Behind The HedgesReal Estate

Property of the Week: “The White House,” East Hampton

This house and its grounds have been iconic for decades. Its late owner, businessman Fred Mengoni, told the New York Times in 1997, “I love it here, better than anywhere else in the world, and I’ve been everywhere.”

Astonishingly, though, he slept there fewer than 15 times in the nearly 30 years he owned it. The place stayed immaculately kept up, but empty.

The house is known alternatively as the Jeremiah Osborn House, after its first owner, or the “White House,” as dubbed by Mr. Mengoni. It was originally built around 1725, and it faced east, toward Town Pond. Around 1907, the building was moved back from the road, rotated 90 degrees, and then heavily remodeled in the Colonial Revival style. But by the time Mr. Mengoni bought it in 1989, the house was a wreck, so he spent four years and a great deal of money rebuilding it. He told the Times in 1997 that it was his favorite of his many residences, and that “Someday, I would like to live here all the time. Someday.” But he never did. He died February 2, 2018, at the age of 95.

Now his heirs have put the property on the market, listing with Douglas Brown and Paul Brennan at Douglas Elliman. “The most exciting part of the property,” Brown says, “is the three acres in the village of East Hampton. That much land surprises people because it is hidden on the side of the house. The beautiful landscaping is reminiscent of a 17th century French estate.” (We personally miss the beautiful old copper beeches that were in the front, but they died a couple years ago.)

The allée leading to the fountain is of cherry trees. There’s a tennis court and a 20’x 53′ gunite pool with pool house and gazebo. A three-car garage is attached to the original barn, which still shelters Mr. Mengoni’s 1988 Ferrari, with only 6000 miles on it.

The interior of the house is quite formal, but in “excellent condition,” according to Brown. The 7600 square foot building encompasses four levels of living space, boasting seven bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half-bathrooms. The lower level includes a rosewood bar, fireplace, sauna, Jacuzzi and wine cellar.

Asking price for all this is $12.5 million, but bragging rights are included. Adds Brown, “The buyer I expect is someone who appreciates the village and historic houses.”

For more, click here. 6 Woods Lane, East Hampton

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