Tag Archive | "Sag Harbor"

Parrish Recognizes 25 Young Artists

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The 2015 Student Exhibition, High School Artists Reception. Photo by Tom Kochie

The 2015 Student Exhibition, High School Artists Reception. Photo by Tom Kochie

On Saturday, February 28, the Parrish Art Museum will honor 25 young artists for their work that is on view in the 2015 Student Exhibition. Selected from more than 150 high school student participants by Neill Slaughter, a professor of Visual Art at Long Island University, C.W. Post campus, these up-and-coming artists will be celebrated at a ceremony at the museum, where Parrish Director Terrie Sultan and Mr. Slaughter will present Awards of Excellence to 19 Seniors, and “Ones to Watch” Awards to six underclassmen.

Mr. Slaughter, a practicing artist and professor for 36 years who has been the judge at several Student Exhibitions, based his selection of winners on a variety of criteria, not limited to ability nor talent.

“While I certainly value skill and technique, ultimately I look for an honesty and truth in the artwork,” he said. “Artists become inspired by something, which is … interpreted as well as communicated visually. The best art is transcendent, whereby the viewer is emotionally moved or taken to another place by the artist’s interpretation.”

The ceremony will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. with Parrish Education Director Cara Conklin-Wingfield announcing the names of the winners, who will come forward with their teacher to accept certificates. Refreshments will be served at the event, which is open to the public.

The Student Exhibition, a 60-year tradition at the Parrish Art Museum, opened this year on January 31 and is on view through March 1, featuring the work of more than 2,000 young artists from public, private, parochial, and home schools on the East End.

On the Southampton and East Hampton towns, East Hampton High School’s Claudia Fino will be honored for her drawing, “Three Spheres.” Southampton High School’s Kim Gonzalez will be awarded for her mixed media piece, “Concentration.” Pierson’s Theo Gray will be honored for his photography project, “Untitled.” East Hampton High School’s Brenden Snow and The Ross School’s Brenna Leaver are also honored for their untitled photography projects. In printmaking, Pierson’s Daniella Nolan has received honors for her piece, “Innocence;” The Ross School’s Evelyn Jiaoxue and Abby Wang will also be honored for “Untitled,” and “The Rape of Nanking,” respectively. In 3-D sculpture, Pierson’s Zoe Diskin will be honored for her “Self Portrait Assemblage.”

Southampton’s Abby Clemente and East Hampton’s Elvis Uchupaille have been named as underclassmen “One’s to Watch.”

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call (631) 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org. 

HarborFrost All Star Comedy Show at Bay Street

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Corinne Fisher is one of several comedians that will appear at Bay Street Theater’s HarborFrost All Star Comedy Show.

Corinne Fisher is one of several comedians that will appear at Bay Street Theater’s HarborFrost All Star Comedy Show.

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts will host the HarborFrost All Star Comedy Show, hosted by Joseph Vecsey, on Saturday, February 28 at 8 p.m. The comedy show features rising stars of comedy, including Mr. Vecsey. Other comics for the evening include Corinne Fisher (Guys We F*****), Regina DeCicco (Gotham AXS TV), and Chris Clarke (BET Comic View).

Mr. Vecsey has performed in bars, clubs, theaters, colleges, restaurants, rough urban rooms in Brooklyn and Staten Island, even a hostel on 103rd and Amsterdam. He opened for Jim Breuer and Susie Essman at Bay Street Theater in 2013. Since the beginning of his show at Bay Street Theater he has hosted various shows in New York City and popular clubs like the Laff House in Philadelphia and Jokers Wild in New Haven.

Ms. Fisher is a stand-up comedian, writer and actor originally from Union, New Jersey. She first made a splash with her debut one-woman show Corinne Fisher: I STALK YOU, which had a run at The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in the Summer of 2010 and was featured in Time Out New York. Since then, she has been a regular on the stand-up scene playing anything from dive bars to world-famous comedy clubs like Stand Up NY, New York Comedy Club, Caroline’s, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Broadway Comedy Club, Comix, Laugh Boston, The Stress Factory & Gotham. Perhaps most notable is her duo show with Krystyna Hutchinson. In December 2013, the duo launched Guys We F*%!@*!: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast that now boasts over half a million subscribers.

Ms. DeCicco became the winner of the Ladies of Laughter competition (2012), which was held at various clubs all over Manhattan-with participants from all over the country. She was accepted into the 2013 Laughing Skull Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. She has performed at various comedy clubs and bars.

