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Superlative Ocean & Lakefront Estate

Gin Lane, Southampton, NY

By: David M Brown                                                                        Published: September 1, 2013




Pedigree, Location, History: This Gin Lane oceanfront Tudor estate, built in 1930, occupies the most significant property in the original Southampton Summer Colony, founded in the 1870s by the land’s original owner, a prominent New York City doctor, who played tennis here and enjoyed beachfront serenity with friends.


Offered for the first time in more than 30 years, the 10,000-square-foot two-story mansion delivers sunrise panoramas across the Atlantic Ocean and sunset views of landmark Lake Agawam, enjoyed by Southampton residents for sailing, boating, fishing and ice skating. A short bike ride away from the home is the central village.


Completely renovated and extended about 15 years ago by the current owners and world-renowned designers, the seven-bedroom, 7 ½-bath brick-and-slate Wooldon Manor also includes five glorious fireplaces and wonderful ocean views from all principle rooms.


A finished basement and two wings — a master suite and a family and staff area — are among the new spaces. An expansive pool, spectacular pool house, tennis court, observatory, formal gardens and gazebo-green house are also superb additions.


Contemporary bathrooms, sophisticated technology and security systems are now in place as well — but the splendor and elegance of the original home remains, featuring details such as vaulted wood beams and French mantel fireplaces. The homestead will accommodate Gatsby-level entertaining, with engaging private enclaves and rooms opening to the seaside terraces, lawns and landscaped grounds.


“This is the ultimate private and luxurious retreat, offering the largest oceanfront in the Village,” says the co-listing agent, Tim Davis, representing The Corcoran Group, Southampton. He notes that the campus includes 480 feet of beach oceanfront protected from surges and storms by double-steel bulk-heads.


The estate’s pedigree includes Dr. Peter Wyckoff, the first owner, who built the original 58-room mansion, pool house and greenhouse, designed by Barney & Chapman, the distinguished New York architects who pioneered the American Renaissance style in buildings such as the Troy Public Library, built in 1897 and now on the National Register of Historic Places.


Second owners, department store heirs James and Jessie Woolworth Donohue (hence Wooldon) razed the first home and built a pool house, created by Treanor & Fatio, whose co-principal, society architect Maurice Fatio, is remembered for his Palm Beach villas and other great houses.


The co-founder of Merrill Lynch, Edmund C. Lynch acquired the estate in 1937. Doris Merrill Magowan, the daughter of his business partner, Charles, converted the pool house into today’s main home, reaffirming the property as one of the grandest original summer colony residences in Southampton.


“For such an iconic residence to come on the market after 30 years, which has been so beautifully updated — with no need of renovation — is remarkable in itself,” Davis says. “Yes, this is a trophy property to be proud of, but everyone who sees it is also impressed by the warmth of the rooms, how it feels just like home.”


This superlative estate is offered at $48 million with 5 ½ acres and approximately $100 million with the full 15 acres. For more information, speak with Tim Davis in Southampton, 631.283.7300, ext. 211, or, cell, 516.356.5736. E-mail him at

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