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unreal estate

by

MICHAEL GROSS

the estate formerly known as Lenoir, , den Lin , ury erb Att nor sve Gro by ed sign De ated for Southampton’s new is a loving restoration of an 1899 home, upd lion price tag. Cottage Crowd, who won’t blink at a $45 mil

GARY LAWRANCE COLLECTION

g n li B ld O w e N e h T

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ight or so years ago, Anke Beck-Friedrich, the wife of a retired German fashion tycoon (who owned Esprit in Europe), sat in the sixth old house she’d renovated in Southampton, explaining to a reporter why restoration, not new construction, is better for the wealthy migrants who then, as now, flock to the East End. “All the farmland goes,” she said, referring to the way values rise and landowners cash in. “Ugly houses get built, but the infrastructure doesn’t grow in the same way, and the local people cannot afford to live in Southampton.” Her own renovated house, which was named “Linden” after trees on the 9-acre property, is far from ugly—it was one of the earliest designs of noted architect Grosvenor Atterbury (circa 1899). But it also can’t be described as affordable—even for the regular rich—at its current asking price of $45 million, down from an initial ask of $67.5 million. The Friedrichs actually built their state-of-the-art mansion inside the shell of a classic, shingled, modified Cotswolds-style cottage, located at 160 Ox Pasture Road, on one of the largest parcels of land in the heart of the estate section. “They did everything down to the framing,” Guillaume Duprée, one of their contractors, said of the Friedrichs. “A lot, a lot, a lot of work, for a couple of years. Everything is really, really unique.” What’s most unique, though, is how the Friedrichs grafted serious bling onto history. With its cozy red-and-brick French kitchen, its sinks carved from single pieces of stone and cabinets made entirely of oak (all new), and its leather-lined library (mostly vintage old; the leather panels had been hidden under decades of paint), the house conjures the glory days of Southampton’s original cottage set. But the house also has state-of-the-art guts, meaning plumbing 50 | AVENUE ON THE BEACH • AUGUST 2013

postcard, and a peek insiLinden in a turn-of-the-last-century de its new crystal palace poolhouse.

and electricity, of course, but also security and telecommunications systems; tennis, bocce and paddleball courts; a restored outdoor pool and pavilion; a pond and spectacular fountain; and a spa, gym, heated pool and waterfall set within a new crystal pavilion (which, like the pool house, has its own kitchen). So it has the bells and fireworks to fulfill the ambitions of the rare sort who not only want a mansion like this, but can afford to take care of one. “It’s a new house with the ambience of old,” said Harald Grant, the Sotheby’s broker who shares the listing with Michaela Keszler of Elliman. “It’s an anomaly. You can’t compare it with anything. It’s very subtle and private” (meaning hidden behind privets, walls and a gate). “It doesn’t scream, ‘I’m the big boy in town,’ but I think it’s the nicest off-water house in Southampton.” Adds Keszler, a longtime friend of the Friedrichs, “Something like this doesn’t exist normally in the Hamptons.” But then again, very little about today’s Hamptons is “normal.”

Profile for AVENUE Magazine

AVENUE on the Beach August, 2013  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...

AVENUE on the Beach August, 2013  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...

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