July 26, 2017

Renovation 'Round The Pond

Bridget LeRoy. (click for larger version)
There's big doings down at two of East Hampton's most historic properties on the edges of Town Pond, mere steps from where the area's first English settler, Lion Gardiner, slumbers for eternity in effigial repose.

Both the Gardiner mill cottage on James Lane – on land that once belonged to Lion Gardiner -- and the house at 223 Main Street, known as "Third House" – circa 1685 – are undergoing much-needed renovations, thanks to careful yet expert ministrations of Dick Baxter and Robert Strada, the principals of Strada Baxter Design/Build.

"The town deserves a big round of applause for this one," Baxter said. When putting out the Request for Proposal on the Gardiner mill house, the town -- which purchased the lot and windmill three years ago -- chose to award the bid not just to the low-baller, but to the bidder with the most artisanal experience, based on a points system the town employed on the RFP.

"We won the bid, because we both scored the highest points, and actually came in the lowest too," said Strada. Work began on the project only this month, and should be finished in 10 to 12 months.

Plans for the mill cottage on Lion Gardiner's original lot of land at James Lane include removing additions, like the dormers, and restoring the look to the way it appeared in the 1860s. And plans for the inside? With the assistance of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, established by the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner's Island before his death in 2004, the interior of the cottage will be turned into a gallery showcasing paintings and other art primarily from the 19th century.

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