Twenty-four venerable houses and a windmill would be designated as “timber-frame landmarks” and added to East Hampton Village’s historic preservation program, according to a plan presented to the village board on Oct. 4. All the proposed landmarks, scattered through the village, were built between 1700 and 1850.
Robert Hefner, the village’s director of historic services, who chose the houses to be included and drew up the plan, noted in his report to the board that “this group contains some of East Hampton’s oldest and rarest building types which recall East Hampton’s history from the 17th century into the 19th century when the character of the village was established.” The purpose of the proposed designation, he said, was to “preserve significant structures that are not located in the historic district.”
In exchange for the restrictions that run with landmark status — a landmarked house cannot be either demolished or relocated, and there are rigid design review standards as to exterior changes — the owners of the houses would receive a “guest house zoning bonus,” meaning they would be allowed to build a guest house on their land.
Speaking to The Star on Friday, Mr. Hefner explained the reasoning behind the guest-house incentive. “Many of these are small houses that are built on large pieces of land,” he said. For example, “If someone were to buy the relatively small Babcock House on Middle Lane, that person would want to tear it down to build a bigger residence. Under the proposal, owners could choose to live in a newly built accessory dwelling and use the historic house as guest quarters. In many ways, the measure would increase property values.”
Of the 25 listed properties, seven are saltboxes. They are at 111 Egypt Lane (Rowdy Hall), 21 Hither Lane (Phoebe Huntting House), 70 Middle Lane (William Babcock House), 19 Pudding Hill Lane (Joseph Osborn House), 48 Egypt Lane (Barnes-Hassam House), 61 North Main Street (Isaac Hedges House), and 15 Georgica Road (Noah Barnes house).
Four Cape Cod cottages are on the list, at 2 Hither Lane (Conklin-Eldredge House), 29 Jones Road (Miller House), 291 Montauk Highway (John Dayton House), and 13 Egypt Lane (Hiram Sanford House).
Houses at 19 Toilsome Lane (Miller Dayton House) and 34 Hither Lane (Edward Mulford House) represent the Federal style of architecture, while properties at 35 Toilsome Lane (Josiah Dayton House), 129 Egypt Lane (William Sherman House), 132 Montauk Highway (Talmage Jones House) and 128 Montauk Highway (Ezekiel Jones House) are examples of the transitional period from the Federal to the Greek Revival style. The Nathan Barnes House, at 15 Amy’s Court, has both Greek Revival and Italianate features.
Mr. Hefner called the 1848 Methodist Church, now part of the property at 10 Spaeth Lane, “the finest example of a Greek Revival period building in the village,” and said the Dominy woodworking and clock shops, at 62 Further Lane, are significant because they “provide a tangible sense of the environment in which the Dominy craftsmen labored.”
There are four windmills in East Hampton, more than any other municipality in the United States, and the Hayground Windmill, at 33 Windmill Lane, is the only one with a fantail to revolve the cap.
Finally, four two-story, two-room-deep houses with gable roofs are on the list. They are at 117 Egypt Lane (Gansett House), 258 Georgica Road (Fulling Mill Farm), 50 Cross Highway (Stafford Hedges House), and 10 Cove Hollow Road (Baldwin Cook Talmage House).
Mr. Hefner said he has met with all 25 property owners, and almost all showed enthusiastic support. A public hearing on the proposal is expected to take place next month.