Sag Harbor House

This single-family residence in the Sag Harbor Historic District is listed as a “contributing structure” in the National Register of Historic Places. As such, the village would only approve a renovation of this 1919 Dutch Gambrel if it maintained the basic form and facades visible from the street. The exterior renovation honors the history of the house and the scale and context of the street, but the interior architecture reflects the owners’ modern sensibility and their desire for a strong connection to the landscape. As a contemporary complement to the cedar-shingled exterior, the architects conceived the interior as a wooden jewel box with white oak floors, walls and ceilings throughout the house. They raised the ceiling by 30” in the living room, moved the stairway, and ballooned the upstairs bedrooms into the former attic space. Adding mullion-free triple-paned windows to the rear façade welcomed the lush garden inside and, along with new superior insulation, improved the thermal tightness of the structure. A large screened porch is a well-used transition space between indoors and outdoors, while the sunroom above it is the only square footage added to the original house. This renovation confirms that owners and architects are not required to historicize their imaginations when working within the parameters of an historic district.  

Photo by Jeffrey Gray Brandsted