Historic Family Compound Seeks Generator, Renovations


By Kathryn G. Menu

For Cee Scott Brown, an application for a generator at a family compound that includes homes dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries was certainly uncharted territory.

However, noted Brown, chair of the Sag Harbor Village Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB), in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which left many on the East End without power for a week or longer, it’s an application he expects his board will see more of leading into the 2013 hurricane season.

On Monday, the ARB heard an application for Michael Graff and Carol Ostrow, who last year were approved to combine two Division Street properties — one with a two-story captain’s manse built in the 1700s, and a second property that holds the Rysam-Sleight House, built in 1820.

Architect Katherine “Kitty” McCoy proposed changes to the couple’s existing building permit to allow for the location of a generator near the pool house, to replace an existing railing on the second floor deck on the east side of the captain’s manse, to remove an existing exterior basement access from the south side of the house and to replace the existing front door, sidelights and transom in kind.

“The deeper we get into this, the more details there are and it is a big property,” said McCoy, adding her application for this evening is for what she considers minor amendments.

The generator, which would not service the whole house system but would provide for heat and refrigeration, would be placed on a three-by-six-foot pad, said McCoy, and would be housed in an insulated shed that comes with the generator.

McCoy said typically, the generator will run once a week for one hour, and that could be programmed to happen mid-day and mid-week to reduce the impact on neighbors.

Brown said his concern was for neighboring property owners.

“I get the need for a generator, but if it is a self-charging thing, I think it would need to be set on a schedule that is mutually agreed on by everyone,” he said.

The applicants were approved for the generator and for the other improvements, including the replacement of the door, which McCoy said would be done in kind with historic glass.

The ARB also approved Lynn Park Charveriat’s request for two signs at the Main Street property known as the Gingerbread House, which she and her husband are transforming into their store La Maisonette.

However, the board panned a proposal to construct a sign at the top of the stairs entering the property, which people would walk under to enter the store.

“I think the consensus here is the western approach to signage might be more appropriate in Massachusetts, but not here,” said Brown.

In other news, Pierre Sussman was approved to demolish and rebuild an existing garage at 128 Jermain Avenue as well as for a proposed porch. 17 Madison Restoration, LLC, was approved for new window space at 17 Madison Street.

Caroline and Christina Hribar were approved for a cellar under the rear section of their existing house at 15 Garden Street, as well as for a second story addition above the existing kitchen, although Brown abstained from voting in favor of the project.

Brown had suggested architect Carl Hribar make the addition look less like the original house, in order to pay homage to the existing saltbox style of architecture, however Hribar said he tried but that it looked contrived.

“It will look fine,” said Brown. “It just won’t be a saltbox anymore.”