History is on the move in East Hampton. Literally. Adelaide de Menil and her husband, Edmund Carpenter, have once again shown their generosity to East Hampton by donating to the town 11 of 14 historic buildings on their Further Lane property. A campus-like setting consisting of eight of the historic structures will comprise a new town hall complex. Not only are Ms. de Menil and Mr. Carpenter giving the buildings to the town, they are paying to have them moved to their new site on Pantigo Road and donating an additional two million dollars for their upkeep.
The new town hall complex will be a reminder to all who work, live, and visit East Hampton that our town has a rich past and values its historic resources. This respect for our history has been lovingly guarded by Ms. de Menil and Mr. Carpenter. And now, everyone will benefit from their stewardship and care of these beautiful yet simple buildings.
The “new” town hall will also be designated as “green” buildings and will be given the highest rating for energy efficiency, LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Included in the “green” design will be a geo-thermal heating and air-conditioning system. As promised in the Comprehensive Plan update of 2004, East Hampton “will continue to be a ‘green’ community, a leader in protecting the environment, saving energy and preserving open space.”
Moving houses is nothing new in East Hampton. As early as 1794, the Miss Amelia Cottage (built in 1725) in Amagansett was moved a short distance east to its present location. The 1802 Amagansett school house was moved in 1864 to the east side of Atlantic Avenue from its original site on “Amagansett Street,” now Montauk Highway. It was moved again in 1881 to the west site of Atlantic Avenue. Another historic building from the de Menil/Carpenter property is moving back to its Amagansett roots. It is the 1845 Phebe Edwards house. Originally, it stood on Atlantic Avenue. Its new location will be the Amagansett Historical Association grounds that contain The Miss Amelia Cottage and the Lester Barn. The house will now be used for archival work and to showcase the extensive Carlton Kelsey collection of early photographs and documents of the area.