Five Special Houses on Historical Society Tour

A kick-off cocktail party will be held tomorrow evening from 6 to 8 at the Maidstone Club.
In the Salty Dog, the designer Jessie Della Femina combines tradition with technology. In the master bedroom, for example, the 18th-century trunk at the foot of the bed has been retrofitted to hoist a television with a tap on an iPhone. Durell Godfrey, Tria Giovan, and East Hampton Historical Society Photos

The East Hampton Historical Society’s 2018 House and Garden Tour, which will showcase five examples of historical and modern architecture, will take place Saturday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. A kick-off cocktail party for this annual event, now in its 34th year, will be held Friday evening from 6 to 8 at the Maidstone Club.

The tour includes a house in Wainscott, three in East Hampton, and one in Amagansett.

In Wainscott, the challenge facing the designer Jessie Della Femina was to create a new, technologically-advanced house that blended with the cottages of Wainscott Main Street, where tradition is strong and “being unassuming is the law,” according to Richard Barons, chief curator of the historical society. The facade of the Salty Dog, as the house is known, is based on a typical one-and-a-half-story Cape Cod cottage, complete with colonial details and a wide dormer.

But in order to accommodate friends and family, the house spreads out in the back to contain four en suite bedrooms, a small pool, and an outdoor sitting area with a fireplace. Most of the furniture and decorative items were found by Ms. Della Femina at estate sales on the East End and in Greenwich, Conn. “She loves the character that comes with old things with often secret pasts,” said Mr. Barons.

One of the historical residences is the David Huntting House, which is located in East Hampton’s historic district and dates from around 1800. Local architectural historians have recognized the stately shingled house for its beautifully proportioned, pilastered front door surround, its paneled double doors, and a remarkable curving staircase. The main front rooms are paneled and have classically inspired Federal mantels. 

The house has undergone a significant renovation and restoration during the last two years. The dining room is furnished like a Colonial Williamsburg tavern, accented by exposed oak ceiling beams, a Dutch baroque chandelier, and a collection of pewter.

Another historical stop on the tour is the William H. Babcock House (circa 1720), which was relocated in 1964 from its original plot on Main Street to a South-of-the-Highway location in East Hampton Village. The owners worked with Kathrine McCoy, a Bridgehampton architect, to renovate the historic timber frame house. The white picket fence is a replica from its Main Street days, and materials and details from the existing house were carefully paired with new additions.

An unusual residence in East Hampton’s Northwest Woods was inspired by William Avery Rockefeller’s 1900 Saranac Lake camp in the Adirondacks. Sited among towering white pines, the house features a soaring timber-framed great room, a formal dining room, multi-paneled glass windows, massive fieldstone fireplaces, outdoor flagstone patios, and English oak furniture and Oriental carpets that recall the great mountain lodges of the Gilded Age.

A stark contrast to the lodge aesthetic is provided by a glass-walled modern house designed by the architect Michael Lamont on Bluff Road in Amagansett, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The interior designer David Netto brought his own design style to bear on the house, stating, “It may be the architect’s mission to create a crisp, minimal envelope, but it is the decorator’s job to find ways to add mood and sensuality, even through illusion. The collaboration of the architect’s and interior designer’s missions has resulted in a harmonious blend of warmth and modernism.

The House and Garden Tour is one of the historical society’s most important fund-raisers, according to Joseph Aversano, the chairman of the house tour committee. Tickets to the opening night cocktail party, which include entry to the House Tour on Saturday, are $200. Tickets to the self-guided tour are $65 in advance, $75 the day of the tour.

David Netto infused the interiors of Michael Lomont’s glass-walled, modernist house with warmth, color, and sensuality.
The dining room of the David Huntting House, left, recalls a Colonial Williamsburg tavern with English Windsor chairs, a massive gate-leg table, and a baroque glass chandelier. Right, the owners of the William H. Babcock House (circa 1720) on Middle Lane worked with Kathrine McCoy, a Bridgehampton architect, to blend materials and details from the original structure with new additions.