The Southampton Historical Museum will host its 6th annual Southampton House Tour on Saturday, May 30 from 1–6 p.m. The event will also celebrate the town of Southampton’s 375th birthday, complete with a champagne reception hosted by Sant Ambroeus Restaurant from 4:30–6 p.m.
This year’s tour is designed to illustrate Southampton’s unique architectural history as well as its more modern, yet equally exquisite, properties. “These are houses that people actually live in, and they are very generous to open them to the public for this. It gives people an opportunity to see the difference in some of the houses right in Southampton. Some are older and more grand while others are smaller and beautifully restored. It’s important to see that older houses can be wonderful, too,” says Mary Lynch, a trustee and volunteer at the Southampton Historical Museum, which is dedicated to preserving historic Southampton architecture and documents as well as to educating the community on the town’s rich history.
There are seven historic sites on the tour. Owned by local architect Brian Brady of Brady Designs, the Village Cottage is from the 1930s and has been well preserved and renovated to showcase prominent Southampton features. Speaking on what makes this property iconic, Brady says, “I think it’s because of the renovations it went through. It was built in the 1930s when the architectural styles weren’t really representative of historical homes in the village. This renovation takes it back to what it should have been.” The house retains its classical detailing on the exterior, while the interior has been renovated to be more conducive to modern day use.
The Saint Andrew’s Dune Church is also among the selected properties on this year’s tour. Partially reconstructed after the historic 1938 hurricane, the church boasts an intriguing history, and it retains much of its original stained glass installed before the storm hit. This beautiful red building is a historic and prominent Southampton landmark, situated with a picturesque view of Lake Agawam.
Also overlooking Lake Agawam sits a grand 1920s mansion, constructed at the beginning of Southampton’s rise to social prominence. Though updated for a modern family, the house retains its original wraparound porches, bay windows, and other gracefully undulating projections.
One of the more modern properties to be featured on the tour is the Tuscan Villa, which sits on 2.7 acres of land, and has an exquisite waterfront view. More modern than the others featured, it represents the great array of newer houses built in the area. “Unfortunately, a lot of historic houses have been torn down, so we try to mix both modern and historic properties [into the tour],” says Tom Edmonds, Executive Director of the Southampton Historical Museum.
The Hill House, a 19th Century farmhouse, has recently been renovated to include a modern interior, with contemporary artwork adorning the walls. As this farmhouse was once surrounded by potato fields, its history is entrenched in its exterior, while the modern updates accommodate for its current residential use.
In contrast, the Butler’s Manor featured on the tour is a designated New York State historic property. Built in 1860 as the home of William Jagger, a descendant of an early Southampton settler, it now serves as a luxury bed and breakfast. Renovations to the building have been strictly in the interests of preservation, and the house retains its historic feel.
An iconic Southampton windmill also joins the tour. Located on 6 acres of scenic bay-front property and standing four stories tall, the windmill stands between two private entry gates to its property’s 12-bedroom 1900s Georgian-style mansion.
The house tour brings together an array of Southampton architecture to help celebrate its unique culture and intriguing history. “Southampton has such a strong and long history. While there are a lot of new things going on, it is important for us to remember the roots of Southampton,” says Lynch.
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org/calendar or call 631-283-2494.