers eight bedrooms, eight baths, and two half baths, as well as 10,500 square feet of space. Originally asking north of $13 million, the asking price for the listing, repped by Terry Cohen, Kieran Brew, and Jennifer Brew at Saunders, has been cut to a much more palatable $8.895 million. For more, click here. 673 Sagg Road, Sagaponack
Is This Gorgeous Grosvenor Atterbury Now a Great Deal?
February 04, 2019
Maybe. Unfortunately, these beautiful old Southampton grande dames aren't the easiest things to sell. This place, designed in 1910 by old-school starchitect Grosvenor Atterbury and located in the lovely estate section of Southampton, has had a checkered history in the 21st century. It was listed way back in 2007 asking a whopping $24 million; it finally sold to 1stdibs chairman Michael Bruno in 2015 for $15 million. It came back on the market just about a year ago asking $18 million. The listing read, "The current owner has painstakingly cleared the entire interior canvas and commissioned meticulous plans by renowned architect Arthur Fraser, portraying what a complete renovation would look like." But no one bit. Now it's listed by Corcoran superagent Tim Davis at a pretty compelling asking price of $12.95 million. (We actually quite liked the previous interiors, which had been done by iconic designer Mark Hampton, but they weren't that contemporary.) [caption id="attachment_70887" align="alignnone" width="750"] 171017-2080, Corcoran RE, Bruno, 199 Coopers Neck Lane, Southampton Village, NY, SCTM904-012-2-41, N40,52.180, W72,24.314[/caption] Clearly some money needs to be spent on the place, and it's huge at 14,000 square feet, with 11 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. The listing goes on, "Enjoy the newly imagined swimming pool and pool house as well as the sunken tennis court all perfectly planned to take the best advantage of how one would live in this magical setting." But we do think there's plenty of upside potential to this property, which is one of the gems of Southampton; it's a worthy project for anyone. For more, click here. 199 Coopers Neck Lane, Southampton