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Jun 16, 2010 9:37 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Family, town celebrate history of Hampton Bays home

Jun 16, 2010 9:37 AM

Four Barkas siblings gathered Friday at the site of their former Hampton Bays home, which Southampton Town purchased five years ago and converted into an office, to celebrate their heritage and the land they helped save from development.

Their two-story house, which now serves as an office for the town’s Community Preservation Fund, sits on about two acres located behind Squiretown Restaurant on Montauk Highway, next to Good Ground Park. The property, including the home, was purchased with CPF money in 2005, meaning that the entire parcel will be preserved as is and could never host any other type of development.

“We’re coming together to honor our parents and to dedicate this house, the Barkas house,” said Sandy Barkas Sullivan at the small dedication ceremony on Friday, June 11, at the house.

The house was actually a barn that her parents, George and Mae Novotny Barkas, renovated and moved into in 1953. Ms. Sullivan and her three siblings—Diane Barkas Chism, Gertrude Barkas and George Barkas—all lived there. Ms. Sullivan described her late parents as talented gardeners, noting that passersby would often admire their landscape from the sidewalk.

The four siblings were talking about preserving the property and house as parkland back in 2001, when their mother died. They did not want a developer to buy the land and knock down the house. So, when former Southampton Town Supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney suggested that the town buy the land five years ago, the siblings accepted the offer. Land acquired with CPF money must be preserved as open space.

“We wanted to keep it as it always was—our home and an opening on Main Street to see the beautiful landscape,” Ms. Sullivan wrote in an e-mail.

Mr. Heaney, who spoke during the brief ceremony on Friday morning, said the preservation of the house and land is a perfect example of why the CPF program was created.

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