Re-Painted Lady?

RCAR04nmsBIG HOO-HAH here in the East End over the historic Hildreth house in Southampton, an 1885 Stick-style Victorian on which James Fairchild, the publishing heir, and his wife Whitney, have recently gone to contract (the listing price was $11 million).

The main sticking point is that the prospective new owners want to to stain the distinctively colored house gray, and paint the trim white (yawn).

The first Southampton Architectural Review Board hearing on the matter was inconclusive; another is scheduled for next week. “To denude this painted lady of her clothes,” said Richard Barons, director of the East Hampton Historical Society, “is obscene.”

I’m not sure where I stand. The rich red, green, and taupe scheme is not original to the house, but it’s appropriate to its Aesthetic Movement origins. But if you’re paying millions for a house, and there are no landmarks regulations to the contrary (which there are not, as apply specifically to paint color), maybe you should be allowed to paint it any color you want? It’s only paint, after all.

Get the full story here.

What do you think?

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here:
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3 Responses to Re-Painted Lady?

  1. Astor C says:

    If I’m not mistaken the iconic Parthenon frieze was originally painted in garish colors (oh, those crazy Greeks), now gone, but can you imagine the fuss if someone today suggested a new paint job? Who’s to determine what is authentic and what’s not… especially after we’ve become accustomed to seeing something in a certain way? Does it really matter?

  2. Nancy says:

    I think they should either keep the color scheme it currently has or research the original colors and go back to that. What concerns me more is putting a parking lot in front and subdividing the property. Who knows what horrible structures they plan to add.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Hard to say. It looks good to me the way it is, but then, I didn’t just buy it.

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