Mr. Clarke has appeared on BET’s 106th Park, the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, and was The Runner up in New England’s Funniest Comic Competition. Mr. Clarke has also appeared on BET Comic View.

Tickets to the HarborFrost All Star Comedy Show at Bay Street Theater, 2 Bay Street, Sag Harbor are $20 and are available online at baystreet.org or by calling the Bay Street Theater Box Office at (631) 725-9500.

 

Jermain Avenue, Hampton Street Closed After Water Main Breaks

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Police closed Hampton Street off to traffic after a water main broke Friday morning. Photo by Mara Certic

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

Hampton Street is open to traffic in both directions, but Jermain Avenue remains closed as highway workers continue to try to clear the roads, and the water authority works on replacing the broken pipe.

Original Story:

Northbound traffic on Hampton Street in Sag Harbor is being re-routed to Eastville Avenue as highway workers try to clear roads after a water main burst in the early Friday morning.

According to Tim Motz, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County Water Authority, the water main burst in front of 31 Jermain Avenue at 4 a.m. this morning. The crew from the water authority managed to shut the water off at 9:20 a.m., he said.

Mr. Motz said that approximately 30 houses have been impacted by the pipe bursting, and are now without water. The water authority expect the water will be restored to the area in the next hour or two, around noon or 1 p.m.

The frigid temperatures caused the flooded roads to freeze almost instantly, he said, making driving an hazardous and leading to the road closure.

A crew from the Suffolk County Water Authority was working on leak as highway workers tried to clear dangerous ice off the roads.

According to the officer at approximately 10:15 a.m., the section of Hampton Street would likely soon be cleared, but he expected it would take some more time to clean up Jermain Avenue as the water authority continued to try to fix the leak.

According to Mr. Motz, the water authority has had to fix over 200 burst water mains in 2015 so far.

“The snow is not an issue,” Mr. Motz said, “the brutal cold is.” He added that there is really nothing to do to prevent water mains from bursting when temperatures drop as dramatically as they have this week.

Older cast iron pipes, he said, are more susceptible to breaking when the temperatures plummet, and are often replaced with newer pipes, which they say are more able to withstand these freezing temperatures.

New President for Eastville Historical Society

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Audrey Gaines0123

By Stephen J. Kotz

Audrey Gaines, the former director of youth services for East Hampton Town, has recently been elected to a two-year term as president of the Eastville Community Historical Society.

Ms. Gaines, who has been a member of the historical society for three years, said as president, she expected she would rely heavily on the institutional knowledge of other members of the organization, including outgoing president Jackie Vaughn, founding member Kathy Tucker, and executive director Georgette Grier-Key.

“When I first came to work for the Town of East Hampton, there wasn’t a youth services program, so I had to find my way around,” she said. “Here, there are so many people who have been on this board and are so knowledgable and helpful.”

With her town job, she added, she had “to start the wheel turning. Here, the wheel is turning already. All you have to do is jump on board.”

Besides continuing its ongoing lecture series, art and history shows, neighborhood walking tours, and the popular summer fish fry, Ms. Gaines said she expected the society would get started on plans to renovate the Heritage House museum on Route 114 that it calls home.

Those plans calls for the society to work with architect Bill Chaleff to open the basement of the building to the exterior so the society will have more usable space for exhibits and other activities.

Ms. Gaines said she did not know if that projet would ready to move forward this year, but she said it is definitely part of the society’s long-range master plan.

“We know it’s going to cost a lot of money, which we’ll try to raise through grants and other fundraising,” she said.

Another priority, she said, is to continue the society’s outreach to children. “We’re trying to get children involved more,” she said, citing a summer program held last year, in which children from the Bridgehampton Child Care Center took part in a quilt-making project in conjunction with a quilt exhibit.

A licensed clinical social worker who still sees some private clients, Ms. Gaines retired from the town four years ago, but says she enjoys keeping busy through volunteer activities.

Besides the historical society, Ms. Gaines serves on the site council of the East Hampton Town Senior Citizens Center, a committee that organizes activitis for seniors, ranging from Bingo games to shopping trips and special celebrations.

She also serves on the East Hampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force, a committee she says has been revived through the efforts of Councilwoman Sylvia Overby.

Ms. Gaines said the Eastville Community Historical Society is a healthy organization with well over 100 members and an active board of nine members.

