Village-Owned House To Get Overhaul

The house at 88 Newtown Lane
The house at 88 Newtown Lane, purchased by East Hampton Village in 2007, is about to get a face-lift. Bridget LeRoy

    The Lamb-Baker house at 88 Newtown Lane, which East Hampton Village purchased in 2007 for $1.4 million — and which Robert Hefner, an historic preservation consultant, called “a pretty ambitious Greek Revival-style cottage” — has been sitting unused for several years, but now, the property, perched next to the East Hampton Middle School, is ready to be renovated, Mr. Hefner said at the village board meeting last Thursday.
    The revised site plan, which was worked on by Mr. Hefner and Drew Bennett, the village’s consulting engineer, strives “to keep the setting of the historic house,” Mr. Hefner said, with some additional parking in the back, if okayed by the board.
    “We’re looking for more parking if it doesn’t impact,” Mr. Hefner said. He described a plan for 15 spots, necessary, he said, if the building would be used for village government offices — a possibility mentioned by Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. during the meeting.
    The property, which was the former Isaac Osborne farm, was sold to the village by the Baker family, who had inherited it from Adele Lamb, an early aviatrix.
    Inside the house, “the front half is very intact,” Mr. Hefner said, “with a great variety of Greek Revival moldings and trim.” There is room on the first floor for two offices in the front, and three in the back if the kitchen is included, with two large offices upstairs.
    Mr. Hefner said he would have plans and specifications at the next meeting.
    “When this property became available,” Mr. Rickenbach told the audience, “your board of trustees felt very strongly that it would be in keeping with the character and persona of the village to reach out” and acquire it, he said.
    Also last Thursday, the intersection of Woods Lane and East Hampton Village’s Main Street, at Town Pond, was again discussed. There had been talk last year of constructing a swale, which would help prevent drivers from mistakenly driving over the green and through the fence of the Hedges Inn, an event that occurs almost annually. The village will take another look at the plans submitted by Mr. Bennett.
    An informal community discussion about parking issues in the village is planned for March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Emergency Services Building at 1 Cedar Street. “The village board is not recommending any alternatives at this meeting but we are interested in listening to businesses, employees, and customers who use public parking,” according to a press release.