From dilapidated to updated, the Isaac Osborn farmhouse on Newtown Lane in East Hampton has received a breath of life in the form of a $600,000 restoration.
Built by the Jones family in 1840 on one of the village’s large “home lots,” the farmhouse, also known as the Lamb-Baker house, was home to the Osborn family until 2007, when Carol and David Baker, heirs of Adele Lamb, sold the building for $1.4 million to the village to use as office space.
After 10 months of detailed work by Strada Baxter Design Build in Amagansett, the farmhouse was complete. In October, the village celebrated its new look with an open house.
Those who walked the home’s wooden floor at the open house got to see an 1899 wood-burning stove, the original archways, front door and mahogany stair railing, and period-appropriate details, like a wooden mantelpiece and veneer plaster door frames.
A long piece of timber from the original 1840 foundation sits in the kitchen, complete with trunnels that had fastened the wood to a ship, according to Robert Hefner, the village’s historic preservation adviser.
“You hear stories about ship timbers being used in houses,” he said. “I’ve never seen one before. This is my first one.”
He said when Strada Baxter Design Build looked at the house, they found that it was “structurally not bad,” and really only required repairs to the first-floor frame, among other improvements. He said the company had excavated a larger cellar.
The Osborn property, which extended all the way to Cooper Lane, had two barns and another farmhouse that was torn down when the middle school was built next to it. What remained were two outbuildings—a 19th-century workshop and an early 20th-century garage/cottage. The workshop has been moved to the East Hampton Historical Society’s Mulford Farm for use as a blacksmith shop.
Mr. Hefner’s office will be relocated from the Osborn-Jackson House on Main Street to the Isaac Osborn House “pretty soon,” he said. “The main reason the village purchased the building was because this part of Newtown Lane has houses and the village wanted to keep the character of the neighborhood and not have it torn down to become something commercial. This house has beautiful proportions.”