On March 30th, the Sag Harbor Partnership (SHP) announced that it completed the purchase of John and Elaine Steinbeck’s Sag Harbor home. This charming historic home and writer’s studio on Sag Harbor Cove were slated for sale and likely development.
After an intense year of fundraising to save the property, with substantial help from local and state governments, and with the enthusiastic and generous support of the Sag Harbor and East End communities, the future of Steinbeck’s legacy and his contributions to our cultural heritage are secure.
SHP’s vision is for Steinbeck’s house to become the venue for a writers’ residency program with reservable public viewing at its idyllic setting. A giant among American writers, John Steinbeck penned the Winter of our Discontent and Travels with Charley in this home, among other notable works.
Susan Mead, co-president of the Sag Harbor Partnership, stated “The Steinbecks loved their Sag Harbor place and were involved in Sag Harbor’s village life. Their preserved home and writers studio and the new Writer’s Residency Program will further solidify Sag Harbor’s reputation as a dynamic cultural center, and will enhance the village’s national profile and historic significance”.
SHP expresses special thanks to NY First Assemblyman Fred Thiele whose guidance and support resulted in a substantial New York State grant, which served to galvanize our efforts.
Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni provided invaluable assistance in championing this preservation vision to many key constituencies. Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and the members of the Town Council recognized this unique opportunity and awarded decisive support via the Community Preservation Fund. Many private donors also generously contributed to make this dream a reality.
The management of the property will be the responsibility of a new not-for-profit organization, comprised of local citizens and institutions. The residency program and the upkeep of the property will be the responsibility of the Michener Center for Writers and the University of Texas Foundation.
The Steinbeck house will be available to the public on holiday weekends, select Saturdays in the summer season and in the off season as well, all by reservation. Further details will be posted on a soon-to-be launched website.