Some Agents See Trend To Modernize Old Homes - 27 East

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Some Agents See Trend To Modernize Old Homes

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Mecca Brooks, left, and Maryrose O'Connell weave eelgrass in Stephanie Forsberg's tenth grade science research class. AMANDA BERNOCCO

Mecca Brooks, left, and Maryrose O'Connell weave eelgrass in Stephanie Forsberg's tenth grade science research class. AMANDA BERNOCCO

Members of the Tuckahoe student council traveled to Human Resources of the Hamptons on Friday to donate food and clothes on behalf of the Tuckahoe School. BY ERIN MCKINLEY

Members of the Tuckahoe student council traveled to Human Resources of the Hamptons on Friday to donate food and clothes on behalf of the Tuckahoe School. BY ERIN MCKINLEY

Tuckahoe students made bowls and spoons for an upcoming fundraiser to raise awareness that there are hungry people in the community. BY ERIN MCKINLEY

Tuckahoe students made bowls and spoons for an upcoming fundraiser to raise awareness that there are hungry people in the community. BY ERIN MCKINLEY

Autumn Street, 18, a Bridgehampton senior, helps John Reilly, a social studies teacher, decorate for prom. AMANDA BERNOCCO

Autumn Street, 18, a Bridgehampton senior, helps John Reilly, a social studies teacher, decorate for prom. AMANDA BERNOCCO

author on Jun 30, 2016

Sales agents for at least one real estate firm say they see a new trend—re-imagining historical properties with modern luxury amenities, mixing the old with the new.

“I deal with a lot of historic homes and I always have in real estate, whereas I don’t really deal with new construction, so I’m on the pulse of the older homes, and I think a lot of people are going back to that character,” said Jane Gill, a real estate salesperson with Saunders & Associates, at a recent open house in Sag Harbor. “We had so much new construction … that I think people are starting to say, ‘Let’s go back to the authentic, village-style home, and let’s just bring it into the 21st century.’”

Ms. Gill said she sees this more as villages become stricter when it comes to historic buildings, with builders in some instances more likely to be granted a permit when restoring or renovating a home than when tearing it down to make room for new construction.

A recent release from Saunders pointed to two Sag Harbor homes that are on the market as examples.

A Howard Street home, dubbed the Captain Overton House for its original 1853 owner, was expanded and designed by interior designer Steven Gambrel and architectural design firm Historical Concepts.

“There’s nothing that isn’t new in this house except for a couple of pieces of furniture,” Ms. Gill said.

That applies to the exterior as well as the interior, but even so the home still has historical touches in its design and furnishing, from moldings to furniture, including a table from 1860 that Mr. Gambrel found for the home.

Its modern features include a media room, wine cellar and gym. It also has speakers and geothermal floor heating throughout.

The six-bedroom residence, which also has a rebuilt guest house, is priced at $10.5 million.

Another Sag Harbor home, at 37 Palmer Terrace in the village’s historic district, was built in 1891, and it has taken on many different roles in its life.

In the 1960s and 1970s, its third floor served as an artist studio and its back garage served as a hair salon. The building was once split into two separate homes for the two daughters of a previous owner, hence its two front doors, and it had also been split into apartments.

“Here it’s more about a lot of old details brought back to life with a combination of light and space that is a little less traditional than what you see in these older Sag Harbor homes,” said Marc Heskell, the home’s listing agent. The home now has a large atrium-style common space, built on what used to be an asphalt parking area. Its current owners, a builder and artist couple, worked to bring back the charm that old village homes have, Mr. Heskell said. The cypress shingles are original­­—each one was taken down and sanded—and elements of the old architecture, such as pocket doors and bay windows, have been maintained.

Sag Harbor Village has in recent years seen the demolition of old homes to make room for larger structures to be built on an entirely blank slate. That prompted the Village Board to introduce a moratorium last year that prevented new construction of more than 3,000 square feet or construction that would increase a home’s size by more than 50 percent.

Other efforts have been made to preserve the historic feel of the village through its architecture. Save Sag Harbor, a community-based nonprofit organization, pushes to protect the village’s character. Last year, the group circulated an online petition asking village officials to find solutions to the development trend, calling it “an alarming and immediate threat to the historic integrity of Sag Harbor Village which is listed as a district in the National Register of Historic Places.”

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