East Hampton House & Garden Tour Returns

East Hampton Historical Society
Tour East Hampton homes and gardens. Photo credit: Courtesy East Hampton Historical Society

The Hamptons boasts some of the country’s most enviable real estate and now, for the 30th year in a row, The East Hampton Historical Society is showcasing it in all its splendor during its House & Garden Tour. The 2014 tour, which takes place Saturday, November 29, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., includes five noteworthy homes and gardens. This year’s theme is the shingle, which has inarguably become a symbol of the East End.

“The 2014 tour celebrates the role that the shingle plays in the architecture of East Hampton. Through a varied vocabulary, architects have used the shingle to express the past in the present,” explains Richard Barons, director of the East Hampton Historical Society. “With over 350 years of buildings to choose from, there are a myriad of styles. For our house tour, we look for the best examples of homes that capture the unique characteristics of each particular style.” Barons notes that the House Tour committee looks for homes that are concentrated in a neighborhood while representing a wide variety of housing styles for the ultimate in visual interest for tour goers. Fittingly, the annual event attracts a good number of architects, interior designers, home enthusiasts, design aficionados and history buffs.

Curious what to expect? “This year’s tour offers eclectic interiors by designer Celerie Kemble, unique European gardens, handsome mid-century accents, architectural gems, and even a tile mural of Benjamin Huntting’s Whaling Ship “Lucy” that frames the hearth at Egypt Lane,” reveals House Tour Committee Event Chair Joseph Aversano.

Should one of the houses peak your fancy, however, be forewarned that all of the homes and gardens on the tour are privately owned. “The East Hampton Historical Society is grateful to the generosity of homeowners that open their doors to the public in support of the society and its many educational programs. If a home happens to be on the market, it’s always an older house with original furnishings. Our hope is that by having it on the tour we offer the public an opportunity to see the home in its original condition before being potentially dismantled,” explains Aversano.

Logistically the House & Garden tour is self-guided. The House Tour Brochure contains a map, revealing the exact locations of the five homes. House Tour Brochures are available at Clinton Academy Museum (101 Main Street), the morning of the tour. Tickets for the House Tour are $65 in advance and $75 the day of the tour. There is a kick-off Cocktail Party on Friday evening, November 28, which will be held for the first time at the historical Maidstone Club. “When selecting a site for the Opening Night Cocktail, we look for a historical building that can accommodate 300-plus people. We are thrilled to be able to host our cocktail at the Maidstone Club because it is such an important and iconic building,” says Barons.

While this will undoubtedly be a fun-filled, educational and unique experience, it’s also designed to help raise needed funds for a very deserving cause. “The East Hampton Historical Society had a need for a good-sized fundraiser for the organization that had both educational and entertainment components. Gardens and houses seemed to fit the bill!” exclaims Barons.

Tickets to the opening night cocktail party at the Maidstone Club cost $200 each and include entry to the House Tour the following day. Tickets to the self-guided 2014 East Hampton House & Garden Tour are $65 in advance and $75 on the day of the tour. All ticket proceeds benefit the East Hampton Historical Society. Tickets can be purchased via the EHHS office at 101 Main Street Tuesday, at easthamptonhistory.org or by calling 631-324-6850.

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