John Steinbeck’s Sag Harbor home could become retreat for writers

And a home he once lived in on the Upper East Side has hit the market

John Steinbeck and his Sag Harbor cottage. (Getty)
John Steinbeck and his Sag Harbor cottage. (Getty)

You read write.

Preservationists on Long Island have vowed to turn John Steinbeck’s long-for-sale Hamptons home into a writers’ retreat just as two connected Manhattan townhouses that once belonged to “East of Eden” author have hit the market.

The New York Post is reporting that the Sag Harbor Partnership wants to buy and preserve Steinbeck’s part-time residence in the former whaling town that is featured in his 1962 book “Travels with Charley” and went up for sale in February of 2021 for $17.9 million before being reduced to $16.75 million.

It would then manage the property as a retreat using a $10 million endowment from the University of Texas, which holds some of Steinbeck’s papers.

Partnership board member April Gornik said SUNY Stony Brook and local schools would also be involved in the center, and Southhampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the town would commit millions of dollars toward the purchase.

The 1.8-acre waterfront property comes includes a two-bedroom cottage and a hexagonal “writing house,” according to the report. It has 558 feet of waterfront footage and a 60-foot dock.

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Steinbeck and his third wife, Elaine, bought the house in 1955 and lived there on and off until his death at the age of 66 in 1968. During his time at the home, which he referred to as his “little fishing place,” he wrote his final novel, “The Winter of Our Discontent.” His wife died in 2003.

In other Steinbeckian news, Mansion Global is reporting two Upper East Side townhouses Steinbeck once owned are on the market for $17.9 million.

Connected since 1902, the two houses are also being offered separately for $8.95 million apiece.

One of the townhouses has been renovated, while the other is described as having “old-school charm” — with an elevator servicing each floor.

Steinbeck owned the property between 1946 and 1948, living on one side and renting out the other. The author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli