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Oct 10, 2018 10:33 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Designates Bridgehampton Home A Historic Landmark

A Bridgehampton home built in the 19th century and owned by Captain Alanson Topping is being considered as an historic landmark by the Southampton Town Board. GREG WEHNER
Oct 10, 2018 10:53 AM

A 19th-century home in Bridgehampton was designated as a historic landmark by Southampton Town Board members on Tuesday.

Located at 189 Lumber Lane, the home was once owned by Captain Alanson Topping and dates back to between 1838 and 1858, when Mr. Topping had the Greek Revival-style home built for his sister Sarah.

The house was a smaller version of the Greek Revival home Mr. Topping and his family lived in near the new home—a landmark along Montauk Highway now owned by the town.

On Tuesday, Ed Wesnofske, a member of the Southampton Landmarks and Historic Districts Board, presented Town Board members with the history of the building before they unanimously approved its designation. Now that the home is designated as a historic landmark, anyone who purchases the home will have to obtain a certificate of approval from the Landmarks Board if they want to make any changes to the exterior. Any changes inside will require only a building permit.

Mr. Topping worked in real estate and was employed by the Town of Southampton in various positions, including coroner, commissioner of highways, justice of the peace, overseer of the poor, and inspector of elections. And although some may suspect he was a whaling captain, he earned the name when he worked as a wreck master, or someone “charged with rescue and salvage responsibilities” when a ship was at risk.

The home changed hands a few times before it was purchased by Arthur Hempstead Newman, an architect and engineer, in 1947. Mr. Newman designed many buildings on eastern Long Island, including a wing at Guild Hall and the Elks Lodge on County Road 39, as well as a reconstruction of the East Hampton Presbyterian Church. Also, he was the son of the Reverend Arthur Newman, who was the ninth pastor of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church.

The Newman family still owns the home, although they do not live locally, and they suggested that the building be considered for landmark designation.

During a public hearing that took place at the Town Board’s meeting on Tuesday, Pam Harwood, the chairwoman of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, said the consensus of CAC members is to advocate for the preservation of anything of historic value, including the home at 189 Lumber Lane.

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