Calvin Klein Battles Preservation Board and Neighbor Over Design of His Future Southampton Home


One of the reasons you probably chosen to not own an oceanfront house in the Hamptons is because it sounds like a major hassle. You’re never really there except for the summer, you have to pay someone to come and clean it while you’re away, and so on. And if you’re like Calvin Klein, you’re realizing it all the more, as he’s in the middle of an ongoing back and forth with the Southampton Village’s Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review, as well as his neighbor, over his trying to knock his current home down and build a new, far more modern one. The Board seems relatively okay with it, as the former owner of Klein’s place greatly altered the interiors and exteriors, leaving only the shell of the original, built in the ’20s. But while he waits for their approval, his neighbor has been writing to the Board asking that they make Klein change the design of his proposed new home, saying that it doesn’t fit well with the rest of the neighborhood:

In a letter to the review board, [Klein’s neighbor Mr. William J. Williams Jr.] wrote that the proposed new buildings do not fit into the neighborhood and that he found [architect Mr. Michael Haverland]’s attempts to connect the architecture of the proposed buildings with the original du Pont mansion to be very strained, “to say the least.”

“If approval of the proposal is inevitable, I wonder whether Mr. Klein might be persuaded to have the buildings be sand-colored to fit in with the dunes behind and wetlands in front, instead of in-your-face white, which makes the buildings look like a hospital clinic or Florida office building,” Mr. Williams wrote.

At least it’s the dead of winter right now, so it’s fine that these mini-battles are going on, but we’re guessing Klein’s hoping to wrap it all up and start bulldozing so he can still get a few days of summer in at his sparkly new place this year. Also, his neighbor’s name is “William J. Williams Jr.”? That’s too much of the same letter over and over again, sir. Still, despite our snarky attitude, we very much appreciate your desire to keep things in check (we probably wouldn’t want Klein to build something weird next to us either). For more info on all of this, we recommend hitting up CityFile.

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