The home as it appeared in the 1800s
The home's granite swimming pool
A view from the home's porch
Backstory and Context
Anyone who has ever looked at photographs of the Hamptons has likely seen Kilkare. The iconic, three-story cottage is one of the most photographed homes in the Hamptons and was used in the filming of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in 1994. Perched alone on a dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the shingled, three-story cottage appears emblematic of the community's easy charm.
The home was built in 1877 for Walter and Camilla Edwards. The couple commissioned a shipbuilder to construct the home and reportedly gave him no clear plans or instructions for the home's design. The couple gave the builder a few dimensions and asked only that it be built extremely strong, then set off on a trip to Europe. The home's interior, apparently little changed since the late 1800s, still reportedly bears the evidence of having been built by a shipbuilder. Nearly every room features built-in furniture, a curious feature that would have been well-known among those who spent their lives among ships. The Edwards named their home Kilkare, a name which sounds a bit like an Irish village, but apparently comes from the phrase "kill care."
Kilkare was part of a community that came to be known as the Georgica Settlement. The isolated community was founded in the late 1800s by a group of roughly 20 academics, most of whom were New Englanders and associated with Yale, who wanted a private retreat to study and write. Because of its rarefied academic connections, the Settlement, as it came to be known, developed a reputation for exclusivity. There are fewer than 40 homes in the settlement, many of which have been in the same family for generations.
Kilkare remained in the Edwards family until well into the twentieth century. In the 1970s, the home was purchased by New York attorney Michael Kennedy and his wife Eleanora. The home sold in 2020, reportedly for about $27 million.
Fischler , Marcells Sussman . A Shingle-Style Beach 'Cottage' in the Hamptons , New York Times . August 7th 2017. Accessed April 12th 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/realestate/a-shingle-style-beach-cottage-in-the-hamptons.html.
Gould , Jennifer. Iconic Hamptons Mansion Kilkare Selling for Steeply Discounted $27M, New York Post . February 12th 2020. Accessed April 12th 2021. https://nypost.com/2020/02/12/iconic-hamptons-mansion-kilkare-selling-for-steeply-discounted-27m/.
Euler, Laura . Timeless Kilkare, Behind the Hedges . November 27th 2019. Accessed April 12th 2021. https://behindthehedges.com/timeless-kilkare/.
Piastuck, Gina . The History of Old Kilkare , The East Hampton Star . June 21st 2018. Accessed April 12th 2021. https://www.easthamptonstar.com/archive/history-old-kilkare.