Fresh Paint for Main Street Businesses Takes Some by Surprise

The newly painted buildings on Main Street. Christine Sampson photo

The surprisingly bright, seemingly white coat of new paint at the formerly red brick shopping cove complex at 78 Main Street is Benjamin Moore’s “Wickham Gray,” according to papers filed with the Sag Harbor Building Department.

It was approved by the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review on September 13, during a meeting that was dominated by a much more high-profile case, musician Billy Joel’s renovations at 20 Bay Street.

Board chairman Anthony Brandt said Wednesday he’s not used to the new color yet, but that he thinks it’s “okay.”

“It’s fine,” he said. “It’s just that people are used to things, and then they get used to new things. There’s no real change — they can remove it if they want to. There’s no change to the structure, except for the coffee shop, which is under litigation as it is. Otherwise, it’s just a color. Why there’s so much fuss about it, I have no idea.”

Sag Harbor building inspector Tom Preiato, referring to paint samples he’s seen, said on Monday the color is “the lightest gray I can recall seeing.”

“I hear social media is buzzing about it,” he said.

According to Mr. Preiato, the next step for the property owner, Karen French, is to install dark gray awnings over the windows. Barn-style lighting to hang over the front doors is also in the plans.

At least one business owner in the space said she thinks it’s a good look for the building.

“I like it. It was a surprise,” said Judy Preiato, who owns Fingers Fine Haircutting. “It’s different. I think that’s what most people are responding to.”

She also said Ms. French “has done a really nice job updating the building” with new stonework, new steps and banisters and additional trees.

Neither Ms. French nor her architect, Alex Baranovich, could be reached for comment.