East Hampton in the 1950s, especially in the lower priced northern neighborhood called Springs, was an exciting place. Jack the Dripper was still alive, as was his wife Lee Krasner, ensconced in their old farmhouse; other modern artists, Miriam Schapiro, Alfonso Ossorio, and Willem and Elaine de Kooning among them, soon followed. At the same time, playful and pioneering modernist architects were building simple and whimsical vacation homes for middle class families more concerned with fun on the beach than ostentatious display.
This house, less than a mile from the Pollock-Krasner house on the non-euphoniously named Louse Point, gateway to the possibly worse named Wood Tick Island, was built in 1950. Today, a stunning and enduring example of the midcentury beach vernacular, the three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow is asking $3 million via Aaron Warkov with Saunders & Associates and Beate V. Moore at Sotheby’s International Realty.
Such an interesting and iconic design, the house was even featured on the front cover of American Home magazine, in July 1953, where the headline trumpeted “This Little House Sleeps 12!” (Sounds like a lot of people and maybe too many people in such a small house!) Set on 0.6 of an acre, the house is surrounded by wetlands and park, so there is plenty of privacy and quiet, unless you mind listening to ospreys. Both sunrises and sunsets are magical here, and can be enjoyed via copious wraparound decking.
The house is on stilts to allow water from the tidal marsh flow under the house during storms and unusually high tides; Zoning laws would never permit this kind of building today, but kayakers and standup paddlers will find this the perfect place, as there’s direct access to the bay.
Indoors, the house is decorated in a plain yet comfortable, mostly white style that lets the breathtaking setting shine. It’s obviously been renovated over the years, with a new kitchen, bathrooms, and air conditioning, but the soul of the house has been respected and preserved.
Indeed, it’s authentic enough that it’s almost as if Jackson and Lee might stop by for dinner, perhaps with a small painting as a hostess gift. Just probably don’t expect it to sleep 12.