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Hamptons Life

May 2, 2016 1:14 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Sagaponack Home That Belonged To Late Artist Is Sold

A barn at 53 Sagg Main is up for grabs for anyone willing to move it.
May 2, 2016 1:14 PM

The recent sale of 53 Sagg Main Street in Sagaponack, for a reported $4,475,000, is one of those situations where both the buyer, the house, and the seller are interesting—or in the case of the latter, was interesting. The property was sold by the estate of Sydney Butchkes, an artist who died last August.

He was born in Kentucky and raised in Cincinnati, then came to New York to study at the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research. During World War II, he enlisted and was deployed to Europe, where he studied how to help defeat Germany by creating maps and bridges. Upon his return to New York, Mr. Butchkes was a designer of album jackets at Columbia Records, then, inspired by the work of the New York School of artists, he decided to devote himself full-time to art. He must have turned out to be pretty good at it because work by Mr. Butchkes can be found in the collections of numerous institutions, including the National Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mr. Butchkes bought his house in Sagaponack more than 50 years ago, when it probably cost as much as a dinner at the Palm does today. It began as a barn built in the 1840s, and over the decades the structure has undergone several expansions and renovations. An indication of how open the interior is: There are only two bedrooms and two bathrooms in 5,000 square feet. The living space features original exposed beam ceilings, wide plank flooring, and a fireplace. A barn and other smaller structures can be found on the 3.4-acre property, which is south of Montauk Highway.

The buyer, Debra Simon, is known as a “boutique builder.” A specialty of hers is to take older dwellings in need of renovation and bring them into the 21st century while retaining their rustic character. She has offered a barn on the former Butchkes property to anyone who will come and remove it. If that does not happen, she hopes to donate it to a local nonprofit organization, and Plan C is to take the barn apart and use some of the wood in new construction.

The architect Peter Cook has been busy lately, not just in designing houses, but in selling and buying them. Recently, his house off Fresh Pond Road in North Haven was sold for $2.6 million to Markus Kiersztan, who is now the owner and creative director of MP Creative in Manhattan. He began in the design business in 1989 as an associate art director for Conde Nast in Germany then came to the States to become the art director of Spy Magazine. He later worked for Details Magazine and the advertising firm Weiden + Kennedy before founding MP Creative in 2003. Its clients include Nike, Lucas Film, and Audi.

No worries that Mr. Cook will be homeless. A week after the closing of the Fresh Pond Road property, the architect closed on a house on South Harbor Drive, also in North Haven, purchased for $2,175,000, apparently making a tidy little profit in the process.

Trend-spotting: Real estate-wise, could Sagg Pond be the new Atlantic Ocean? The Israeli architect Irma Orenstein hopes so, because she has designed a house on the pond that is being offered for $45 million. And really putting “speculative” into “spec house” as it hasn’t even been built yet.

For the $45 million you get 10 acres on the pond in Sagaponack, the services of Hamptons-based builder Jeffrey Colle, and a set of plans. Those plans call for a 14,000-square-foot modern house with layered white rectangles, walls of glass and wood, seven bedrooms, a gym, and even a screening room for aspiring or retiring movie moguls. There is 240 feet of frontage on Sagg Pond, but you won’t even have to dip your toe in it because there will be a pool facing it. Also on the property will be a sunken tennis court and pool house with a sauna. If this is your cup of tea, contact Lori Schiaffino at Saunders Realty.

What is it with big-ticket properties and foreclosures lately? There has been quite the mini-epidemic. Break open that piggy bank and hike over to Southampton Town Hall on May 11 to bid on 66 Pine Street in the village. The owner, Joseph Thomas, owes $1,037,935 on it, which is not a fun situation. On June 2, head back to Southampton Town Hall where 6 Ashwood Court is to be auctioned off. Also in that unhappy million-dollar club is Joel Troy, who owes $1,056,123 on it. And a whopper of a foreclosure is the $2,842,858 owed by Stanley and Joanne Dalene on a property at 180 Waterhole Road. If interested, be at East Hampton Town Hall on May 18.

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I'm glad to be back with the SH Press. just looking for tidbits of info.
By summertimegal (93), southampton on May 3, 16 12:54 PM
How do I find out about that barn they want to move?
jajoart@hamptons.com
By jajo (3), Sag Harbor on May 12, 16 5:43 PM