BIG 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?