A number of cultural institutions in the Hamptons, including a historic life-saving station, the oldest house in Montauk, and the first purpose-built artist’s house in East Hampton, have either been renovated recently or will soon begin renovations. As part of Renovation Week, we've mapped this work. Enjoy, and make sure to get out there and support our local institutions.Read More
Cultural Institutions Undergoing Major Renovations in the Hamptons
From Southampton to Montauk
Thomas Halsey Homestead
Halsey House—the second-oldest building in New York State, dating to 1660—recently had its gardens renovated. Previously, it sported a Colonial-revival style herb garden, but the Southampton Garden Club renovated it to be more authentic. The new garden includes native plants as well as medicinal herbs of the 17th century. It’s planted in the shape of a cross with a sundial on a column in the center.
Southampton Arts Center
First built in 1897 to house Samuel Parrish’s art collection, three sections, all designed by architect Grosvenor Atterbury, were added in three phases ending in 1913. The building housed the Parrish Art Museum until its new building was complete. Now it is being restored inside and out and is used as a cultural center, including hosting art exhibitions and Hamptons International Film Festival screenings.
Nathaniel Rogers House
Nathaniel Rogers House is one of the most important Greek Revival homes on Long Island. Expanded and altered around 1840, the portico on the temple front has four Ionic columns. It once sported a cupola and balustrade, which were destroyed in the 1938 hurricane. For many years the house lay derelict; now run by the Bridgehampton Museum, the house has been undergoing major renovation and conservation.
Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum
The building that now houses the museum was built in 1845 by whaler Benjamin Huntting II .The house is an elaborate Greek revival structure with a temple-front portico and fluted Corinthian columns; the roof line is edged with a row of crenellation in the form of alternating flensing knives and blubber spades. It then became a Masonic Temple in 1920. In 1945 the lower floors were acquired by the whaling museum, though the upper floor is still owned and used by the Freemasons. Work to restore the building is ongoing.
Thomas Moran House
Thomas Moran House was the first artist’s studio built in East Hampton in 1884. A quirky, Queen Anne style-studio cottage, the house was the residence and work space of Hudson River School painter Thomas Moran and his artist wife Mary Nimmo Moran. The house remained privately owned until 2004 when its owner died and left it to the owners of Guild Hall. In disrepair, the ownership of the house was transferred to the Thomas Moran Trust in 2008 so that it can specifically raise funds to restore the structure. Restoration is ongoing.
East Hampton Farm Museum
This new museum opened two years ago. It's sited on what was originally town common, and then known as the mill lot. Inside the old Barnes-Lester farmhouse, the public gets to experience what life was like on a farm around 1900 in East Hampton.
Amagansett Life-Saving Station
From 1849 to 1946, a life-saving station was maintained at Amagansett for rescuing victims from coastal shipwrecks. This one was built in 1902 and is currently being restored. It is expected to open next month as a permanent museum dedicated to the history of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and Coast Guard in East Hampton, including the Nazi landing off Amagansett during World War II.
Built in 1929 by Carl Fisher, the Playhouse was originally known as the Montauk Tennis Auditorium. In the 1950s and 60s it was known as the Montauk Manor Playhouse when summer stock plays were put on. The building was abandoned in the 1970s and fell into disrepair; in 1999 the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation was established to save the structure and raise funds to rehabilitate is as a community center. Half of the building is now complete, featuring a gym, adult and child day care, the Town Annex, and more. Plans for the future include an indoor pool and a cultural center.
Second House Museum
Montauk’s oldest structure was built in 1797 to house sheep and cattle drovers. East Hampton purchased the house in 1968 and it was opened as a museum in 1969. It closed in 2014 when the interior became too dilapidated to allow visitors. East Hampton is now planning to restore the structure to its 1886 appearance and reopen the museum.