Trust Works with Family & Friends of
on Legacy Conservation Project in Sagaponack!
For more than sixty years, 527 Bridge Lane in Sagaponack, was home to the writer Peter Matthiessen – one of the great figures in American literature who passed away in 2014. Over the course of his 60+ year career he wrote 35 books and was the only author to win the National Book Award for both fiction and non-fiction.
The property he left at the corner of Bridge Lane and Sagg Main Street has not yet been redeveloped and remains an exceptional and wild place. In a small studio, abutting what were once potato fields, original and influential works flowed from his pen. The six-acre property features two twentieth century buildings, Matthiessen’s house and a detached writing study on the other side of a small orchard, as well as a horse barn that the long-time Zen master converted into the Ocean Zendo.
Since his death, an exciting idea has emerged and taken root: the creation of a cultural center that expands on Matthiessen’s lifelong passions for writing, environmental conservation and Zen Buddhism. A coalition has been formed to raise funds to purchase the former Matthiessen residence, restore its buildings and create the Peter Matthiessen Center. Funds are also being raised to hire staff and create an endowment for maintenance, programs, scholarships and stipends.
The coalition includes two of Peter’s children, Alex Matthiessen (the former “Hudson Riverkeeper”), Rue Matthiessen (a writer), John Halsey (President of the Peconic Land Trust), Sarah Kautz (Preservation Director of Preservation Long Island) and several others with experience in land preservation, architectural rehabilitation, historic restoration, architectural site planning, nonprofit organization, fundraising and the arts.
The first priority of the group is to raise $95,000 in seed money to stabilize the buildings on the property, form the 501(c)(3) and hire a fundraising consultant to begin the task of raising the millions needed to purchase the property. We also need help getting the word out to build a groundswell of support.