View Full Version : Developers are NIMBYs too.

February 16th, 2009, 04:46 PM
No surprise here:

From Newsday...


Dragon's Head estate in Southampton to be demolished

Dragon's Head, the massive oceanfront estate in Southampton Village, is going to be torn down, the final chapter in a decades-old story of high-profile extravagance and the lust by its builder to be accepted in the Hamptons.

The last red tape preventing its demolition had been a decision by the village Architectural Review Board, which was asked to determine if anything of historic value remained in the house - built in 1924 by Henry Francis du Pont but extensively remodeled.

The board ruled last week it has no jurisdiction on the building's interior, so the wrecking ball is now expected to swing sometime this year. An elegant, contemporary house of stucco and steel is to be built on the site by designer Calvin Klein.

As with many things having to do with 650 Meadow Lane, the feelings locally about the demise of Dragon's Head are untidy. After all, the village's ocean skyline, such as it is, will never be the same.

"It has this cloud above it. It has this whole history," said Southampton Mayor Mark Epley. "When I drive by it, it's such a monument . . . it's a 50-foot-high house that is going to be knocked down to something that is more conforming to our height restrictions and zoning regulations . . . it's one of those mixed bags."

Others, however, express undiluted joy. "We are delighted by the proposed demolition of our over-scaled and garish neighbor, and welcome the new, more appropriately scaled and beautifully-designed project," Ian Schrager wrote to the Southampton Village building department.

Dragon's Head bears little resemblance to du Pont's Chestertown House, constructed as a summer home and a place to display and store some of his 85,000 artifacts of Americana.

The building has had several owners since du Pont died in 1969. It was financier Barry Trupin who named it Dragon's Head and converted it into a fantasy castle in the 1980s. He filled it with suits of armor, a jade fireplace, and architectural details removed from elegant European houses. Outside, Trupin added turrets and towers; the add-ons created a certain architectural murkiness, with some likening the pile to a Norman chateau beach house.

Trupin loved the glamour of the Hamptons. At one medieval-themed party in 1985, in the nearby house he rented while Dragon's Head was being expanded, he served a 13-course feast and hired court jesters. Guests dressed in velvet gowns.

Trupin was convicted of tax evasion in 1992. But Dragon's Head remained, and it kept its distinction as the East End's biggest house until 1999, when Ira Rennert began building Fair Field, an approximately 100,000-square-foot complex in Sagaponack. Although Fair Field generated debate - and a law restricting home size - it never has assumed the legendary profile of Dragon's Head.

Calvin Klein's new home will be of the inoffensive variety. With 17,850 square feet of living area, the Klein abode will be lower and more in harmony with the other nearby estates.

Neighbor Aby Rosen said that the demolition of the old manse, coupled with a "more scaled (down) and refined property, will help our neighborhood improve aesthetically."

Although Klein has owned the house for several years and has hosted parties there, he is not at the center of the summer social whirl. Mostly, he flies in by helicopter, enjoys the Atlantic, and flies out, Epley said.

"When he comes to Southampton, he wants to relax," the mayor said. "That's OK. One of the great things about the village is you can be left alone."

Complete article: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/suffolk/ny-lidrag1512448610feb16,0,7709153.story

February 16th, 2009, 05:59 PM
It does look tacky.

February 18th, 2009, 04:03 PM
The additions make it look like an amusment park, not a classic.

I am not keen on total demolition (I would like it restored) but I do not own it, live near it or have anything to do with it, so what does it matter what I think?

February 18th, 2009, 04:21 PM
Restored to what?

Reminds me a little of the Winchester Haunted House in California.



February 18th, 2009, 06:10 PM
I did a search for images of the original Chestertown House (built by du Pont in the '20s) and I came up with nothing.

February 19th, 2009, 02:51 PM
Zip, I really do not know, but I have a strange feeling that that smooth stucco rotunda in the middle of the building (right in its interior corner) was not an original feature.....

September 5th, 2009, 06:09 PM
I did a search for images of the original Chestertown House (built by du Pont in the '20s) and I came up with nothing.

I just recently read Philistines at the Hedgerow and did a search on Barry Trupin and one of the links brought me here. Here is a link that shows Chesterton House http://www.danshamptons.com/content/danspapers/issue08_2007/10.html

The problem seems to be the addition of a W in Chesterton. It was a beautiful house if you like homes that huge.

September 5th, 2009, 07:26 PM
^ :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

September 6th, 2009, 12:44 AM
LOL! :p