House Tour Offers Glimpses of Hidden Southampton

Each year’s tour offers a sampling of summer colony styles
Linden, an 18,000-square-foot residence on 10 acres, was designed by the architect of the old Parrish Art Museum on Job’s Lane. Tom Edmonds

The Southampton Historical Museum will hold its annual Insider’s View house tour and benefit on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Just shy of a decade old, the tour has become synonymous with access to some of the most famous and curiosity-inducing domiciles in Southampton.

Each year’s tour offers a sampling of summer colony styles, from a sprawling oceanfront pile to an intimate village cottage, with a building of historical or architectural significance in addition to everything in between.

The tour is self-guided and includes one of the museum’s properties, the Thomas Halsey Homestead, and St. Andrew’s Dune Church. After the tour, participants have been invited to a reception at 4:30 at the museum’s Rogers Mansion on Meeting House Lane.

Linden, designed by Grosvenor Atterbury, an early-20th-century summer resident of Southampton and the designer of the old Parrish Art Museum on Job’s Lane, is an 18,000-square-foot residence set on 10 acres. A grand hall and living area show off the building’s original millwork and tremendous fireplaces. The park-like property boasts mature trees, flowering shrubs, evergreens, rose gardens with both indoor and outdoor pools, and tennis and paddle courts.

The tour also includes the house that Capt. E. Halsey called home after his last whaling trip in 1848. It offers evidence of a historic dwelling being adapted to suit modern lifestyles while preserving its antique charm. A new light-filled and spacious wing offsets the cozy spaces of the older structure.

In the same tradition is Three Chimneys, a traditional 1927 village house. Updated in a way that respected its original details, the house has a pool, built-in cabinetry, and a pantry. The interior is bright and sunny, furnished with custom designer furnishings and antiques with a pastel and beachy palette.

A South Fork house tour would be poor indeed without at least one knockout waterfront residence. This year, a gabled house on Lake Agawam has a soft-gray exterior and a traditional pebbled drive leading to the house and the lake beyond. The decor revolves around family living, with plenty of outdoor seating and a game room within its otherwise tailored interior. 

The owners of a retreat in the woods took their modest house and renovated it to bring light and space inside by adding square footage, raising the master bedroom’s ceiling, and adding beams to the family room. The furnishings include an Art Deco chair and a stunning capiz-shell ceiling fixture. The grounds were leveled and planted to add a pool and outdoor lounge area surrounded by tall evergreens.

A well-edited selection of houses should always include one that’s a bit over the top. What the museum is calling a “pink charmer” seems to fulfill this role, with flights of whimsy not for the faint of heart. The two-story foyer features huge palm leaf wallpaper and a bespoke ceramic fireplace surround designed to match the wallpaper’s swag border. A grand living room and sunroom have references to roses and other flowers that surround the pool with its glamorous cabana.

Advance tickets, which can be purchased on the historical society’s website, are $95, or $110 on the day of the tour. They can be picked up or purchased at the Thomas Halsey Homestead at 249 South Main Street beginning at 10:30 a.m.