“As a kid growing up, I was always involved in East Hampton,” said Ms. Gaines. “I knew people from Sag Harbor, but not that many people. I never knew all the wonderful history in Sag Harbor. What a rich history it is.”

Loretta K. Davis

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Loretta

By Mara Certic

Loretta Davis became the new executive director of The Retreat, East Hampton Town’s shelter for the victims of domestic abuse, last month. She spoke about her background and some of the programming the nonprofit organization offers.

When did you move out to the East End?

I started work on the 28th of January, right around when we had our first storm. I moved out that weekend. I spent a lot of time in Vermont, so I’m used to the snow, but the ice is unbelievable. But I’ve been coming out here for about 20 years, friends from college and high school have houses out here, and so I’ve been coming out for a long time.

I was a judge for 19 years in Tuxedo, New York, and that really is what I’ve been doing. I had criminal and civil cases, and of course we had domestic violence cases.  I was an elected official, I ran every four years. And I really enjoyed that because I got to be involved with local government and with the community. I did that until 2013 when I was on the Roundtable [for the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island] moved here to Long Island.

What made you decide to change careers?

Well, I’ve always been involved in women’s issues, I’ve worked with the Business Council for Peace, which helps women in war-torn countries. So, I’ve always been interested in women’s issues, and I’ve helped women survivors in Rwanda, done some pro bono domestic violence work [in New York] as well. This seemed like a good opportunity and I thought I could use my experience both as a judge, and in administration.

What do you think are the most important programs offered by The Retreat?

Well, there’s the core programs we offer; we have the shelter and with that we have the 24-hour crisis hotline, and advocacy services for when survivors go to court, as well as violence protection programs. But there are a lot of other programs for people who aren’t in our shelter, and people in the community. We have counseling programs at our office here; we do work with the youth in schools including an educational program about healthy relationships. There’s also a program in high schools to prevent physical violence in relationships. There are also programs that work with fathers in order to educate fathers who might be at risk. That’s a program we’ve had now for a couple of years. I know people are surprised we work with men, but the idea is to work to prevent violence, it’s kind of a re-education for them. And it’s all free.

But we’ve also been working on a campus security program in Nassau County which is going to extend to Suffolk County Community College. So it’s not just family violence that we deal with. We can make a difference. What I’d like to do is strengthen our programs and expand our outreach.

How are you planning on doing both those things?

What I’d like to do is strengthen our programs, and expand our outreach. We have our big fundraiser coming up in June and that really helps us a lot. We do get a lot of grants, but if we didn’t have our contributions we wouldn’t be able to survive. But I think we should have some more community awareness events.

Last week there was an event in Sag Harbor with the Neo-Political Cowgirls: One Billion Rising. It was a great event; there were testimonials, lots of artists and musicians. It was a great community event, it brought awareness; donations were accepted. It was free! Everyone just provided everything: their services, their music, their dancing, the space. It was a really positive and personal evening; I was really impressed with how the community came together.

The Retreat has offices at 13 Goodfriend Drive in East Hampton, which is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It also has legal advocates and counselors available. For more information, or to volunteer, call (631) 329-4398. The confidential 24-hour hotline number is (631) 329-2200.

 

 

Parrish Announces Chuck Close Photographs Exhibit

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Chuck Close (American, born 1940). Self-Portrait/Composite/Nine Parts, 1979. 9 Polaroids, 83 x 69 inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz.

Chuck Close (American, born 1940). Self-Portrait/Composite/Nine Parts, 1979. 9 Polaroids, 83 x 69 inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz.

The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill announced last week that it has organized Chuck Close Photographs, the first comprehensive survey of the photographic work of the renowned American artist. The exhibit will be on view May 10 through July 26 and will feature some 90 images from 1964 to the present, from early black and white manquettes to composite Polaroids to intimately scaled daguerreotypes and the most recent Polaroid nudes. The exhibition explores how Mr. Close, one of the most important figures in contemporary art, has stretched the boundaries of photographic means, methods, and approaches.

“The photographic origin of each Close painting is well known; however, Close’s exploration of the medium itself extends far beyond the use of photographs as a programmatic tool,” said Parrish Art Museum Director and exhibition co-organizer Terrie Sultan. “Whether he uses a photographic image as source material or as an end in and of itself, everything he creates begins with a photograph. Chuck Close Photographs provides an in-depth look at photography as the foundation of Close’s creative process.”

