The New York State Preservation League is rolling out our list of Seven to Save Endangered Properties for 2007, and a site to be named Thursday in Southampton is currently featured in Sandrow's installation Shinnecock: godt tegn at PS1/MOMA (thru May 2007) and "Recollecting an American's Dream" -- on display through March 10 at the Southampton Historical Museum and Research Center. Excerpted from the exhibit's description:


Hope Sandrow explores the relationship of the past to the present and future by connecting the former home of Samuel L. Parrish, that now houses this Southampton Historical Museum, with the Estate Gissa Bu. To which she followed a Rooster, later named Shinnecock for where they met, across the road from her home.

Gissa Bu was built on 13 acres of land purchased from Parrish by Mr. Lamotte Cohu (1930). Designed to honor the ancestry of his Norwegian wife, Nordic mythology was both the exterior and interior theme  which included hand carved motifs and paintings of the sun and moon, roosters and hens. Another coincidence was that Sandrow found “Hope” stamped on each of Gissa Bu’s windows fabricated by Hope’s Windows.

The natural history of Manhattan as a mirror image to one of Long Island is an idea often explored in her art making. Not long ago Native Americans roamed meadows colored red with ripening berries, home to fox, bears and heath-hens bounded by bays teeming with whales, dolphins and fish. Those attributes that drew so many settlers were also the most threatened by development: resulting in Native American “reservations”; New Yorkers such as Samuel L. Parrish and Lamotte T. Cohu creating “country” homes in Southampton where artists such as William Merritt Chase and Mattie Edwards Hewitt traveled to create art “en plein air”. 

Ms. Sandrow's photographs, focusing on the Cohu Estate Gissa Bu (mystery house), a unique Nordic Lodge and landscape designed for  the aviation executive by the Norwegian architect Thorbjorn Bassoe in the 1930s and recently threatened with development, are shown with those taken shortly after the buildings completion by the renowned landscape photographer Mattie Edwards Hewitt. Along with found objects and mixed media works Sandrow created are artifacts she selected from the Museum's Collection as an element of discourse that refer to when Samuel Parrish lived here, a time when the Shinnecock Indians roamed freely in a landscape of natural beauty.


Preservation League of New York State Continues Listing Most Endangered Places

ALBANY, February 1, 2007 – The Preservation League of New York State has named the Lamotte Cohu Residence, Gissa Bu, in Southampton, Suffolk County to the nonprofit group’s annual list of the Empire State’s most threatened historic resources, Seven to Save.

Gissa Bu (Mystery House) was built in a Nordic/Arts and Crafts style for airline executive Lamotte Cohu in 1930. In addition to this remarkable building designed by Norwegian architect Thorbjorn Bassoe, the property is also valuable for its resources related to the area’s maritime industry and the Shinnecock Nation.

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