Protests erupted at a recent Hamptons Municipal Board meeting over what participants referred to as an “unauthorized paint job” of a brick building located in the Napeague shopping district. Police were called to monitor the situation and intervene if necessary.
The building in question, 45 Main Street in Napeague, has a façade constructed of red brick, and, according to Brad Poston—an architectural historian who led the protests at the meeting—the building had stood for years in an unpainted state.
“The natural red of the bricks was a integral part of Napeague’s commercial zone,” says Poston. “It fit with the historic character of the village.” In early December, however, the building’s owner decided to give the building a new look—and unwittingly provoked outrage in many quarters.
“It’s yellow,” says Poston. “I don’t care what the fancy name for that color is—I call it yellow. And now it’s literally an eyesore.” Many protestors at the meeting agreed with Poston, as speaker after speaker rose to complain about having to wear sunglasses just to walk down Napeague’s Main Street. “It’s painful to look at it, and if you stare at it too long you’re definitely going to get a headache,” said one protestor. “I can’t even go downtown anymore—it makes me sick!”
Sam Litton, who was presiding over the meeting, was forced to shout to be heard over the protestors. To the dismay of many in attendance, he offered no recourse for the community. “In Napeague, we have no mechanism to prevent an owner from painting a building any color he or she chooses,” Litton informed them. “I suggest you buy some dark sunglasses and just deal with it.”