Great loss

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I feel compelled to correct a statement attributed to Kristen Farrell of Farrell Construction regarding the Benson Gallery property [“Benson Gallery Demolished,” December 25].

The reason Ms. Benson’s daughter, Kimberly Goff, determined not to proceed with her project at this site was not due to community opposition. Indeed, the design, for which I was the architect, met with widespread approval and praise from many groups, including the Bridegehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, which wrote a letter of support; the Southampton Town Planning Board, with whom we worked diligently and in concert to achieve a final design, which needed no variances; and the Suffolk County Board of Health.

The proposed design featured the restored Victorian home as its centerpiece along with the property’s many 
majestic old-growth trees. The addition to the home echoed the scale, character and detailing of this classic residence, now demolished, in an effort to 
create a unified edifice as seen from Bridgehampton’s Main Street.

While there may well be an argument against the unceremonious demolishing of a historic structure prior to obtaining Planning Board approvals, the reality is that, permit or no permit, this is a loss greater than the sum of its parts, and the end of the cultural center of an era in time now lost forever.

PRESTON T. PHILLIPSBridgehampton

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