Southampton Town Gives Bridgehampton A Little TLC

Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni in Bridgehampton's Militia Green, which the town is beautifying with new sidewalks, plantings, and fences. STEPHEN J. KOTZ

The Nathaniel Rogers House, which is being completely restored as the future headquarters of the Bridgehampton Museum, is not the only part of the hamlet that is being spruced up. A walk through the business district reveals a variety of small projects, ranging from new pedestrian crosswalks to new curbside tree plantings, that are adding up to big improvements for the area.

“We have been doing a whole lot of work in Bridgehampton,” said Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni, the board’s liaison to the hamlet. And some of those projects have been in the pipeline a long time. “These things take time, and I know it can be frustrating,” he said.
One of those projects involves Militia Green, a small pocket park tucked between Ocean Road and the municipal parking on the east end of the business district.

Under the direction of the town Parks Department, a crushed bluestone walkway has been replaced with red brick, new plantings will be added, and a fence erected to screen the oasis from the back of businesses along its north border.

The park got it name because it actually was a militia training ground during the colonial era. Mr. Schiavoni, a retired social studies teacher, said local militias trained there both during the French and Indian War, when they sided with the British, and in the early days of the American Revolution, at least until the British seized control of Long Island. Signs outlining the area’s historic significance will be added as well.

The work is intended to both draw more attention to the tiny green space and “make it more pleasing to be in there,” he said.

Around the corner on Main Street in front of Almond restaurant the town replaced decorative brick in the sidewalk, adding a dash of flare to an otherwise dull streetscape.

On the corner, as part of a major project conducted largely through funding from the state Department of Transportation, new pedestrian crosswalks have been added to Montauk Highway and Ocean Road that include a safe haven for pedestrians at the hamlet’s war monument.

That project also resulted in a new light at Montauk Highway and School Street and Corwith Avenue as well as improved crosswalks along Montauk Highway.

Yet another project along Montauk Highway near the Corwith Avenue is bound to bring smiles. The town is planting 10 trees of varying varieties along the curbside to replace several trees that were cut down a few years ago before sidewalks were replaced. The removal of those trees was criticized by many residents as unnecessary. 
Mr. Schiavoni said the replacement trees would average 8 to 10 feet in height and be planted within the next week.