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HERE’S A NEW YEAR’S GOODIE. Yep, with the turn of the calendar, it’s time to start thinking about…summer houses! The listing says this sweet and unpretentious 3BR, 2 bath  (bigger than it looks at from the outside) dates from 1847, and that seems about right. The symmetry, porch columns, pilasters on either side of the front door and six-over-six windows, all say Greek Revival to me. At the same time, the front porch and picket fence say farmhouse (they’re not mutually exclusive). It’s in the village of Greenport,on Long Island’s North Fork, where nearly all the houses are of similar vintage (see more of Greenport’s architectural charms here).


The price has just been reduced by 30K. The still-upwards-of-400K ask reflects the tip-top condition of the house, the optimism of the sellers, and the market being pretty strong.


Except for the dated kitchen, the house appears immaculate — renovated perhaps to a fault (recessed lights in old houses are a particular peeve of mine).


Check out the listing, with lots more photos, here.


Anyone local have insight to share about the Main Street location?

FRESH NORTH FORK PICKIN’S for someone in search of a 1910 house with nice proportions (from the front at least — the rear has additions upon additions) on a long, skinny 1.24 acres in Greenport’s “limited business” zone.

Greenport, way out on the East End of Long Island, is a bayfront village with much to recommend it (restaurants, shops, cool people). It’s made up almost exclusively of older homes, and they’re very well-priced. My guess is that Greenport has only just begun.

This brand-new-to-market 3BR, 1 Bath lacks for landscaping, to say the least. What could this property be used for? A nursery? Antiques business? Furniture making or refinishing? Bike shop?

In real estate jargon, “The possibilities are endless!” I’ve run out of ideas, though. What would you do with it, if anything?

For more info and photos (though none of the interior, I’m afraid), go here.

A FIELD GUIDE to 19th century American architecture, all on one block in one town. Not even that long a block either: Bay Avenue in Greenport, on the North Fork of Long Island. There’s everything from a c.1820 Greek Revival sea captain’s cottage to squared-off Italianates of the 1840s, front porch farmhouses, and turreted Victorians. Take a walk and gawk with me…

Got a favorite?

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THERE ARE LOTS OF LITTLE TREASURES tucked into the quiet back streets of Greenport, a bayside town with great vintage character on Long Island’s North Fork.

Here are two that just hit the market within the past week. The broker who called my attention to them is John Yunitis, 631/252-8451.

Exhibit A, above, is a mid-19th century 3BR with eyebrow windows, original clapboard siding, wide plank floors, wood-burning stove, and an old outbuilding, below, in the backyard. Asking price: $399,000.


For more interior pictures showing the original staircases and other details, go here.

Exhibit B, below, is described as an 1880s saltbox, but it looks about the same size, era, and construction as the other — said to be 1840s, which seems about right (and not a saltbox). Also 3BR, it’s apparently in very spiffy shape, as you can see from the many interior photos that accompany the realtor’s listing. Ask is 362K.



SHELTER ISLAND IS AN IDYLLIC PLACE, tucked between the North and South Forks of Long Island and accessible only by ferry. In its northwest corner is an almost perfectly preserved community of 1870s cottages with steeply pitched roofs and distinctive wood trim, along with more elaborate houses of the 1880s.

That corner of the island is Shelter Island Heights, with a total of 141 vintage houses on roughly 300 acres. About 100 of them were built by the Methodist Episcopal Church which, for eight short years in the 1870s, used the area for religious camp meetings. Frederick Law Olmstead had a hand in laying out the  park-like open spaces, curving roads, and groves of trees.


The first wave of construction consisted of about 70 cottages with steeply pitched gable roofs and elaborate wood trim, similar to those found at camp meeting sites like Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and Ocean Grove, N.J.,

Two such houses, top, in Shelter Island Heights — next door neighbors, in fact — are now on the market. Both are circa 1879, with water views, as well as occasional views of cars lined up to board the North Ferry for Greenport.


5 Clinton Avenue, for 495K, above, is an unheated 4BR, 1.5 bath cottage with a wraparound front porch and open second floor balcony. Go here for more info and pics.

2 Waverly Place, asking 595K, below, is similar, but with 3 BR, electric heat, and a large side yard. There more info here.


Both are convenient to charming and low-key shops and restaurants, as well as tennis, beach, ferry, and marina.

Please note: I am not a real estate broker, nor do I have any financial interest in the sale of any property mentioned on this blog. I just like spreading the word about unique, historic properties and what I believe are solid investment opportunities.

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