Unless indicated below, this is a transcript of the original Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities/Town of Brookhaven survey form. Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, much of the information reflects that time period.

Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made. Corrections to factual errors in the original surveys, and updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or are clearly indicated as updated material from the context of the comments.

Sites with an Inventory Code suffix of “S” are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys.


Gardner Rea House

 If checked, this is a Supplemental Form, not in the original surveys.

Inventory Code:   Br30.2-S 
Prepared Date:   2008-07-14 
Last Modified:   1970-01-01 
Original Submitter
Submitter Name:   John Deitz
Submitter Address:   7 Locust Rd.

Brookhaven, NY 11719  
1-Building/Site Name:   Gardner Rea House 
2a-County:   Suffolk    2b-Town:   Brookhaven    2c-Village:   Hamlet of Brookhaven
3-Street Location:    
 4a-Public    4b-Private
5a-Present Owner:   Unknown 5b-Address:   12 Meadow Lane

6a-Original:   Residence

6b-Present:   Residence

 7a-Visible From Road

 7b-Interior Accessible
7b-Interior Comment:   By appointment
Building Materials



 8d-Board & Batten



Structural System
 9a-Wood Frame Interlocking Joints    9b-Wood Frame Light Members:   9c-Masonry:
9d-Metal Comment:   
 9e-Other Comment:   
   10a-Excellent   10b-Good   10c-Fair    10d-Deteriorated
  11a-Original Site  11b-Moved If so, when?
11c-Alterations:   A substantial addition on the west (back) side (compare pictures) was likely added after Gardner Rea died in 1966.  «»
Photo & Map
12-Photo Photos and images
[Threats were not evaluated in the original South Shore Estuary Survey.  They are an evaluation by J. Deitz]
  14a-None Known:   14b-Zoning   14c-Roads
  14d-Developers   14e-Deterioration
Related Outbuildings and Property
 15a-Barn  15b-Carriage House  15c-Garage
 15d-Privy  15e-Shed   15f-Greenhouse
 15g-Shop  15h-Gardens   15i-Landscape Features
15i-Landscape Features:   
Surroundings of the Building
 16a-Open Land  16b-Woodland  16c-Scattered Bldgs.
 16d-Densely Built-up  16e-Commercial  16f-Industrial
 16g-Residential 16h-Other:   Sits near the boundary of the bay meadows.
Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
18-Notable Features:    Large windows on the north face, in a manner often favored by artists.  «»
19-Initial Const Date:   About 1920  
19-Builder: Gardner Rae  
Historic and Architectural Importance
20-Importance:   Residence built by the well know cartoonist for the New Yorker and other publications.  «»
21-Sources: NY Times, 29 Jan 1966, pg 31.
Emails: Charles Morrison, 2008
Prepared By: 
  John Deitz  
Supplemental Material:
  The side faces the street, and therefore would normally be considered the "front.". The only door in the original house was on the west face, "The only way for Mr. Rea to leave his house was by the back door, as he planned his home without a door facing the street. Similarly, he chatted genially with his visitor while facing a blank wall." NY Times, 29 Dec 1966.
Before constructing this house, the Rea family live in a small bungalow to the north.

Swan Realty Listing, 2015: "Early 20th Century Country Hideaway On Meadow Lane In Bucolic Brookhaven Hamlet. 3 Bedrooms, 2 1/2 Baths All Recently Renovated. Conservatory With Radiant Heating, Numerous Lovely Rooms Each With It’s Own History. Magnificent Eat-In-Kitchen, Gunite Pool Enhanced By It’s Unique Pool House. 1.25 Acres Surrounded And Enhanced By Land Held In Trust. 3 Car Garage. Central Air Conditioning. Clean And Dry Cellar." Listing price: $1,499,999. Year Built: 1920.