Dodging Demolition, Historic Howell House Draws New Interest - 27 East

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Dodging Demolition, Historic Howell House Draws New Interest

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author on Apr 1, 2015

A historic Bridgehampton home on demolition row had lost its chance at preservation this week when a couple seeking to save it was forced to back out. In an unusual turn of events, however, a new party stepped forward almost immediately.

“They were thrilled that the first interested party withdrew,” said Sally Spanburgh, chairperson of the Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic Districts Board. A longtime advocate of historic home preservation, Ms. Spanburgh has been keeping a close eye on this one, which dates back to the 1800s.

Located at 195 Quimby Lane, the house was built by Benjamin Glover for Benjamin Franklin Howell, who lived from 1801 to 1855. At two stories, it has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, with a side gabled roof, double-hung windows and a central entryway. Covered in cedar shingles with corner boards, it has one- and two-story rear extensions. The residence also has symmetrical internal side chimneys, a style of construction that dates to around 1800.

In 1983, Wallace and Elise Quimby purchased the Howell home and had it moved to its current location on Quimby Lane. Like the Howells, the Quimbys are a family with historic roots in the hamlet, theirs dating back to the 19th century.

The home’s current owner is architect Francois de Menil, who successfully applied to have it demolished and can now acquire a demolition permit anytime. However, he has been considering offers to have it relocated and preserved instead.

The first couple who wanted to save the home were Peter and Lisa Zippelius, but they do not own property on which to relocate it. “They were in the process of buying one of two properties, but for a variety of reasons both properties fell through,” said Ms. Spanburgh.

According to the chairperson, the new interested party, most likely full-time residents who escape for the winters, reached out to her to learn more about the house and the logistics entailed in preserving it.

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