The exhibition builds on the Parrish Art Museum’s long history of working with Close, as Sultan also organized Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration, which has travelled to nearly 20 venues worldwide since 2003. Chuck Close Photographs, co-organized by Sultan and Colin Westerbeck, independent curator and photography scholar, traces Close’s use of the camera throughout his more than 45-year career and features a variety of photographic media.

Madoo Talks Lecture Series Opens with Lindsey Taylor

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Lindsey Taylor.

Lindsey Taylor.

The Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack will host its Madoo Talks Winter Lecture series in February and March, opening with Lindsey Taylor, one of the authors of “The Gardener’s Garden,” a book that explores gardens from around the world and throughout the ages meant to serve as an inspiration to the modern-day gardener. Ms. Taylor, who will speak on Sunday, February 22, will use examples such as

Hollister House, Dawn Ridge, Les Quatre Vents, Prospect Cottage and other personal idiosyncratic gardens featured in “The Gardener’s Garden,” to discuss the need for a garden to have a soul, passion and individual vision to be truly successful. A book signing will follow the discussion.

Madoo Talks will continue on Sunday, March 8 with Sagaponack farmer, artist and writer, Marilee Foster. Ms. Foster, whose family settled in Sagaponack during the mid-1700s, will take a realistic yet humorous look at development on the East End along with the difficulties of farming in the 21st century and the success at her wildly popular Sagg Main farmstand.

Stephen Orr, author of “The New American Herbal,” will join Madoo Talks on March 29, examining the long tradition of herbals while adding new layers of information based on a multicultural look at the herbs we use in our homes and gardens.

Maddo Talks: Lindsey Taylor will be held on Sunday, February 22 at noon at the Madoo Conservancy summer house studio, 618 Sagg Main Road in Sagaponack. Tickets are $25 for members; $30 for non-members and a reception, sponsored by The Topping Rose House, will follow. To reserve your seat, email info@madoo.org or call (631) 537-8200. 

Sag Harbor School District Is Prime for Real Estate

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Linda Adlah rented a home in Sag Harbor so her children, Anabella and Gabrielle, could attend the Sag Harbor Elementary School. Michael Heller photo.

Linda Adlah rented a home in Sag Harbor so her children, Anabella and Gabrielle, could attend the Sag Harbor Elementary School. Michael Heller photo.

By Tessa Raebeck

First known for whale oil, then watches, Sag Harbor is again being recognized, this time for its schools. The East End real estate market has seen an influx of buyers and renters with one primary request: living in the Sag Harbor School District.

“In real estate sales, there are always the five top questions potential buyers will ask and always in the top five is: ‘How is the school district?’” said Robert Evjen, a broker at Douglas Elliman in Sag Harbor. “It is always on the buyer’s mind.”

“For those buyers with families or starting to have families,” he continued, “this is critical to the future of that family and critical about where to buy. For families who already have children, a location with a ‘neighborhood feel’ and a place ‘where the kids can play safely’ is very, very important. Moms and dads are willing to pay more to ensure a quality education.”

Sag Harbor, currently viewed as a smart investment by financiers and young families alike, is drawing buyers and renters who want to send their kids to school in the village—and the resurgence of popularity is in turn driving market prices up.

“We have seen an uptick of families moving here ‘year round’ and we are blessed that the Sag Harbor School District has always been popular with these new families. As these families move here and learn about the East End and what choices or schools to send their children, we always seem to be the choice,” Mr. Evjen said.

With a current total enrollment of 1,011 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, Sag Harbor is smaller than nearby East Hampton, but not as small as Bridgehampton, with just 159 students in the district, or Shelter Island, which has 242 students. The student-faculty ratio at Pierson Middle/High School is nine to one, better than Westhampton Beach’s 14 to one and comparable to East Hampton and Southampton, which have 10 students per teacher, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Liam Rothwell-Pessino, lives in Springs, but decided to attend high school in Sag Harbor because of Pierson’s smaller size.

“The school being smaller means I get to know more people better, teachers included,” he said of his experience at Pierson, where he is currently a senior.

Sag Harbor Superintendent Katy Graves said the school district projects its enrollment to increase until 2018, when there will be an estimated 1,080 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Mr. Evjen said there has been a “tremendous” increase of families wanting to live in the school district, indicated by the growth of the pre-kindergarten program and the increase in non-resident students, which he called “a great testament to the curriculum the school has set up.”

