Tag Archive | "Latham House"

Elevation of Historic, Main Street Building in Sag Harbor Nears Approval

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Sag Harbor Village environmental planning consultant Richard Warren shows concerned neighbors a map of an all but approved subdivision at Route 114 and Lighthouse Lane.

James Giorgio’s hopes to raise his historic building at 125 Main Street three feet and add new retail at the basement level, giving the space Main Street access, will likely be approved next month after the project received praise and no criticism at a public hearing during Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Planning Board meeting.

On Tuesday night, architect Chuck Thomas explained that in addition to raising the building, over 500 cubic-feet of village-owned soil would need to be excavated at the front of the property in order to create the new retail space. A brick patio is also proposed at the rear of the building, with a pergola, as well as a brick sidewalk that would link Church Street to Main Street.

Ernest Schade, a Sag Harbor resident who owned the building for 20 years said the project was crucial to the structure’s viability. He said the building, which dates back to the 1750s and is located next to one of Sag Harbor’s most celebrated historic structures, The Latham House, is sturdy, but that the cedar cladding the building is rotting.

“I would hate to see this building collapse because it is being eaten away,” said Schade, noting there are so many openings under the house that rats were once an ongoing problem.

Michael Eicke, who owns Christy’s Art Center just a few doors down from 125 Main Street, seconded Schade, noting it is structures like Giorgio’s that give Sag Harbor its special character.

“If this building is to survive another 120 years, it has to have a new base,” he said.

Eicke added the creation of street-level retail at the location will open up the end of Main Street.

“It keeps a lot of people away and to survive, again, you need a window and you need an entrance on the street level,” he said.

Sag Harbor resident Dolores Fenn said she wondered about the need for an 8.6-ft. ceiling height in Sag Harbor, but quieted when learning the overall height of 125 Main is expected to fall eight inches below the ridge of The Latham House.

The planning board is expected to approve the site plan for 125 Main Street at its May 25 meeting.

A handful of neighbors of a 3.2acre, six-lot subdivision at Route 114, Lighthouse Lane and Washington Avenue approached the board concerned about what would eventually be developed on the properties. While one lot is proposed to keep an existing two-story, single family dwelling, the remaining five lots would be developed at a further date.

Peter Rocker, a resident on Lighthouse Lane, said he was worried about whether the houses would not be custom, but spec homes, and about their size.

“The houses, each would be a custom home on a given lot,” said attorney Dennis Downes. “There is no plan to do a subdivision like you would think in Levittown.”

Neighbors, including Barbara Reese and Jackie Fuchs, joined Rocker in crowding around a map provided by Sag Harbor Planning Consultant Rich Warren, but without any plans yet laid out for the homes, did not make any more comments to the board.

The subdivision may be approved next month.

In other planning news, both the retail spaces that house East End Prime and the Juicy Naam on Division Street, were granted changes of use, which will allow them to continue to operate as they have for the last six months. Dorothy Moorhead was also granted a waiver for site plan approval to construct a deck at the rear of her 34 Main Street building. Jack Tagliasacchi, a member of the board, was granted approval for four outdoor tables at his restaurant Il Cappuccino. Tagliasacchi recused himself from the final vote.

Latham House on the Market

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John Louise doesn’t like a house without a ghost in it.

Which is why the retired businessman found a new passion in restoring and designing homes around the East End. One of his most recent projects, the 18th Century Sag Harbor residence The Latham House is currently on the market with Sotheby’s International Reality for $4.5 million.

The Main Street residence is one of two historic Federal-style homes in the Village of Sag Harbor and was originally constructed around 1790. It features a commercial, ground-floor space, currently Calypso home furnishings, in addition to the four-bedroom, three-bath residence complete with three-car parking, a heated gunite pool, private gardens, as well as six fireplaces throughout the home.

According to Stephanie Lousie, daughter to John, who shares the exclusive at Sotheby’s with East Hampton broker Jan Conklin, The Latham House has been on the market for less than a year, following her father’s restoration.

Lousie has owned The Latham House since 2006.

“For years and years the style of the house attracted me,” Louise said on Monday, adding the central location of the home was another draw. While a homeowner in Bridgehampton as well, Louise has resided in The Latham House with his dog Masimo for the last two years.

According to Louise, the research conducted during the restoration of The Latham House revealed Peleg Latham, the original owner, was born around 1769 and was believed to be a merchant or a captain of a merchant schooner.

A fan of architecture, Louise said he also enjoys the unique style of the home, which was designed to be perfectly symmetrical in the tradition of Federal-style homes, although Louise noted the stairway entrance was altered during the Victorian period. Despite minor alternations, Louise said the residence retains much of its humble beginnings, down to its original timber.

However, aspects of the historic Peleg Latham House were in dire need of restoration, said Louise. In 2008, he commissioned the project, in hopes of restoring the building as much to its original state as possible, hiring Westhampton’s Cedar Cove Construction to tackle the project. Using a combination of research and on-site sleuthing, Louise said they discovered the home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was not unusual for a Sag Harbor merchant’s residence.

The restoration began, said Louise, after the homeowner discovered a leaky roof. Repairing the leaking roof led to a larger project, including the restoration of the chimney. Louise has an obvious adoration for restoration projects and becomes almost giddy when discussing the ventures. He eliminated modern portions of The Latham House that were added to the rear of the residence and to keep the historic integrity of the building not just on the exterior, where preservation laws demand little to no alterations be made, but also on the interior, although he admitted modern conveniences like flat screen televisions had made the cut.

“I have people ask me, how did I manage to put a big Wolf stove and a Subzero refrigerator in this house and have it still feel like the 1790s,” he laughed.

“It really is very handsome,” said Louise of the end result. “I could have put in steel and all of that, but I didn’t do that. Down to the vintage wall paper, I tried to keep the integrity of the house intact.”

Louise admits a passion for the work.

“I have restored seven houses and every time I do it I swear it is the last one and of course it is not,” he said.

While not unfamiliar to letting projects go, Louise admitted at times it is bittersweet and often he tries to wait for the right buyer before letting go of a property.

“I have done this and I love it,” he said. “I have loved all the houses people have bought from me, but I won’t just sell to anyone. It has to be someone who wants to keep the integrity of this house.”

The Latham House, located on Main Street, Sag Harbor is listed for sale with Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information, contact Stephanie Louise with Sotheby’s Bridgehampton office at 537-6000 or Jan Conklin with the firm’s East Hampton office at 324-6000.