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Hamptons Life

Jun 7, 2018 4:10 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Treehouse That Belonged To Renowned Judge Is On The Market

5 Remsen Lane, Remsenburg.  COURTESY CORCORAN
Jun 7, 2018 4:10 PM

A house going on the market for $1.05 million would not ordinarily attract our attention. Not trying to be snobby, but for better or worse a million-dollar house on eastern Long Island is not a blip on the real estate radar screen. However, a home on Remsen Lane in Remsenburg on the western edge of Southampton Town is an exception. It was once owned by Judge Irving Ben Cooper, who had as remarkable a career as anyone who wore judicial robes.

First, the 5 Remsen Lane property. Built in among the trees in 1965, the treehouse is 1,000 square feet, complete with one bedroom and two baths, an eat-in kitchen, and central air. A big plus, though, is the size of the lot, which is a shade under 2 acres. This south-of-the-highway property has room for a tennis court and a pool. “Whether you want a refuge or a retreat, a place for peaceful study and meditation, or even a permanent home, this livable treehouse could be a reality for you. There is even a World Treehouse Association that gathers for an annual conference,” The Corcoran Group advised. Who can resist that? Another plus is a bay beach at the end of the street.

Now, the judge. When he passed away in 1996, Mr. Cooper had packed a lot into his 94 years. Born in London, his family immigrated to America in 1912. He had spent 21 years as a judge in criminal court in New York. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy appointed him a federal judge. One of his biggest cases came along 10 years later, when the judge presided over a $3 million lawsuit by outfielder Curt Flood who challenged the league’s reserve system. Mr. Flood was unsuccessful, but his efforts soon led to free agency in baseball.

In 1975, Mr. Cooper took on the paparazzi, ruling that renowned celebrity photographer Ron Galella had “relentlessly invaded” the right of privacy of former First Lady Jackie Onassis by stalking her and her children with his cameras. In 1981, he ruled the case involving the prosecution of the people accused of the Brinks armored car robbery that resulted in the deaths of a guard and two police officers. Mr. Cooper remained on the bench until two years before his death.

Also listed is a neighboring property at 7 Remsen Lane, for $1,100,000. The properties could be sold separately or together.

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