The oldest house in Hampton Bays is up for auction. The Ellis Squires House, built in 1785 by the Squires family, sits at 186 Newtown Road and is need of some fixing up.
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The Squires House was purchased by Southampton Town in October of 2005 with general fund money. Only the land is owned by, and will be preserved by, the town.
"The house was bought with general fund money, so anyone can bid on it," said Councilwoman Nancy Graboski.
On Friday, the town board proposed a resolution concerning the house that said all bidders must provide, along with their bids, bid security in the form of a certified check equal to five percent of his/her total bid payable to the order of the Town of Southampton, or a bond with sufficient sureties, acceptable to the town, in the sum of five percent of the bid as a deposit. The winning bidder will be required to furnish a certified check equal to 10 percent of the bid amount.
The winning bidder will acquire a house that's situated on six and a half acres of preserved land that includes a wooded area and accessibility to the water.
The town board was expected to vote on the resolution during its regular meeting yesterday. Bid specs will be available beginning April 21 on the town clerk's website or in her office in town hall. A non-mandatory walk-thru of the property will be held on May 5 and May 17 between 10 AM and noon.
According to the historic preservation easement from the town, the house is a "two-story, gable-roofed, shingle-clad dwelling that incorporates single story extensions to the north and east. The house is painted white with white trim, and the roof is covered with hand-hewn shingles." The front of the house faces south and sits close to the road. There are three window bays with a blue front door with a pedimented entry embellished with molded pilasters. The house sits on a rubble stone foundation with a brick chimney. It includes a screened-in porch that extends to the east.
The mantelpiece in the front parlor and center room, glazed, built-in cupboards in the front parlor, a front stairway incorporation newel posts, balusters, rail, treads and risers, five-panel and batten doors with associated iron hardware, wide board flooring, door and window casings and a center room chair rail comprise historic elements of the home.
Although the historical integrity must be kept throughout the house, Councilwoman Bridget Fleming believes the house needs some attention and fixing.
"They're not gonna be able to do anything but restore it," she said of those who purchase the place.
There shall be no exterior additions built onto the house. The screened in porch may be preserved, repaired or removed. If it is removed, it may not be replaced.
As far was what needs to be preserved for the exterior of the house, the wood shingle siding, stucco wall covering, roof frame with overhanging eaves and exposed rafter tails, door and window frames, and window sashes, the chimney, the foundation and the west porch posts and railings cannot be touched.
"The house has character galore," Graboski said.
The surrounding land, which is over six acres, was purchased with Community Preservation Fund money and cannot be developed. The purchaser of the home must agree to restore and maintain an open lawn setting between the house and the street. An open, unobstructed vista of the house from Newtown Road shall be maintained as a historic feature that contributes to the public enjoyment of the property.
Whoever is the lucky person to acquire this landmarked home will have a piece of history not only in their home, but in the surrounding property as well. Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said, "This is a very special thing because it gives an opportunity to anyone to live in an historical home."
Both Graboski and Fleming noted the purchase of the land through CPF and the house through the general fund was an innovative strategy the town may try again in the future if this sale is successful.