Restore Not Replicate - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1871297

Restore Not Replicate

When my wife and I purchased our Main Street home some 15 years ago, we were left with the daunting task of replacing over 100 panes of broken original glass, as well as restoring at least seven large 1840s-era windows.

It was not difficult to find original vintage glass to authentically replace the broken panes and, while time consuming, also not difficult to find a local craftsman to restore the original rotted window frames.

After restoring the windows to their original glory, we had custom storm windows constructed, thus solving the “draft” problem. But, most importantly, we respected the integrity and beauty of a historic home in our cherished historic district — and following the guidelines of the village’s Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board.

I am baffled as to why the board would not require the same of the property at 207 Main Street [“ARB Seems Open To New Windows In 2-over-2 Style At Historic House,”, January 19].

Anyone who purchases a protected historic home on our Main Street historic district should be made, without question, to comply by the rules: restore, not replicate.

We lose our architectural history little by little, window pane by window pane. When one exception is made, yet another will follow, perhaps just slightly more extreme than the last — and so on and so on. After a while, we wind up with Disneyland versions of the real thing.

Case in point is the near total demolition of 245 Main Street not so very long ago, a magnificent, intact 1840s home that was clearly restorable and which has left us with a new age replica when the real thing was in our midst. That, of course, was an extreme wake-up call to the board, but I urge the Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board to follow their own guidelines, especially in this situation, where restoring is clearly a viable option.

Joe Lauro

Sag Harbor