The school district currently receives tuition for 29 nonresident students; the Sagaponack School District pays for nine, the Springs School District pays for three, and 17 pay privately. The tuition rate for nonresident students for the current school year is $17,038 for students to attend the elementary school and $22,148 to attend Pierson. Special education students are charged $46,464 and $53,380, respectively.

A school district must pay tuition for its residents to attend school elsewhere if that student has a special need the district cannot meet, such as observational therapy or speech therapy. Sag Harbor’s comprehensive approach to students with disabilities adds to the draw for many families.

Having moved from Hampton Bays to Sag Harbor when her two daughters were babies, Linda Torres Adlah has been renting in the district ever since; her girls are now in third and fourth grade at the elementary school.

“Both of my daughters had to go through the evaluation process when they were younger, one needed speech therapy and one needed some physical therapy and observational therapy, and it was a very easy environment. They were very forthcoming with giving the kids what they needed to have when they were little,” she said of the elementary school faculty. “I never had to worry that they wouldn’t get the services they needed, there was always lots of support. I’ve heard such good things about the school that I knew that’s where I wanted them to be.”

Propping Up Sag Harbor’s Historic Buildings

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20 Union Street, which served as Chester A. Arthur's summer White House, is one of several historic houses currently under renovation in Sag Harbor.

20 Union Street, which served as Chester A. Arthur’s summer White House, is one of several historic houses currently under renovation in Sag Harbor.

By Stephen J. Kotz; Photography by Michael Heller

Only the facade remains of the original "Bottle House" on Madison and Henry streets.

Only the facade remains of the original “Bottle House” on Madison and Henry streets.

Even a blind man can see that the Sag Harbor Village Historic District is undergoing major changes.

Above and beyond the well-publicized conversion of turning the old Bulova building into luxury condominiums or the transformation of the former First Methodist Church on Madison Street into a private home, Sag Harbor is undergoing a full-scale renovation boom.

On Main Street alone, at least three major renovations are underway. A walk down Howard Street is more a tour of one extended job site than it is a stroll down a village side street. New construction is cropping up on Glover Street, Palmer Terrace, Bay Street, and just about everywhere one looks.

In some cases, historic houses are being completely rebuilt. The Sleight House on Division Street, in the shadow of the Bulova building, underwent a major renovation this past year that eventually turned into a complete rebuilding job, leading to a stop-work order and a rebuke from the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board before work was allowed to proceed.

At 245 Main Street, original windows, trim and other historic materials are being preserved in that renovation, according to the project's architect.

At 245 Main Street, original windows, trim and other historic materials are being preserved in that renovation, according to the project’s architect.

The former Abelman family home on Madison Street at the foot of Henry Street, which is more commonly known as the “Bottle House” for the collection of colored glass bottles that once adorned the porch windows, was also the subject of a major renovation. Last summer, builders moved the simple, wood-framed Greek Revival house from one side of the lot to the other. As they built a major addition behind it, they eventually removed most of the original house except for part of the façade.

The wholesale changes have set off a quiet sense of alarm among some onlookers. One of them is Chris Leonard, a former longtime chairman of the Sag Harbor’s ARB, who argues the village is failing to do enough to protect historic homes.

“An authentic representation of the past is valuable to society,” he said of the need to preserve Sag Harbor’s historic buildings. “You don’t just tear down the pyramids or the Sphinx because they are old and you want something new…. This is where we came from. We need to try to preserve the best of it and not destroy it and build some sort of replica.”

That same sentiment is shared by Randolph Croxton, an architect with a home in the village, who ironically first visited Sag Harbor over the winter of 1979-80 and helped lead the initial effort to convert the Bulova building into apartments.

“I guess I call it ‘skinning the cat,’” he said of the latest trend in restoration. “You strip off all the details and the hardware and you come back with a re-creation that is all new. But so much of the authenticity is lost when you do that.”

He worries too about changes to Sag Harbor’s broader sense of place, which he describes as having an “open, authentic, multi-generational quality that is not hiding behind hedges.” When a building like the “Bottle House,” which once stood at the foot of Henry Street, is shifted to one side of the property, it throws off the balance and destroys “the axial relationships, and composition” of a streetscape that was laid out to create “an open commons,” he said. It’s the kind of change that might not mean much to a casual observer, he added, but one that, if multiplied, can have an incrementally deleterious effect.

