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Hamptons Life

Dec 5, 2017 5:56 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Former Generosa And Ted Ammon House Sells

59 Middle Lane, East Hampton, owned by siblings Greg and Alexa Ammon, was listed exclusively with Judi Desiderio of Town & Country Real Estate in June 2017. COURTESY TOWN & COUNTRY
Dec 5, 2017 6:18 PM

Last spring, when their East Hampton house was put on the market, Gregory Ammon said, “Alexa and I are now ready to sell our childhood home.” Well, whether the siblings are ready or not, it’s time to call the movers because the property at 59 Middle Lane in the village closed last week. Originally listed at $12,700,000, and more recently at $10,995,000, the final purchase price has been reported to be between $8 million and $9 million.

Why such a drop? Inevitably, the history of the house had a powerful impact. It was owned by the siblings’ late parents, Generosa and Ted Ammon, who unwittingly became involved in a plot right out of a Hollywood film noir movie from the 1940s, a James M. Cain-like potboiler: A millionaire father is found murdered and suspicion falls upon his wife and her lover. This is the stuff that tabloid scandals are made of, and there was plenty of newsprint and broadcast time lavished on the death of Ted Ammon at the Middle Lane manse in October 2001. At the time, the twins Greg and Alexa, who had been adopted from the Ukraine, were only 10 years old. (These and related events were portrayed in a documentary titled “59 Middle Lane,” which made its debut in 2012 at the Hamptons International Film Festival.)

That murder is such a rare occurrence in East Hampton was just one reason for the screaming headlines. Ted Ammon had been a major player on Wall Street, and among the volunteer positions he held was heading the Jazz at Lincoln Center program. And the crime scenario was right out of a Raymond Chandler novel with Philip Marlow as the stubborn gumshoe. The Ammons were undergoing a bitter divorce battle because the attractive Generosa had taken up with a Long Island contractor, Daniel Pelosi. Eventually, Pelosi was convicted of entering the Ammons’ south-of-the-highway home and bludgeoning his lover’s husband to death. Three years after the murder, Generosa Ammon died of breast cancer, and after a custody fight the Ammon children were awarded to an aunt and uncle in Alabama, where they were raised.

A rewarding aspect to the 2012 documentary, directed by Gregory Ammon, was the poignant tale of twins whose lives were affected but not dictated by tragedy and who, at that time 20 years old, were searching for their roots and the rest of their family. That journey has also included Gregory opening the Big Flower clothing boutique on Newtown Lane in East Hampton last year and Alexa graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts to embark on a career in film and photography. And now, apparently, it involves moving beyond Middle Lane.

The English Manor-style home has, we’re told by Town & Country, the sellers’ agency, “magnificent gardens, with pond, nestled on a manicured 2.2 lush acres. Just a short distance to the ocean, the Maidstone Club and Main Street shopping.” The new, un-named owner will enjoy 7,000 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, solarium, library, gourmet kitchen, library, family room, exercise room, heated pool, pool house, and 3-car garage, all on a very private setting in the heart of the estate section of East Hampton Village.

May the purchaser live in peace.

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