John Steinbeck’s Hamptons home is on the market for a whopping $16.75 million – but preservationists want to transform the author’s East End Eden into a writers’ retreat.
The home, a part-time home for Steinbeck until his death in 1968, was put up for sale by the Steinbeck family heirs last year.
The Sag Harbor Partnership is working on a plan to buy the 4-acre waterfront property in the former whaling village and turn it into a retreat operated by the University of Texas. The wing includes a cottage with two bedrooms and Steinbeck’s pavilion-like “writing house”.
Doreen Atkins of Sotheby’s International Realty, which has the listing, said the Steinbeck heirs are “open to anyone who comes on the record and pays their price.” They are very much for anyone who recognizes the value of this property and moves forward with it.”
“We try to get there first with the best offer,” said Susan Mead, co-president of Sag Harbor Partnership.
The group has a pledge from the City of Southampton through its Community Preservation Fund to secure the property, said Mead, who declined to disclose the amount of the pledge. It also raised about $1 million for purchase.
Mead said the University of Texas, which owns some of Steinbeck’s papers, has pledged to create a $10 million endowment to maintain the property and operate the center.
April Gornik, a board member of the partnership, said SUNY Stony Brook would be involved in the center, as would local schools.
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the city is willing to allocate “millions of dollars” towards the purchase.
“We want to honor this piece of local history by preserving the place where he wrote,” he said.
The Nobel laureate, who wrote The Winter of Our Discontent from here, lived there with his third wife Elaine from 1955 until his death. His widow died in 2003.
Two Upper East Side townhouses owned by the author of “Grapes of Wrath” in the 1940s just went on the market for $18 million.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/14/plan-underway-to-preserve-john-steinbecks-hamptons-house/ Plan underway to preserve John Steinbeck’s Hamptons home