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Susan Weitz has a fond place in her heart for the John Jermain Memorial Library. As a young mother of two sons, Weitz and her husband John summered in Sag Harbor, enjoying a seaside life on their boat with their children. The library’s reading hour became a sanctuary for the artistically inclined family — one of her sons, now grown, recently brought his own daughter to the library to see if a copy of one of his favorite childhood books is still in the collection.

Weitz’s residence, located in Sag Harbor’s historic district, once housed captains who thrived during the village’s maritime heyday and is one five houses on the annual Friends of the John Jermain Memorial Library House Tour — a tour that has been held for three decades.

The House Tour will run tomorrow, Friday, July 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. showcasing houses in and around Sag Harbor that paint not only a historical portrait of the area, but feature different architectural and design styles, and of course, a lot of stories.

This year’s tour features five houses, as well as the Christ Episcopal Church of Sag Harbor. Weitz’s house is billed as offering the Hollywood memorabilia of a former movie actress, which is true, but the home also showcases a partnership between Weitz and builder Robert Tortora. Tortora gutted, restored and renovated the historic home from the 1830s specifically for Weitz, who had an integral role in the home’s architecture and interior design. The home aims to combine the look and feel of a historic home, while incorporating modern amenities.

In addition to having the final word on the layout of the home, Weitz handpicked the design and color of each room — colors she joked made Tortora shudder on first mention, but that create vibrancy to each living space enhancing the décor rather than detracting from it.

Encompassing elements from a meat market and church, another Sag Harbor home on the tour combines several historic elements to create its country charm, including what was once a Noyac meat market, moved to the residence from its original location and crafted into kitchen space. The home’s living room also boasts two leaded glass church windows, and historic features like wood beams and plank floors.

While not from the 1800s, the third Sag Harbor residence includes a view of Sag Harbor Cove and landscaping features including a bamboo and lava rock garden, where the Friends of the JJML will provide refreshments during the tour. For the art lover, the homeowner’s collection of Indonesian art will also be on view in the 1930s constructed home.

Not many parents would be thrilled to allow their architect son to design their new North Haven residence, but that is exactly what occurred at one of two North Haven homes on the tour. A totally modern residence, completed in 2007, modern features include floor-to-ceiling steel behind the fireplace — a design choice that required a hole be cut in the roof to accommodate the feature. Keeping deer out of a garden has never been so technical, but the home manages a deer proof garden with elevated beds.

Marilyn Corradini did not even need to see the interior of her North Haven home before she bought it. The view from the driveway was good enough for her, although for those on the tour, it will likely be the waterfront view of Noyac Bay, which Corradini notes is visible from every room in the residence.

The traditional, antique 1800 cape boasts three large bedrooms, and while recently renovated to include modern conveniences and space in the home built by Hannibal French and moved from its original location on Division Street, Sag Harbor in 1954.

Corradini has opened the historic home with large windows facing the bay in each room, providing ample light, which stretches across the original, honey-colored wood plank floors. Making the house even more of a gem for Corradini is that the home is surrounded by empty acreage, which has lent to some 32 bird species being counted on the property.

Tickets to the Friends of the John Jermain Memorial Library House Tour are available for $35 in advance or on the day of the tour at the library or at the Wharf Shop on Main Street, Sag Harbor. For more information, call the library at 725-0049. 

Above: Marilyn Corradini’s North Haven home is one of five on the John Jermain Memorial Library’s annual House Tour. 




  1. I have recently found Hannibal French to be in my family line. My Mother’s maiden name was French, and I thank you that I could learn more about this ancestor’s home due to your article. I currently reside in Florida, but some day hope to make it back to the N.Y. & N.J. area where I was raised. I would so much love to see this home. Too bad I didn’t know about this while I lived in the area.

    Thanks again,