The Southampton Town Board will discuss acquiring the site of the former Pyrrhus Concer house in Southampton Village at a public hearing on Tuesday, July 14. The town will use money from the Community Preservation Fund, garnered from real estate sales in the town, to purchase the property for an amount “not to exceed” $4.3 million.
Owners David and Silvia Hermer purchased the .82-acre property at 51 Pond Lane in 2013 for $2.75 million. At the time they said they planned to build a new, single-family, two-story home.
The original house was at the center of controversy. After several months of public debate, the Southampton Village Architectural Review Board in September 2013 denied an application to demolish the structure. Opponents said it was an integral part of African-American history, as it is believed it was inhabited by Mr. Concer, an African-American historical figure of some renown who was born in 1814.
The Hermers argued that very few, if any, historic elements remained in most of the house, which was built as an addition in the 1900s, after Mr. Concer had died. The couple filed a $10 million notice of claim against the village, claiming that their rights as property owners were being denied. In May, the village and the homeowners reached an agreement, and the village was given permission to salvage historic artifacts before the building was ultimately demolished in August of last year.
Following the public acquisition, the town reportedly has plans to turn the site into a museum honoring Mr. Concer and African-American heritage. The public hearing will be held at Southampton Town Hall, starting at 1 p.m.
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