BUYER: Louis Szekely
LOCATION: Shelter Island, NY
SIZE: 4,957 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Most New Yorkers at least the ones we know and whether they can afford one or not, have a picture of their ideal weekend getaway. For Bunny and Flower it’s a rustically chic and arty-farty compound in upstate New York. For Jo-Jo R-Po it’s a puny, un-winterized waterfront bungalow on the North Fork. And for Soozie-Q and Fred it’s a rambling (and nearly ramshackle) shingled cottage on a large (if somewhat untended) lot in a quiet corner of the Hamptons.
For Emmy-winner Louis Szekely, an upwardly mobile stand-up comedian and sitcom star known professionally as Louis C.K., it’s Primrose Cottage, a gloomy but stunningly intact, turn-of-the-century timbered Tudor on two water front acres on Shelter Island that he reportedly snatched up for $2.44 million.
So the scuttlebutt goes, Babe Ruth once summered in the three-story, 4,957 square foot house that listing details show has half a dozen bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and six wood-burning fireplaces. (Big whoop!) The generously proportioned main rooms stop short of grand—it’s a vacation house, after all—and, although they could use some spit and polish, retain an impressive array of original architectural details. The tightly spindled staircase alone is a revelation and the built-in inglenook benches next too some of the fireplaces couldn’t be more charming even if they are a wee impractical for modern day life.
The pastel paint on the walls in some of the rooms is on decorative trend—not that Mister C.K. gives a shit about that—but it looks a bit wan and old fashioned in the somewhat dim listing photographs. And the kitchen, well, it looks reasonably sized but—lowerd have mercy, butter beans—it needs a complete overhaul starting with that mortifyingly massive (and massively mortifying) pot rack. All the children should know by now that Rule #8 in Your Mama’s Big Book of Decoratin’ Dos and Don’ts adamantly forbids the use of pot racks in residential kitchens. Not only are they voracious dust magnets they’re also a capricious if inanimate menace that will drop a pot on a puppy’s head without warning or snatch the weave right off the head of an unsuspecting weave wearer.
An asymmetrical front porch overlooks an otherwise landscape-less, hedge-ringed lawn and, off the rear of the residence, a spacious and inviting, brick-floored screen porch has a long view over the flat back lawn to the water’s edge. There isn’t a swimming pool or a tennis court—there’s room for both should Mister C.K. want them—but there is, however, a private dock that extends out into a cut that provides direct and easy boat access to West Neck Harbor and Noyac Bay. The convenient boat parking facility was probably a selling point for Mister C.K. who owns an micro-yacht that was recently featured on Jerry Seinfeld’s pleasantly droll web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
We read, Mister C.K. once lived at the fabled and controversially condo-fied Apthorp complex on the Upper West Side but we also have a vague memory of being told by someone—we don’t recall when or by whom—that he moved downtown, to the formerly boho now fully gentrified West Village. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
In addition to his somewhat dark and relentlessly self-deprecating stand-up work the veteran comedian also writes, directs and edits a smartly calibrated and critically acclaimed, semi-eponymous sitcom (Louie) that closely adheres to the framework of his own life.
In other Shelter Island celebrity real estate news, maverick ceramicist and home goods guru Jonathan Adler and his creative iconoclast husband Simon Doonan—amongst a myriad of other endeavors he’s a sassy columnist at Slate and the Creative Ambassador-at-Large of Barney’s—have one of their kalaidoscopically colorful and widely published homes on Shelter Island up for lease for the month of July at $11,000 per month. Incidentally, the A-list gays tried to sell the quirkilicious 1970s A-frame modern back in 2010 for $1.795 million after they bought another, much more impressive waterfront spread where they custom built a super-modern bungalow featured in a 2012, Doonan-penned piece in Architectural Digest. (It was also fawned over in Dwell and Hamptons magazines.)
listing photos: Daniel Gale / Sotheby’s International Realty via Curbed