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Sep 16, 2019 1:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Pyrrhus Concer Home To Go Out To Bid Once Again

A project to reconstruct the home of Pyrrhus Concer is going out to bid for the fourth time. GREG WEHNER
Sep 18, 2019 10:39 AM

Southampton Village officials are ready to open bidding on the reconstruction of a home owned by historic figure Pyrrhus Concer in the 19th century, but this is not the first time the project has been placed out to bid.

In fact, this will mark the fourth time since 2016 — and the third village administration — in which the project has been reworked to attract a general contractor.

Mr. Concer was a former slave and a whaler in the 19th century who made Southampton his home. He also was a member of a whaling crew who saved Japanese sailors who were stranded on an island. When the sailors were taken home, he became one of the first, if not the first, person of color to visit Japan.

Original plans for the property, which was purchased by the Town of Southampton for $4.3 million using Community Preservation Fund money in 2015 — called for a museum, amphitheater, walkways, a water feature and lighting. But when bids for the project came back in 2016, they were much higher than the village planned to pay for the project.

Paul Rogers, an architect with Chaleff & Rogers, went back to the drawing board after failing to get a successful responsible bid and, in 2017, proposed reconstructing the 16-by-30-foot house using portions of the original frame that were salvaged from the property before previous owners were given permission to demolish it.

After one failed attempt, a bid was finally awarded to restore the historic home for $437,600. But things fell apart when the contractor, William Proefriedt, was accused of falsifying documents during the bidding process — Mr. Proefriedt is facing criminal charges in Suffolk County District Court as a result.

On Thursday, September 12, Mr. Rogers presented a new plan for the property, which still includes using the old frame to build the house but breaks the project into two phases.

During the first phase, he said, the entire exterior will be constructed and will be installed to supply water to the site. Plumbing, on the other hand, will not be done during the first phase, he said.

Electrical will also need to be done, but according to Mr. Rogers, Superintendent of Public Works Gary Goleski offered to have his crew do the electrical if they have enough manpower.

Mr. Rogers said during the second phase, the interior will be completed and windows will need to be made to appear as they did in the 19th century, and materials such as lime plaster and milk paint will need to be used — all of which add to the cost of the project.

In order to cut costs, Mr. Rogers said Jay Andreassi offered construction management services to the project under a pro bono basis.

Joining Mr. Andreassi in offering their services for free are Sam Rogers of Diversified Services, who will do the excavation work on the site, Chaleff & Rogers, who will provide the labor to install radiant tubing in the basement so they can educate younger members of their staff on the procedure.

Mr. Rogers said he did not know what the bids were going to look like this time around, noting that this was a complicated process.

“This is a 32-foot-by-16-foot building that you would think could be built for less work,” he said, adding that prevailing wages and the fact that the work is being done for a municipality drive costs up.

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Wasn't the original building taken down??? How do you restoe a new house? Reproduction??? WHY
By knitter (1907), Southampton on Sep 17, 19 1:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
This project has taken forever. Does the village ask the new carpentry teacher at the high school to look at the project and see if his class can contribute?
By metsfan2 (161), southampton on Sep 17, 19 2:18 PM
That's an interesting thought. Loop the local schools in on this. Quite relevant.
By East End 2 (150), Southampton on Sep 17, 19 2:23 PM
why use "prevailing wage" ? Just put it out to bid like every other house built here.
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Sep 17, 19 2:27 PM
Because it's state law.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 17, 19 2:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Democrats are demented.
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Sep 18, 19 5:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Republicans benefit from prevailing wage law too.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 18, 19 5:33 PM
5 million invested so far on a feel good project? Waste of money
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Sep 18, 19 9:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
Add Randy’s Barbershop into the mix. The CPF has turned into a political free for all.
By Draggerman (942), Southampton on Sep 18, 19 12:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why would you want students work for nothing to build a museum that are learning the trade. Like hiring a law student to represent you in court. Leave the job to the trades...
Leave politics out of the equation people... WOW?????????
By knitter (1907), Southampton on Sep 20, 19 7:37 PM
What's political about saving a few bucks?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 21, 19 6:25 AM
Knitter, I went to boces. We built cabinets for Easthampton school. We put a roof on the bus garage in Watermill, we built the building for the football field in Southampton. It was a good learning experience.its not that bad.
By Fred s (3199), Southampton on Sep 20, 19 8:14 PM
I commend you for what you did and your must be really talented. But most are not talented to do a restoration, including some seasoned carpenters. Also the hours and time line to get it done is a issue also.
I totally support the program and was a SHS student in the electrical class by MR Kaisar. Went on to the USAF as a electronic specialist in coding equipment and on to NY Telephone for 30 years. I truely support the program...
By knitter (1907), Southampton on Sep 21, 19 1:53 PM