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Hamptons Life

Mar 23, 2018 3:17 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Two-Home Compound With Artistic Roots Asks $11.8M In East Hampton

59 Georgica Road, East Hampton. COURTESY BROWN HARRIS STEVENS
Mar 25, 2018 3:00 PM

We’ve often cited that a good reason for a real estate article is the people behind the property, but every so often, it’s the people behind the people behind the property. Case in point, 34 Darby Lane and 59 Georgica Road. The two-home compound in East Hampton has an impressive artistic history.

The combined properties cover more than 3 acres in the Georgica estate section, and they are bordered by mature specimen trees, creating an atmosphere of complete privacy. The natural topography adds depth and character to the grounds with a subtle transition from sprawling open spaces to a more intimate and elevated landscape, culminating with the roof deck tower attached to the artist refuge that overlooks the entire estate. The price for the combo is $11,800,000 but the properties can be purchased separately. (The agent is Martha Gundersen at Brown Harris Stevens.)

The property at 34 Darby—with a home designed by Alexander Gorlin, known as one of Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Architects—was previously owned by the world-renowned art collector Richard Eckstract. Its conjoined twin, 59 Georgica, was previously owned by Phyllis Newman and Adolph Green. The former is an esteemed stage actress, who won a Tony Award for her role in “Subways Are for Sleeping.” She has also been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, and has published a memoir, “Just in Time: Notes From My Life.” And she has probably spent too much of her life clarifying that she, and not Betty Comden, is the wife of Adolph Green, who passed away in 2002.

The team of Comden and Green wrote scripts, and often the lyrics, for many Broadway shows and Hollywood film musicals. They were paired together longer than any other writing team in the history of Broadway. They met in 1938 while both were making the rounds of theatrical agents. The Village Vanguard, a bohemian nightclub in Greenwich Village, was seeking a new show, and the group including Comden and Green stepped in. Their satirical show of songs, dances, and skits enjoyed initial success and went from the Village Vanguard to engagements at uptown theaters and nightclubs. Eight years later, Comden and Green joined with composer Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins to create the Broadway musical “On the Town,” which became a feature film starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

Other Comden and Green shows include “Two on the Aisle,” “Wonderful Town” (which earned them their first of seven Tony Awards), “Applause,” “On the Twentieth Century,” and “The Will Rogers Follies.” Their most famous screen musical was “Singing in the Rain,” voted the best film musical of all time by the American Film Institute. Among their best-known songs are “Just in Time” and “The Party’s Over.” In 1980, in a well-deserved honor, Comden and Green were named to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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