The dazzling wares of East Hampton outposts for Gucci, Cartier, Valentino, and Prada seem far removed from the days of the Dominy family, a brood of talented carpenters who made handcrafted clocks, beds, spinning wheels and fences back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries on North Main Street. But the rich history of East Hampton Village isn’t just the stuff of sepia-toned photos in storybooks. The good work of the East Hampton Historical Society makes sure of that—and if you nab a ticket to this week’s 37th annual House & Garden Tour, you’ll see live and direct just how stunning that history can be.
On Saturday, November 26th, the owners of five East Hampton homes spanning five centuries of history will open their doors for a rare peek inside some of the Village’s magnificent architectural masterpieces. Southforker got a preview of what’s in store…
If you’ve ever walked East Hampton’s 24-acre Nature Trail, then you’ve set foot upon the lands that were once occupied by Lorenzo Guernsey and Emma Woodhouse, the first owners of Greycroft and, the latter, benefactress of the first Japanese garden in the United States located on the home’s prior four acre parcel.
If you think shingle-style homes and the Hamptons go together like rosé and… well, the Hamptons, this home, finished in 1894, is one of the first in this style designed by architect Isaac Henry Green.
The White House
It’s the first house that catches your eye when you enter East Hampton Village, but how could it not be? This pristine 7,615-square-foot mansion is ever-spiffy. Oddly, though, it’s often remained empty of occupants, history loving or otherwise. That is until its current owners purchased it during an estate sale in December 2020 (what a yard sale that must have afforded!). See the complete renovation of this once lonely manse and architectural welcome wagon to the Village.
Center-Hall Colonial Revival Getaway
With its trio of dormer windows and dual sweeping second-floor decks flanking each side of this circa 1919 grand home, a tour of this center-hall centerpiece is a treat your inner design doyenne who’s grown weary of the ubiquitous beachy interior styles of many a manse. Vintage touches, keen design detail, and eye-catching treats like the soothing marine blue 1907 Louis Comfort Tiffany-stained glass window will have you wishing you could linger a while longer in its climes.
The Isaac W. Miller House
Why is this snappy little saltbox named after Isaac Miller? That’s just one of the mysterious bits of lure surrounding this circa 1658 perfectly preserved treasure on Main Street. Some say it was originally built by Lion Gardiner for his daughter’s marriage, some say it was the third house ever built in East Hampton. Today, it serves as a well-lived in home to its current owner, with both modern updates and nods to its Colonial past.
This shingle-style ode to the East End’s past is actually the new kid on the block, but a fun treat to visit and appreciate how East Hampton’s past still influences its present. With eyebrow dormers, a covered porch, and gentle, undulating curved-roof accents, it’s the excellent coda of an uncommon opportunity to see the convergence of Hamptons history and modern style.
Tickets for the self-guided 2022 East Hampton House & Garden Tour are $85 in advance, $100 day-of. Tickets are also available for the November 25th Friday night kick-off cocktail party and EHHS fundraiser at the Maidstone Club for $250 per person. All tickets may be purchased by calling 631-324-6850, visiting the East Hampton Historical Society website, or at the Clinton Academy Museum located at 151 Main Street between the hours of 10am and 4pm Friday, November 25th, or 10am to 3pm Saturday, November 26th.