YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Word has been making its way out of the Hamptons, via the Behind the Hedges website, that it was Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka who shelled out $5.5 million for a picturesque and remarkably high-maintenance 13.5-acre estate about 2.5 miles north of the high-end designer boutique lined streets of downtown East Hampton. Bordered on two sides by a ten-ish-acre town-owned reserve that ensures maximum privacy, the sprawling two parcel spread was once owned by censorship challenging publisher Barney Rosset, described in a 1969 “Life” magazine article as a “smut peddler” because his fabled Grove Press imprint published racy literary novels such as D.H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer” as well as books by controversial historical figures such as Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh.
According to property records, Mister Rosset, who passed at 90 in 2012, sold the property in 1993 and the owners converted an existing barn into a grandly proportioned double-height living room and added another 4,000-or-so-square-feet of casually luxurious living space. Listing details show the multi-story, shingle-sided residence measures in at about 5,250-square-feet with four en suite bedrooms and a total of 5.5 bathrooms along with a library, wine cellar, screened porch, and what listing details describe as a “French chef’s kitchen.” Other features of note include: four fireplaces; a combination of wood-paneled and plaster walls; radiant heated cherry, ash and limestone floors; a geothermal air conditioning system; and a roof-top hot tub with wrap-around views. A graciously long graveled driveway leads to a motor court that’s an inconveniently long walk from the house and a secondary motor court, which is a little bit closer to the house, has a detached garage. The house opens through wide banks of French doors to a couple of shaded verandas and several stone terraces that give way extensive and interconnected, hedge-ringed gardens that incorporate a swimming pool and cabana, a tennis court with viewing pavilion, a lily pond, and a tea house. Beyond the landscaped areas there are acres of pastoral open meadows and thick woods.
Mister Harris, a four-time Golden Globe nominee now starring in the period TV series “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” and Mister Burtka, a professional chef and actor who last trod the Broadway boards in the 2015, David Hyde Pierce-directed musical “It Shoulda Been You,” sold off their Los Angeles home, an East Coast-inspired traditional in Sherman Oaks, for $2.995 million in July 2014. That sale came almost exactly a year after they coughed up $3,582,500 for an approximately 8,000-square-foot, two-unit townhouse in the increasingly expensive heart of the historic and historically African American Harlem neighborhood.
Listing photos: Town & Country