Here in the Hamptons, we’re lucky enough to have two major house tours a year: Southampton in June and East Hampton in November. Saturday, June 1, is the 10th Annual Southampton House Tour, which will allow you to take a gander inside a number of extraordinary Southampton homes. You’ll see inside houses that illustrate Southampton’s fascinating architectural heritage, from colonial times right up to the present, as well as the 1648 Thomas Halsey Homestead and Saint Andrew’s Dune Church. Start your tour with a kickoff toast at the Rogers Memorial Library (One Kings Lane), and end your tour with a champagne reception hosted by Sant Ambroeus Restaurant at the Rogers Mansion. (See the details below. We’re heartily in favor of tours that begin and end with champagne.)
Ever since C. Wyllys Betts purchased the Good Ground (Hampton Bays) windmill in 1880, moved it to Southampton, and attached it to his cottage on Gin Lane, the picturesque combination has been a landmark, painted and photographed hundreds of times. The current owners, who acquired it in 1989, undertook a complete restoration of the mill and its sails. The cottage with artfully placed furnishings and objects that reflect their tastes and their travels (see all photos).
The owners of Folly Fields wanted a traditional look for their weekend home on a country road and asked architect Eric Woodward for a design that would fit into the neighborhood and make entertaining easy. Eventually, they added a movie theater on the lower level and a rose-covered pergola–their “folly”–which has allowed them to take their entertaining outdoors.
The house is built in the style of a classic shingle-style Hamptons residence with elegantly rounded lines, deep wrap around porches and asymmetric, yet balanced, architectural forms. Inside, a clean, contemporary design theme is artfully balanced against traditional architectural forms. The property, lushly landscaped, is within earshot of the surf.
The Farm House
This house was designed by local architect Brian Brady and was completed in 2013. Its charming exterior belies the fact that it is composed of four floors of living space, including seven bedrooms. The angling of the structure on the site and the stepped massing give the house an intimacy and comfort that never feels overpowering and is in keeping with houses built at the turn of the century. Owned by a family with young
If walls could talk, no structure in Southampton would have a more fascinating tale to tell than the 1708 House, which is currently a boutique hotel in the heart of the village. Sixty years before the 1708 date, Jonas Bower laid the foundation for his house on this spot; his basement survives today as the hotel’s wine cellar. In 1698, Isaac Bower built a bigger house over the original. The prominent Huntting family of local whaling fame took possession of the house in 1799, after which the Foster family became the owners. Refreshments will be served at 1708 House from 1:00 pm to 4:30pm along with tours of the house.
The Thomas Halsey Homestead
This is New York State’s oldest English-style house. Thomas Halsey, one of Southampton’s original settlers, established his farm in 1648. Today Halsey House is managed as a historic house museum by the Southampton Historical Museum. It provides an authentic setting to exhibit furnishings and tools that would have been used by a prosperous farming family during America’s colonial period.
St. Andrew’s Dune Church
Located at the foot of Lake Agawam, the church is one of Southampton’s most picturesque landmarks. Originally built as a life-saving station, it was acquired by Dr. T. Gaillard Thomas and donated as a church in 1879. A local carpenter was hired to create its beautiful rustic interior, which is filled with treasures, not the least of which are its 11 Tiffany widows. In 1938, the church was nearly destroyed by that year’s terrible hurricane. It was restored and has twice been moved back from the sea.
Here are the deets: Saturday, June 1; 12:00-1:30PM is the kickoff toast, 1-4PM is the house tour, 4:30 PM-6:00 PM is the champagne reception. Costs are $125 in advance, $145 day of tour. Call with a credit card (631) 283-2494 or use PayPal at southamptonhistory.org. Tickets may be picked up or purchased, on the day of the tour, as early as 10:30AM at the Thomas Halsey House, 249 South Main Street, Southampton.