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House Tour Benefits Church Outreach

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By Catherine McNamara

For those who enjoy touring residences of the East End, the Saint Ann’s 40th  Annual House and Garden Tour will showcase some exceptional areas to the public today, Thursday, August 7. By purchasing tickets for this special event, attendees will also be donating to the community through Saint Ann’s Outreach Program. The tour will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and features four houses, whose styles are each very unique, and a garden. The venues of the tour range from Bridgehampton to Sagaponack to Wainscott.

The first house on the tour was originally constructed two decades ago, on five acres of potato fields. The house has a Mediterranean style, stemming from the owners’ love of Tuscany. A guest house and pool house create an outdoor area sporting flowers from their Italian-style garden, which is also on view at the home. A walkway beside the pool area leads into an open meadow containing a winding labyrinth. Visitors are welcome to enter this maze, which takes about 20 minutes. As the path continues, it opens up to an outdoor, brick-walled patio and fireplace and next the owner’s studio. As visitors walk through the studio, they are brought to a meadow surrounded by orchards and maples. A walk trough the meadow leads to the tennis court, and then back to the house.

A family-oriented residence, the second house has been recently updated. Initially owned by the Thayer family, the original structure was renovated by the late architect, William F. White. The house features large, open rooms that are complimented by many works of art from the owner’s native Brazil. Several years ago, the house was expanded with a modern-style room perfect for gatherings. A loft was also included in this expansion, containing a suspended walkway to the master bedroom on the second floor. Outside, there is a guest house, complete with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, and patio. The garden surrounding this area was created by Patricia . The large tree at the front of the property was a sample from the New York Botanical Garden, sent to original owner, Thayer, who was an active member. Opposite the guest house on this property is the tennis court and pool area, which contains a cookout area and changing house.

Built in the late 1970’s, the third house is identified as a summer home, manageable and for a young working couple. The house is surrounded by hedges, has two floors and also features a balcony. Following its summer theme, the residence contains a large pool and pool house. The landscape, also developed by Ouderkirk accompanied by John van der Wolf, was presented to the couple as a wedding gift from the groom’s mother.

Sagaponack sports the oldest house on the tour, constructed in 1677, by an early potato farmer named Jobe Pearson. The home, which has stayed in his family for almost 400 years, was at one point used as housing for their field hands, but eventually abandoned and rumored to be haunted. However, the current owners began restoring the house with architect Peter Paul Muller when they discovered in 30 years ago. The house retains its 18th century design, complete with three fireplaces, one even suitable for cooking. Old-fashioned household items are seen throughout the house. The house even features a triple hung window, made popular by Thomas Jefferson, which open to the garden.

Owned and planned by the founding president of the Central Park Conservancy, the garden, located in Wainscott, is over two acres large and features native plants of eastern Long Island, stone paths and a water garden. The garden contains many Adirondack-style pieces put forth by Frederick Law Olmstead, Central Park’s master planner. Hidden within the garden is a small bridge crossing over a pond surrounded by many different plants. A nearby path will lead visitors back to the house. The garden will have refreshments for those attending the tour and also a list of the native plants featured there.

Brochures for the tour are available at the Candy Kitchen and Saint Ann’s Church Office, both on Main Street in Bridgehampton and at the Southampton Chamber of Commerce, 76 Main Street, Southampton Admission for the tour is $75. The tour is for ages 12 and up. Please do not bring baby strollers, dogs or food. No photography or video is permitted. For more information about the tour, please call the church office at 537-1527.