The village’s historic district is expansive, including most of the waterfront from Glover Street east. It extends southward around much of the rest of the village in a broad arc, roughly following Hempstead Street and portions of Grand and Harrison Streets. It includes all of Oakland Cemetery and Mashashimuet Park, while excluding two more recently developed residential streets, Joel’s Lane and Archibald Way. The district runs north along Main Street, jutting to the west to include portions of John Street, while excluding Bluff Point. It extends back down Glover Street, but does not include the Redwood neighborhood.

When the village established the ARB, it included language in the zoning code charging it with not only maintaining the character of the village historic district but of following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Houses.

Among those guidelines are provisions calling for making minimal changes to “historic materials and features” of buildings in the historic district that are being renovated or expanded.

Too often that is not the case, according to Mr. Leonard, and much of the fault lies at the foot of the ARB, which is not, he says, following the letter of the law when it reviews applications for renovations in the historic district. Too often, he said, sanitized replicas are being built in the place of flawed, but historically valuable, gems.

“I don’t think this is rocket science,” said Mr. Leonard of the regulations for historic preservation.  “It’s not a mystery. If the board has questions about how they should proceed, they should first all look to the law, read, understand, and if they still have questions, they should ask the village attorney.”

Cee Scott Brown, the current chairman of the ARB, was out of town and did not reply to emailed requests for an interview. Other members of the board also declined to speak on the record about the process they follow.

But at recent meetings, board members have often expressed the desire to see historic homes preserved in as authentic a fashion as possible. For example, when an architect appeared before the board last fall to gauge the board’s feelings about possibly adding a small addition to the Captain David Hand House on Church Street, his proposal was shot down in summary fashion. A revamped plan presented by another architect that called for a top-to-bottom preservation effort was approved with flying colors in December.

But the question remains how to make sure finished projects accurately reflect the intention of the ARB.

According to Mr. Leonard, all too often they have not. Referring to a photograph of the work at the Sleight House, he said, “all the historic material is the Dumpster and they have done a reproduction. How do you get from what it says in the code to this?”

Building inspector Tom Preiato, who joined the village in November, said he could not comment on past practices but said he intended to make sure property owners comply strictly with the plans they have submitted.

“There appears to be a fair amount of decision making by builders and homeowners to remove pre-existing, nonconforming structures that they deem unsound, without the required approvals,” he said. “I am attempting to keep this trend in check.”

To that end, Mr. Preiato recently slapped a stop-work order on a major renovation project at 295 Main Street, where most of an existing house was taken apart, moved from its foundation and set back away from the street, with a significant amount of new material added. In Mr. Preiato’s eyes, that constituted a demolition. And once a house has been demolished, the reduced setbacks and other zoning allowances that went with the property are lost too, meaning a rebuilding project would likely require variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

About a block north, the shingles and much of the trim that adorned a house dating to the late 1800s at 245 Main Street has been stripped away. Today, the house, sporting a large addition to the rear, is sheathed in green wrap to keep air and moisture out.

Is another replica of a historic house on the way? Absolutely not, said Jason Poremba, the Southampton architect overseeing the project.

Mr. Poremba, who oversaw a top-to-bottom renovation of the Hannibal French house several years ago, said his client, whom he would only identify by the corporate name, Coming Up Roses, LLC,  “was making a conscientious effort to preserve as much of the original house as possible.”

Although the shingles will be replaced, windows, trim and other hardware that have been removed have been shipped upstate for restoration and repair and will be placed back on the house, wherever possible, he said.

“The killer is the New York State code,” said Mr. Poremba of the problems facing people who are trying to do renovate a historic house. “When you reach a certain level of construction you have to start to bring the house up to meet local codes.”

One requirement is that a house must meet energy efficiency standards by passing a test in which the building is sealed and pressurized to determine points of leakage. “We won’t know until the end of the job if the house fails,” he said. Because of that, the contractor is required to painstakingly reassemble the house, which adds to the cost of the project.

“You can do it,” he said of preserving a historic house. “But a lot comes into play. If there are spec builders involved, to systematically take it apart and rebuild it really wouldn’t make sense.”

Architect Monika Zasada, who has been overseeing a major renovation at 20 Union Street—a house that is well known among village residents as the former summer White House of President Chester A. Arthur and later the Pino Funeral Home—takes a similar approach to Mr. Poremba.

In an emailed statement, she said, “dealing with an edifice that is centuries old poses a tremendous challenge. One is faced with incessant questions. Is repairing, restoring or replacing the most sensible policy? Which approach ensures that the renovation is a lasting one?

