The Other East Hampton


THE WORD “HAMPTONS” generally conjures up a picture of oceanfront chateaux behind impenetrable hedges, or modernist cubes in the dunes with infinity pools and five-car garages.


The modest circa-1940s cottages in this post are typical of the Maidstone Park neighborhood, a short walk from the sandy beaches of Gardiner’s Bay.


They’re in the unincorporated area called Springs, 5 miles north of the picture-postcard Village of East Hampton, but very much in the Town of East Hampton, with East Hampton taxes and an East Hampton ZIP.


I enjoy fantasizing about buying and fixing up one or more of these unpretentious summer houses (some now occupied year-round).


But they rarely come on the market — they’ve been in families forever — and when they do, it’s often with unrealistic price tags.


The cottage, above, totally spiffed up and kitted out inside, sold recently for over half a million. (That wasn’t unrealistic, but I’ve occasionally seen others with asking prices of 700K and more.)


Take a walk with me down Richardson Avenue, when the stark winter landscape lays bare houses that in high season are mostly hidden behind tangles of shrubbery and brush. It’s a fine thing to do on a dreary February day.




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:
This entry was posted in COTTAGE LIVING, HAMPTONS, LONG ISLAND and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Other East Hampton

  1. hamptontoes says:

    You are so right, when people think of the Hamptons they generally think of mansions and hedgerow…so fun to see these other gems!

  2. Jo says:

    So nice to take a virtual stroll with you this morning, Cara!

    Now I’m off for a real work. Great photos of late (as always), keep ’em coming.

  3. Coppermaven says:

    These houses look even smaller than the ones in your part of the Springs. Were they specifically built as summer only?

  4. Terry says:

    Didn’t you show that yellow house with the curved gate before. One of my faves.

  5. GAP says:

    The “other” other Hamptons: Far Rockaway. I just last month bought one of those derelict bungalows pictured on a number of website photo essays; renovation begins at the end of the week. Been watching for your bathroom renovation pictures because I have one on the horizon myself. Right now, far out on the horizon! Lots of more important stuff to do first. I love small places too, and I’d much rather have one of the cottages you feature than one of those huge mansions. I plan to make mine unpretentiously adorable–and comfortable.

  6. Jeanne says:

    How fortunate for the families who have held onto these cottages over the years. They look like they could really be adorable.

  7. Jo says:


    *s/b ‘real walk’

    real work can wait another day


  8. I was in Springs today! It’s beautiful there! Thanks for sharing these Cara.

  9. cara says:

    Gosh, folks, thanks for all the comments! I’ll have to take you on walks more often;-)
    Cop, they look like they were built as summer cottages; many still are. Terry, yes, I blogged about that yellow house twice before; there’s a link to one of the previous posts in this post. GAP, best of luck with your Rockaway cottage — I hope you’ll keep us posted on your progress! I have long had a soft spot for them, too. Did you see this?

  10. GAP says:

    I did see your post! I was delighted to see it but at the time it was an “uh-oh”–not easy to buy one of them and I was afraid the coverage would create a stampede. It took me about a year and a half to get a deal to work out. The one I finally was able to buy needs a complete rehab. Weather permitting, they start on the roof and the facade late this week.

    Love the way your bathroom came out. I think mine is a bit smaller, but I’m going to keep it simple too. Wanted a clawfoot tub in there because I think that’s what was original, but I noted you said they were expensive. Will probably buy some light fixtures from that great place you found.

  11. GAP says:

    Just clicked on your post again, and yes, that is my colony and the one I bought is your third photo down, the one boarded up! Had no idea that one was going to be “the one” when I read your post in July. It did not come up for sale until September. When I sent pictures to my friends they thought I had bought my next re-hab in New Orleans.

  12. cara says:

    GAP, wow, well, good for you!! You should start your own renovation blog so we can all follow… Re claw-foot tubs, they’re expensive new, that’s for sure. You can probably find a vintage one for a few hundred. Try Moon River Chattel in Williamsburg (did a post about that too) — and you should also know about a place called Build it Green in Astoria They sell recycled building materials. Haven’t been there myself yet, but I’ve heard it’s a fantastic resource.

  13. GAP says:

    Thanks for the tips re: vintage and recycled. I will have to look into that. Though I have to admit, my renos are starting to get like yours: I have people I trust to do this work and I plan to leave them to it, for the most part. Not sure I will spend a lot of time sourcing on this one. I simply don’t have the time now. But maybe, by when I get to the interior, things will ease up a bit.

    Will have to think about a blog too.

  14. Justine Cullinan says:

    I stayed in a few of these houses some 60+ years ago (the second one down was originally a little real estate office and was bought by one of my father’s fellow firemen from Engine Company 258 in Long Island City in the 1940s. We stayed there for a few weeks each summer and I can still conjure up the Tilley’s general store (now Michael’s of Maidstone), where we would go for ice cream cones and the adults could go for beer (though I’m not sure of that detail — I do know that pictures of the candidates for Miss Rheingold were arrayed behind the counter, where there was a ballot box and a pencil). I can still hear the sound of the screen door opening and closing hundreds of times a day … Another house, the yellow one with the hortus inclusus, was featured in a NYT article on small modest houses of the East End (it wasn’t referred to as the Hamptons till the ’70s or ’80s).

  15. cara says:

    Fascinating, Justine! Especially the part about Tilley’s general store. That’s one thing I love about the Maidstone Park area – it still feels like the 1940s!

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