Haute in the Hamptons

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Today, prime land here is scarce. So when a 24-acre sub-dividable parcel comes onto the market protected by a two-sided preserve, buyers take note. Charles Fischler has secured one such listing for Prudential Douglas Elliman in Bridgehampton. The land is a remnant of a 130-acre potato farm that sold in the 1950’s for $80,000; its value today is $17,500,000. Current pricing is relative to supply and demand, and supply is running low.

Sotheby’s International Realty has placed a neighboring 2-acre estate on the market as well. The modernist design uniquely resembles that of an actual barn that blends itself beautifully with the area horse farms. Two hundred year old beams stretch through the 10,000 square feet of open loft-like space. Faye Weisburg, who has exclusively listed the $16,300,000 estate, says the balance of old and new is what makes it distinct. It has staff quarters, a geometric pool, six fireplaces, six bedrooms, and nine baths, and is backed by acres of preserved farm views.

Nouveau-style on the Golden Pond

When one thinks of a pond-front home in a small country town, it normally conjures an image of modesty, but when the town is Wainscott and the pond is Georgica, it is anything but. Until recently, the East Hampton hamlet held the record for the highest grossing residential sale on the East End when pharmaceutical magnate Stewart Rahr purchased Burnt Point Estate for $45 million in 2004.

What makes this area so very unique is the geographical lay of the land, and its positioning on open waters. Its landmasses spread out to the ocean in the shape of a hand. The finger-like peninsulas hold some of the most exclusive and secluded estates in the Hamptons. Many of the mansions here are naturally hidden by thick foliage and long drives, yet still command views not only of the pond or oceanfront on which they may be set, but also the protected wetlands they are set inside.

A new estate property here was recently unveiled at Wolfer Vineyard in Sagaponack in typical Hamptons style. Exclusive brokers and gala event hosts Gene Stilwell and Evan Kulman of the Corcoran Group, along with By Design Development, presented the 8,000 square foot project that will be located deep in the heart of Georgica. The two-story modernist masterpiece, designed by architect Peter Cook, will be set naturally into the landscape and backed by a pristine 17-acre preserve. An open floor-plan that includes six bedrooms, seven and a half baths, six fireplaces, a heated pool, and guesthouse are an example of the new modernist approach seen cropping up in the Hamptons designs as of late, where the classic shingle-style has been traded for the nouveau. Like most estates in Georgica, it will conform to the land and waters, not the other way around, a building philosophy that has worked here, making estates more like private sanctuaries. The project, now under construction, is priced at $18,000,000.

Southampton Origins

Memories of the Westlawn Mansion’s heydey breathe through the long halls and into a suite of service rooms, storage pantries, hidden silver safes, and a narrow back staircase leading to servants’ quarters. In old manor homes, it is the nooks and crannies that create the persona. One can envision the staff bustling to serve its distinguished guests under the awning of a brick patio overlooking four acres of blooming formal gardens on the west lawn. To the north, a 60-foot pool stretches to a carriage house concealed by 100-year-old trees. The three-story estate, designed by renowned architect F. Burrall Hoffman in the spirit of grand living, is one of the many stately mansions gracing Southampton’s Great Plains Road. The property has not been offered for more than thirty years, and has delighted buyers by entering the market, albeit with a $19,500,000 price tag.

The refined ambiance of Westlawn that defined the area in 1900 still exists the today; it is considered one of the original Southampton mansions. Six fireplaces spread throughout the living spaces and six main bedrooms. An additional six bedrooms intended for staff are atop the third floor. The library, sunroom, breakfast room, mudroom, and sitting rooms are run in a never-ending gallery-style fashion. Floor to ceiling windows draw natural lights into the living space and grand hall. Traces of artisan woodwork crafted during its days as a designer show house are evident throughout the entire house. “This home has good old bones,” says Timothy Davis, senior vice president of the Corcoran Group’s Southampton office, who is exclusively listing the rare find.

A swan song is heard playing over the ocean and humming through the villages, yet the tempo of the Hamptons still moves to its own familiar rhythms. Perfect summer days are filled with the mystique that brings many east, and its clear why the wealthy pay almost anything to be here, why the locals stay, and why when some come east, they never leave.

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