“When does investing in frequently exorbitantly priced historic elements stop making economic sense? How to mitigate the disparity between arbitrary pieces of trim installed in previously attempted repairs? What to do when the entire framing is completely compromised and most of the foundation consists of two rows of rocks? How can the house’s visual quality be preserved when it needs to be brought up to current building codes?”

Ms. Zasada credited the home’s owner, Anke Beck-Friedrich, and the contractor, Greg D’Angelo, for making it possible to restore as much of the house as possible.

“As a result of all the repairs, restoration, authentic replication and new construction, the history will live on,” she wrote. “The building will be preserved for future generations.”

 

Such efforts should be encouraged, according to Mr. Croxton. “Every place in America is trying to do a town center, with a make-believe town clock, like Disneyland,” he said. “And here, we have the real thing.”

 

Although Mr. Croxton says he believes the village has reached a tipping point and it is “now time for concerted effort and community response,” he insists that all is not lost for Sag Harbor. “The things that are wrong are highly visible and disturbing,” he said, “but a lot is intact and still of good quality.”

 

“There are always people who want to do what they want to do,” added Mr. Leonard. “You just have to be willing to say ‘no.’”

Pierson Robotics Team Wins 3D Printer to Help with Bot Building

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A member of the Pierson Robotics Team works on Sag Harbor's robot. Photo courtesy Gayle Pickering.

A member of the Pierson Robotics Team works on Sag Harbor’s robot. Photo courtesy Gayle Pickering.

By Tessa Raebeck

In a contest with more than 4,000 competitors, the Pierson High School Robotics Team has won a 3-dimensional printer, which is already being used to make parts for this year’s robot.

Each year, the robotics team, First Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 28, competes in an international competition at Hofstra University against teams from other Long Island high schools but from as far away as Canada, Brazil, and Israel.  Last year’s team went to the finals in St. Louis, and this year’s team is working hard in hopes of repeating the fate.

The robotics team meets twice a week for most of the year, but in January ramps it up to meetings every day for six weeks, leading up to “Stop Build Day” on February 17, when the completed robot is shipped to FIRST. The team continues to meet every day in preparation of the regional competition, held March 26 through 28.

The new EKOCYCLE 3D Printer, won by the Pierson Robotics Team. Photo courtesy Gayle Pickering.

The new EKOCYCLE 3D Printer, won by the Pierson Robotics Team. Photo courtesy Gayle Pickering.

This year’s competition, “Recycle Rush,” is focused on combining technology with environmental responsibility.

“Recycle Rush is a recycling-themed game played by two alliances of three robots each,” according to FIRST. “Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.”

To win the contest, two members of the team, Abigail Gianis and Clara Oppenheimer, wrote an essay explaining why Sag Harbor’s student engineers deserved the printer, an EKOCYCLE Cube Printer that uses a filament cartridge made with recycled material.

The FIRST Robotics Competition, which Pierson competes in annually, invited all registered teams to apply for one of approximately 1,600 printers, donated by 3D Systems and the Coca-Cola Company.

“They had basically a grant, that if you wrote a proposal and justified your need,” you would be awarded a printer, said Rob Coe, one of the team’s mentors.

“We went into detail about how we would incorporate it into our school to show both students and teachers the new kind of technology coming out,” said Abigail.

“We spoke about how our school embraces being eco-friendly,” she added. “The biggest point we made was regarding our robot. We spoke about how we would be able to print parts for our robot, so we could have the part we need in hours, as opposed to what could be weeks if we ordered a part.”

The essay competition is one example of how the robotics program doesn’t just teach students to manufacture robots, but also provides hands-on experience in marketing, teamwork, and real-world applications.

“There’s lots of talk about jobs and all the jobs are in technology and engineering and the U.S. is behind and we’re not putting out enough students to be able to fill those jobs—so this is a program that enables kids to gain that experience and go out into the real world and perform,” Clint Schulman, the faculty advisor to the robotics program, told the Sag Harbor Board of Education last month.

Already being used in the team’s shop, the printer immediately saved the team money and time, easing the robot-building process.

“We’ve been making a lot of parts for the robot,” Mr. Coe said, as the Ekocycle printed fervently. “We’re making hubs for motors, we’re making hooks for picking up the trash cans.”

“There’s already a bunch of printed parts in our robot,” added Abigail. “The printed parts allowed us to implement things into our bot that we haven’t been able to before because we lack a connector part—all we had to do is print out the connector and now it’s perfect.”