The Southampton Town Board awarded a $1.9 million contract to Apple Restoration and Waterproofing, a Brooklyn-based firm, for the first phase of the restoration of the Nathaniel Rogers House in Bridgehampton on Tuesday night.
According to Southampton Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, who on Monday informed the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) that a bid would likely be awarded the next evening, the contract is for the exterior stabilization of the historic building.
The Nathaniel Rogers House, located on the southeast corner of Ocean Road and Montauk Highway, was built in 1824 by county judge Abraham Rose, who later sold it to artist Nathaniel Rogers.
Throughout years, and several owners, the building fell into disrepair. It is now sagging and boarded up.
In 2003, Southampton Town purchased the land while the Bridgehampton Historical Society bought the house itself for just over $500,000 and conveyed the title to the town. Both entities maintain a stewardship agreement and have been working towards the property’s restoration, which will cost a total of $4.5 million.
The restoration will allow the house to include a visitor’s welcome center, a gift shop, exhibition spaces, a research and study area, as well as other resources like an archival collection of photography, maps and documents and recording space for ongoing documentation of Bridgehampton community memories.
The town had hoped to have a successful bidder in its first request for proposal this summer, but only one bidder responded to the request and their proposal was not in line with the project’s budget, said Graboski on Monday night.
A second round of bids was submitted in September, with Apple Restoration making a winning $1,978,106 bid on the project, according to Southampton Town Citizen Advocate Ryan Horn.
Horn said both the town and the historical society vetted the firm’s experience in historic restoration projects before the board would consider awarding the project to Apple Restoration.
Among the historic restoration projects the company has completed is one for the National Historic Trust, in which the firm dismantled Thomas Edison’s lab in Michigan and relocated the building to New Jersey.
According to Graboski, funding for the first phase of the restoration comes from a combination of monies through the State of New York, the Town of Southampton and the Bridgehampton Historical Society.
On Wednesday, Horn said the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is contributing $700,000 towards the project through two different types of environmental protection fund grants for historic preservation.
Through its Community Preservation Fund, the town is contributing a total of $1.25 million to the project —$350,000 of that amount is matching funds from the Bridgehampton Historical Society.
Graboski couldn’t say when the project would commence, but said it would be soon.
“It looks like this will be finished in my lifetime,” said Graboski on Monday night.