East Hampton House Tour Rings In The Holidays

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If skies are fair on November 29, the 2014 holiday House and Garden Tour for the East Hampton Historical Society could conceivably be undertaken on foot—or at least on a bike. That’s because all five stops are in East Hampton Village—on Buell, Hither and Egypt lanes, to be precise.

“Up and Down the Village Lanes” is therefore this year’s title for the tour, which is now in its 30th year. The person who has been chairing the event for seven years, Joseph Aversano, explained that his “new trick” this year would be decidedly to not have “people traveling every which way,” as they did for last year’s “A Ramble Along the Coast.” That tour stretched from Georgica to Napeague, where the home of the interior designer David Netto stands in the dunes. “I never thought people would go out that far—and they did, and they loved it,” Mr. Aversano said.

He expects people to love this year’s tour, too. “East Hampton Village will be the star, or the host, of the house tour this year,“ he said. “It’s very concise in terms of streets. One I did about five years ago was on a very warm day, and everyone just had a ball. They did walk.”

A last-minute addition to the mostly shingle-style homes is a Mediterranean-style stucco house on Egypt Lane, built in 1921, overlooking the Maidstone Club. It was designed by the architects Polhemus and Coffin. Mr. Aversano called it “a gem … one of the more iconic houses.” Formerly owned by Joseph Kazickas, a Lithuanian businessman and philanthropist who died this summer, the estate’s garden contains modernist murals and sculptures by Lithuanian artists, including a mosaic that forms a backdrop to an Olympic-style pool, to which there is a circle attached with “a beautiful sculpture” in the center.

“Squint your eyes and try to think of Botticelli’s ‘Rising From the Sea,’” Mr. Aversano said of the mosaic.

Also on Egypt Lane is what the Historical Society calls “the Huntting hideaway,” a traditional shingle-style house with a tile mural of the Lucy, the whaleboat of one Captain Huntting, that frames a hearth in a nautically inspired room.

On Hither Lane is another shingle-style with mid-century accents. “It’s quite a surprise when you walk in the door,” said Mr. Aversano. “We really developed quite a following over the years, so all the interior designers that have worked with these homeowners stretch their creative wings.”

The interior of a shingle-style compound on Buell Lane was decorated by Celerie Kemble, “really a very talented designer,” Mr. Aversano said. And another stop on Buell Lane will be at the Osborne house, a shingle-style home that has been expanded with modernist interiors introduced to the space.

“The shingle has become the symbol of the East End,” said Richard Barons, director of the East Hampton Historical Society, in a press release. “Through a varied vocabulary, architects have used the shingle to express the past in the present.”

As homeowners grow more protective of their privacy, house tours not only raise money for a good cause but also offer “a good chance to snoop,” Mr. Aversano said, with levity. “Anytime you can dust off your walking shoes and get a peek inside …”

A cocktail party on Friday, November 28, at the Maidstone Club will kick off the tour. The cocktail party runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and tickets cost $200 each, which covers admission to the house tour the next day. Tickets to the tour alone cost $65 in advance and $75 the day of the tour. They can be purchased at the Historical Society’s office at 101 Main Street on Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., by phone at 324-6850, or at www.easthamptonhistory.org.

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