At their apartment in Manhattan, Noble Black and Marc Rozic don’t know who shares a wall with them — but from their home at 330 Main Street in Sag Harbor, they could tell you about the whole neighborhood.
They can recognize certain dogs trotting by on their leashes, or children riding their bicycles. They looked forward to visits from their former 80-year-old neighbor, who would drop by unannounced and regale the couple with her stories.
It is a tradition they hope will continue, as they look toward the future sale of their beloved home, which will return to the real estate market in March.
“We want somebody who is going to love the house. We think it’s a really special property,” explained Black, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman, who listed the home for $2.895 million until December. “We know the neighbors who are next door, across the street, down the street. It became, several years ago for us, what we would view as our home. Even though we’re only out there a couple days and a weekend, at most, that’s what we view the home as. And we want somebody who’s gonna love it like that.”
The 2,700-square-foot, shingle-style Greek Revival at the top of Captain’s Row — the entrance to the historic whaling district — is affectionately known as “Pond View.” Previously owned by a blacksmith, a builder, an NFL star, an Emmy-, Oscar-, Tony- and Grammy-winner, the first recorded tenants were the Williamsons, a longtime local family headed by Jonas Williamson, a carpenter, in the 1840s.
But the basement tells a different story, according to Black and Rozic. Evidence shows the foundation was laid long before the main house, perhaps as far back as the late 1700s, and the hand-hewn, wide-plank pumpkin pine floors point to newer construction on top of the older foundation, sometime just before the Civil War — when Sag Harbor welcomed its first lumber mill.
The house sold in 1887 to blacksmith John Fordham for $1,900, who flipped it for $2,500 in April 1888 to Annie Dalzell. Her son, Alan, was a watchmaker, a candidate for village treasurer and a brewer — backing up rumors that Pond View was once a speakeasy in the 1920s, according to reports.
From 1943 to 1984, the house changed hands several times — and was even cut up into apartments — until it landed with Loaves & Fishes owner Anna Pump and her husband, Detlaf, who was a builder. He rewired and restored the house, selling it a decade later for $450,000 to composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch.
Though the four-bedroom, three-bath house is small, and Hamlisch was already 6-feet-2-inches tall, its next owner in 1998 pushed its bounds one inch more: football commentator Gene Washington, at one time a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.
“It’s kind of fun and quirky, right, all these bigger names?” Black said. “It’s certainly not the grandest house on the street, but it happens to have some fun names associated with it. That’s just one more thing to us that makes it really appealing.”
From the moment they saw the shingles peeking over the hedges, the couple immediately responded to the home’s charm, the water views from every room — Otter Pond from the front and Sag Harbor Cove from the back — and finally its history.
In 2013, they updated the cozy kitchen with Viking and Sub-Zero appliances, while keeping the circa-1840 fireplace oven; re-landscaped the grounds with the help of Joseph Cornetta; installed a heated plunge pool and outdoor living and dining areas; and re-imagined the overall interior aesthetic with John Bjørnen — adopting a maritime feel while keeping its antique charms entirely intact.
“We have a lot of friends who have older homes in the village and — this sounds very ‘Downton Abbey’ — they would probably all agree that we feel we’re the stewards of these homes,” Rozic said. “There’s an obligation. They’ve been here before you for generations, and they continue to withstand all the tests of time, differences of aesthetic and they just transcend that all. So we feel this obligation that it is now our turn to bring it to the next level, retain what it was intended to be, but then also make sure it survives generations that go past.”
Once they sell, the couple has no plans to leave Sag Harbor Village. In fact, by this summer, they will be moving closer to it.
“We had no inclination to sell,” Rozic said. “We had both been through the final stages of putting the finishing touches on paints and wallpapers and decorations we liked. We had taken a breath and we were both like, ‘We’re done and we can stay here and we don’t have to do anything.’”
But as the saying goes, love comes when it is least expected — as was the case during one of their regular walks around the village.
“We have always, always, always loved Suffolk Street, and there’s one house there that we would always pass by,” Rozic continued. “We’ve always loved the house. It reminded us exactly of 330 Main — it’s just the bigger, broader version of it. So when it went on the market, we were like, ‘Oh gosh.’”
They went into the process with trepidation, came out with a new house and left with uncertainty surrounding 330 Main Street.
Black would miss the reading nook on the upstairs landing — “I’m a New York City person, so I like to look at what’s going on outside from there, and people just pass by and don’t notice that I’m there,” he laughed — and Rozic would reminisce on the gatherings they had in the family den, with its built-in bookshelves and sofas.
But ultimately, Black and Rozic decided to sell, though they imagine their new neighborhood walks will take them by their old haunt.
“This is a house that’s been there before any of us, and will be well after us,” Rozic said. “We’re not there to impose upon it, but to love it. I think that’s also what I feel about Sag Harbor. You can really tell that people aren’t there because it’s ‘The Hamptons.’ They’re there because they actually veered a little off of it, and love what it is.”