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Hamptons Life

Sep 15, 2017 3:36 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Historic Seven Sisters Home Goes Back On The Market

153 Deforest Road, Montauk, one of the Seven Sisters. COURTESY SOTHEBY'S
Sep 15, 2017 3:36 PM

If you want to own one of the Seven Sisters in Montauk—the unique and historic homes built by the legendary architecture firm of McKim, Mead & White—now is the time, for a relatively modest $16,250,000. Another one of them, long owned and completely rebuilt after a fire by Dick Cavett, known as Tick Hall, is presently on the market for $62 million.

The property at 153 Deforest Road, which is represented by Sotheby’s International Realty, was put on the market last year with a sale sticker of $18,500,000. Apparently, there were no takers, and now the owners are trying again after a $2.25 million price drop. The 3,800-square-foot residence has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and its 2.3 acres are high enough on the Montauk peninsula to offer a grand view of the Atlantic Ocean. No pool, alas.

Riding on the reputation of having developed Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, and wanting to find more success farther east, in 1879 the real estate magnate Arthur Benson arrived in Montauk and promptly purchased most of it. This was unhappy news to the Montaukett Indians who occupied some of the land—but that’s another story. To construct vacation homes for himself and wealthy buddies, Benson employed Frederick Law Olmstead, who had creating Central Park on his resume, and Stanford White of the design firm cited above. They collaborated on the structures that would become known as the Seven Sisters.

The house just returned to the market was built for William Loring Andrews. For the most part, the claim to fame of this New York businessman was being a founding member, in 1884, of the Grolier Club. It is the oldest bibliophile club in North America, and was named after Jean Grolier de Servieres, Viscount of d’Aguisy, the treasurer general of France whose library was world-famous. The Grolier Club maintains a research library specializing in books, printing, binding, illustration and bookselling. One of its prominent and more unfortunate members was Harry Elkins Widener, a wealthy young bibliophile who perished when the Titanic sank in 1912. As a result, his grieving mother created a library named after her son at Harvard University.

Thinking of visiting the Grolier Club? You’ll find it at 47 East 60th Street in Manhattan.

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