Two New Landmarks Recognized In Southampton Town

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Two houses that can be traced back to the 1700s were recently recognized by the Southampton Landmarks & Historic Districts Board as being historically and architecturally significant. The Benjamin Foster Homestead in Water Mill and the David Rose and Captain John Rose Residence in North Sea were subsequently designated landmarks by the Southampton Town Board. The addition of these two homes brings the total number of Southampton Town landmarks to 16 properties.

The historic Foster Homestead, located at 84 Montauk Highway in Water Mill, was built before 1798 for Benjamin Foster, who was born in 1734. He was related to Christopher Foster, the first family member to arrive in Long Island from England in 1635.

The main portion of the Foster Homestead is a 1½-story half-cape from the Federal-style period, which was dominant on the East End from approximately 1780 to 1840. The main entry door, as well as the chimney, is off-center with a distinctive transom of four small windows above it. This kind of house was built to accommodate additions that would eventually make it symmetrical; the owners did not follow this plan when adding to the east and south sides.

The Rose Residence, located at 1679 North Sea Road in North Sea, is a white cedar-shingle style home built circa 1740. The 1½-story deep half-Cape dwelling also exhibits a very good example of early Greek revival style, which was very popular on the East End at the time it was built. The home retains a very high level of historic integrity.

Southampton Town’s Landmarks & Historic Districts Board Chair Sally Spanburgh reported that landmark designation often enhances property values, increases the historic integrity of the neighborhood and promotes its unique architectural character.

Southampton Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming agreed.

“Preserving these structures is critical to maintaining the character and heritage of our Town and truly gives us a window into the past that is both educational and extremely interesting,” she said in a recent statement.

According to Ms. Spanburgh, landmark status doesn’t prevent property owners from performing routine maintenance anytime, or from improving their property upon review by the Landmarks & Historic Districts Board. Once a structure is designated as a local town landmark, it also becomes eligible for a tax abatement program, a preservation easement acquisition and a maintenance award. Southampton Town’s Landmarks and Historic Districts Board is also currently developing other incentives.

For those interested in pursuing a Southampton Town Landmark designation for a historic structure at least 50 years old, contact Ms. Spanburgh at 283-6000 or by email at sspanburgh@southamptontownny.gov.

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