Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alfred Scheffer Lost Architect

How can I possibly express the happiness we are feeling on this visit to New York?
We arrived on Tuesday and were received with open arms by my friend Peg and her daughter Michaelea in their Village apartment. After spending a wonderful night there, and a morning in the city with perfect weather, Peg packed us up to take us to the Hamptons.
Click on photos for larger images.


She told me to prepare myself for visual nostalgia, because she had decorated her beach house very much they way mine had been decorated when I left the Hamptons fifteen years ago. We both shopped together at favorite haunts like the old Ruby Beets when it was in Bridgehampton, and the same flea markets, and antiques shows. Plus we gave each other many hostess gifts over the years.


Alfred Sheffer had many signature elements when he built
a cottage, including the milk bottle shape brick chimney


Peg lives in the dunes in Amagansett in a wonderful Alfred Scheffer cottage. Scheffer was an East Hampton architect well known in the 1940's. He built a wonderful hotel on the beach, completed just in time to be destroyed by an infamous hurricane in 1939. After that he vowed never to build on the beachfront again, and indeed he contained his future projects set well back from the beach, but still nestled in the dunes.




There are just three Scheffer cottages left standing today, and Peg has one of them. She was attracted to it's vintage style and the original details that still remain, and she works very hard to preserve them.



Scheffer liked to use details that would be found on sail boat construction. The latches and windows are very much like the ones you would find on a boat.


Small and simple nautical lamps as light fixtures are used inside an outside. Wooden gutters are still intact, and fascinated us. We also loved the small two over two windows in many of the doors is the house.


The slider mechanism for all of the windows in the house is wood, and exactly like the ones used on old wood sail boats. It is ingenious!


All the window latches are a loop made of brass. How handsome is this! The door knobs on the exterior doors are solid brass too. The interior doors all have black iron latches.


Peg lives in the house, and she rents it out during the summer too. Her two daughters have been growing up here, so the house is well stocked with bikes and wagons and sand toys generously leaves for renters to use. In fact the house is so special because Peg leaves so many beautiful things for the renters.

We just happened to luck out and have this small window of opportunity to be here between renters.


The outdoor spaces are just perfect, and we have been grilling up a storm and dining on the brick patio. Of course there's an outside shower for cleaning off the sand after a day at the beach. The most beautiful beach is just steps away down the street.



There are plenty of lounge chairs for relaxing and reading a book.


I call hydrangea the national flower of the Hamptons! Peg has a ton of these blue beauties blooming their heads off.


The blue hydrangea and the pea gravel look so pretty against the weathered gray wood of the cottage. The buoys hanging on the right are the house number. It's so cute!




Brick pathways on this wooded lot are also so charming.


I have a ton of pictures of the inside! Would you like to see them?
I'm also trying to do some research on Alfred Scheffer, and I cannot find out too much about him. He fascinates me. I'm going to contact his nephew who is also an architect, and see if he help me unearth some information to share.


We leave the beach today. It was a short and sweet visit. We've seen many old friends. I would love to spend much more time here. It truly is one of my favorite places in the world.
We're off to upstate New York and the beautiful Catskills today to spend the weekend with our friends Tim and Robin.
Happy Weekend!!!

8 comments:

  1. Too Adorable! I hope you are having a two week long birthday extravaganza!
    A

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  2. This was such a wonderful treat on a Sat. afternoon. Thanks for sharing this fabulous place.
    Donna

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  3. I love the house, so quaint and charming. You can just relax there and I can tell you had so much fun...Christine

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  4. Yes, I would like to see the interior photos of this great cottage!

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  5. Oh My Gosh, I would love to see the inside. The outside is absolutely beautiful and is definitely the closest I will ever get to the Hamptoms. How wonderful of you both to share. I hope you also show some pics of the steps to the beach, walking there. How wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing. Please stop by and say hi. As always I love to have my blogger friends stop by. Country Hugs, Sherry

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  6. gorgeous pictures and hydrangeas!!!!!!! so beautiful!

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  7. An East Coast beach cottage: the stuff of books and movies!

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  8. Hi Visual Vamp, I was so happy to come across your post about Alfred Scheffer. "Scheff" was my grandfather and I was so lucky to spend my summers as a young girl in a cottage he built for my family in Amagansett. As far as I know, in this part of Amagansett beyond the village in the dunes [Beach Hampton or Amagansett East] there are at least 5 or 6 cottages and houses on the ocean, and there are many more houses he designed in East Hampton. He also did the restoration of the dining room at the Maidstone Club and a string of stores that became the Bank of East Hampton. He loved "charm" and he built his houses from "the inside out." I think a book might be in the works. I'll keep you posted. All best. Barbara

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