Bonnie Maslin, a clinical psychologist, relies on her sense of humor when she decides what to buy at yard sales and when she calls the collection the Museum of Low Taste.
The view of Gardiner’s Bay from Bonnie Maslin’s house in Springs, seen from the bathroom, offers respite from the intensity required to take in the countless ceramic figurines, lazy susans, and collectibles at the Museum of Low Taste, or MOLT. Even the bathroom is part of the museum.
The Museum of Low Taste contains commemorative ceramics, including some depicting President Kennedy and his family and Elvis Presley on a plate from an inn in Jerusalem.
Ceramic figurines and lazy susans are complemented by what Bonnie Maslin, the curator and tour guide, calls “church-lady handbags,” below.
A sculpture of horses by Robert L. Hooke, an artist who lives in Sag Harbor, welcomes visitors to Susan Goldstein’s North Haven house. Her daughter is a professional equestrian.
A dramatic dining table was fashioned from two ancient cherry trees that were ready to fall. A glass wall of water creates soothing sounds and divides the living room into two seating areas.
The fixtures in a bathroom and its counter reflect distinctive taste. Custom-fabricated corner windows provide dramatic views while helping lower the cost of heating and cooling.Durell Godfrey photos
Projecting balconies and strong horizontal volumes bring Frank Lloyd Wright to mind. A dramatic, three-story rotunda is the axis of the house; the balcony leads to the bedrooms.Durell Godfrey photos
A fieldstone wall and tables using wood from the property’s cherry trees bring rusticity into the living room. The stair treads were also fabricated from the trees.Durell Godfey Photos
A birdhouse marks the view of the Tiedemanns’ house from the south.
Left, the “bones” of a 500-year-old barn come from the Boleyn family’s Hever Castle in England. Right, Georgica Pond in East Hampton can be seen from more than one side of the great room. Durell Godfrey Photos
The family enjoys the tranquil waters of Georgica Pond from one side of the house.
Dining in the sunroom, with its sweeping views of moors, Georgica Pond, and Georgica Beach, contrasts with meals at the formal dining room table, below left, which seems to await a feast for royalty.
Right: Books and a quirky folk art bicycle rider fill the center of the great room.
At left: Carl Tiedemann collected tools to make full use of the space between the beams. Right: A whimsical ladder is by the artist and studio furniture maker Tommy Simpson.
Tudor-style paneling geometrically complements a mantelpiece and its eclectic assortment.
Maria Matthiessen’s cats, Prudence, left, and Tangawezi, right, enjoy the enclosed play space she had built for them a few months ago. A ramp leads out from the house. With several different platforms on which to jump and frolic or from which to simply observe the great outdoors, they are happy cats.
Eloise poses beside the stone turret, which, like the nonfunctional windmill above, was characterized by Greta Weil, the owner, as a folly. The interior of the turret, below, opens off the dining room.
The exterior of this Georgica Association house, seen from the north, remains unchanged since 1902, when it was built as a carriage house and stable on the Hendrick family’s estate.
To one side of the dining area, a wall of the former horse stall is still intact.
From left, a Dutch door, original to the stable, allowed horses to take the air. The interior of the windmill connects the two wings of the house. The former carriage house was redesigned in the 1960s with ample living areas.
Greta Weil takes takes in the view from the dining area into the spacious, high-ceilinged living room. Her taste for white necessitated painting over the walls of the living room, which originally were chocolate.
The long hallway on the second floor of the east wing, above, runs past several bedrooms to an open sleeping area reached by a bridge. Below, a wood staircase twists its way up the windmill.
Looking at the west wing from the south, one sees an American flag on spectacular fall day.
Now privately owned, these paired three-story residences at 437-459 West 24th Street in Manhattan were built in the mid-19th century to provide housing for merchants and professionals of the expanding Chelsea community. Below, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the longest-serving commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, worked under four mayors: Abe Beame, David Dinkins, Ed Koch, and Rudy Giuliani.
A cast-iron street clock can be found at 753 Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn, the only one surviving in that borough. There are four landmarked sidewalk clocks in Manhattan and two in Queens. This is the oldest, circa 1895.
P.S. 31, one of many public schools built in the late 19th century to accommodate the surging population of the Bronx, was “a model for academic architecture in the years to come,” according to “The Landmarks of New York.” The building’s more recent story, however, is not a happy one.
The 1855 Mount Morris Watchtower lives on in Marcus Garvey Park opposite East 122nd Street in Manhattan. From its four-story-high cupola, a watchman could see across the roofs of Harlem and ring the bell to summon help if he spotted a fire.