122 South Penataquit Avenue, Bay Shore, NY
Designed and built in the “farmhouse” style in 1912, the home often referred to as “My Fair Lady” was originally situated on 10 acres encompassing most of the southwest corner of Penataquit Point. As one of the original homes built on the island it attracted the attention of millionaire Joseph J. Lerner, who, with his brother, owned a successful chain of popular retail stores [the Lerner Shops].
Upon purchasing the property in 1946, Joseph Lerner embarked on a massive renovation the results of which remain to this day. For the next 10 years this home served as the summer residence of his son, award winning lyricist Alan J. Lerner. The home served as the homeport for Brigadoon – Alan Lerner’s 80’ Trumpy “house yacht”. His 95 year old cousin can recount to this day the glamorous parties held at the house and the yacht which attracted cast and crew of Mr. Lerner’s shows.
It was during this period that Alan J. Lerner wrote some of his most famous works, including Brigadoon (1947), Love Life (1948) An American In Paris (1951, for which he won the Oscar), Paint Your Wagon (1951), Royal Wedding (1951) and, arguably his most famous work, My Fair Lady (1955, for which he won the Tony).
Upon the death of Joseph Lerner, the home was sold to the vice president of Texaco who resided there until 1964, at which time the 10 acre estate was subdivided, leaving the main house, the garage and the guest quarters situated on a 1.77 acre parcel which, like the surrounding parcels, can never be subdivided as Penataquit Point enjoys AAA zoning.
The property is a flag lot which offers the utmost in privacy with the convenience of being minutes from downtown Bay Shore, the Long Island Railroad, Southside Hospital, Fire Island Ferry Terminal and neighborhood schools. The parcel is a direct waterfront, with approx. 640 running feet of bulkhead; 300 feet on the canal on its northern exposure and approx. 340 feet on Penataquit Creek on the western most side. On this parcel are three structures; the main house, the garage, and the guest quarters.
Originally built in 1912 and enlarged in 1947, the main house is a two story structure of approx. 5,900 square feet (with a full attic) constructed over a crawl space. It features six zone gas-fired hot water heating, four zone air conditioning, and is hooked up to the Southwest Sewer District. The heating/hot water system is composed of two computer controlled Buderas boilers that are amongst the most efficient systems available.
The main entrance opens to a large light-filled great room; a living room/dining room combination with a massive brick wood-burning fireplace. Just off the living room is a large den featuring windows on three sides. Just off the dining room is a butler’s pantry, a powder room and the large eat-in kitchen which leads to a separate wing with two full bedrooms (with large closets), one full bathroom, a mechanical room, a laundry and an office. All floors on the first floor are Douglas fir. All of the windows are Marvin or Andersen as are the three large patio doors along the south and west sides of the house
The spacious kitchen features all stainless steel appliances including a Viking six burner range and hood, two Viking dishwashers, two refrigerators, two sinks plus a butler’s pantry area with a small bar sink. All counters are magnificent white calacatta marble, and the space has patio doors that open directly to the large south facing paved patio. Should the cook require privacy, there are pocket doors that can close off the kitchen from the great room. This space is flooded with light, as is the rest of the house.
There are two bedrooms and a home office adjacent to the kitchen in what was originally the servant’s quarters. This space offers its own separate entrance and can be closed off from the rest of the house as it enjoys its own zone for heat and air conditioning. It could function as an au pair/mother in law suite or professional space for a therapist or accountant.
From the living room one ascends to the second floor and a large central hall that runs the length of the house. There are five large bedrooms, each with hardwood flooring, each with its own full bathroom and each with amazing views of Bay Shore harbor and the Robert Moses Causeway. The spacious master suite features windows on three sides, a walk-in cedar closet and attached full bath. The other four bedrooms either have a bath attached or a bath directly across the hall, and two of those bathrooms feature a stall shower in addition to a bathtub. The eastern-most bedroom has French doors that open to a large flat-roof terrace that offers amazing views of the harbor and the property. Just outside of this bedroom is the back staircase that leads directly to the kitchen. Lastly, there is a large laundry room centrally located on the second floor as well as two linen closets.
The exterior of the main house is fully insulated with solid insulation and is clad in Hardie Plank fiber cement siding that is both fire, rot and insect resistant. The flat roof is brand new. The sloped roof is traditional asphalt shingles; the roofing on the dormers was installed in 2014 while the roof on the balance of the home was installed in 1995. The heating system is six years old and the hot water and air conditioning systems were installed in 2014. The PSEG budget bill for heat, hot water, cooking gas and the gas dryer is currently $194.00/month which is amazing for a house this size.
The two car garage is the end result of an impeccable historical restoration under the direct supervision of Timothy White of White Ink LLC. Mr. White saved and restored the entire original structure, lifting the building and then lowering it on a new foundation that will insure its survival for decades to come. In the course of the project old material was re-used whenever possible. When new material was required it was custom milled to match the old. The original windows were restored and are glazed with the original “wavy” glass. There are new power operated garage doors on both ends of the building which allow one to drive right through, and the roof is brand new asphalt shingles that match the main house. There is all new wiring and the garage has its own electric meter.
The Guest Quarters
When originally built, this structure was “the barn” and was used as such until 1946. Subsequently the structure was modified as living quarters where, at one time, it housed a yacht captain and, later, the head groundskeeper. Today the 400+ square foot two story building features a main floor that has small kitchen with stove, refrigerator and dishwasher. The second floor still has the original barn-wood floor, cathedral ceiling, and has one bedroom, one full bath and a laundry. The building has its own gas heat, is air conditioned upstairs and down and is currently wired for Verizon Fios service although it has two satellite dishes on the roof. There is docking adjacent to the front door and a separate driveway that branches off the main driveway to serve it. There are separate gas and electric meters for this building which is also hooked up to the sewers.
My Fair Lady is located on the island known as Penataquit Point. Penataquit Point is located in the neighborhood traditionally known as “The Estates” because those were the homes that dominated Montgomery, Penataquit, Awixa and Saxon Avenues for nearly a century. With the relaxation of the zoning laws between 1965 and 1968 many of these estates were purchased, razed and sub-divided, all of which came to an end when AAA zoning was reinstated. Today, this area remains the only neighborhood in Islip that retains the AAA designation which has preserved the open “Hamptons-like” feeling that comes when homes are on large lots.
Over the past 15 years there has been a resurgence in Bay Shore, and in this neighborhood in particular as young families have moved in to enjoy everything Bay Shore has to offer; a diverse community with excellent schools, tremendous recreational opportunities and a highly regarded medical infrastructure. In so many ways the Town of Islip has blazed a trail with its WRAP recycling and e-CYCLING programs. Islip is the only township on Long Island that has provided a zoning relaxation to permit residential windmills to provide power to individual homes. Islip also owns and maintains the MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, just 15 minutes from Penataquit Point which can often eliminate the need to head west to New York City airports and their crowds, traffic and delays.
All in all, a beautiful, safe and convenient place to call home.
My Fair Lady is priced at $1,125,000. Please contact Jordan to schedule a viewing at [email protected]