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A Community For People Who Buy, Sell or Collect Antiques, Collectibles and Art

Mid-Century Beach House

Renderings in the Sand


Midcentury-modern beach houses, their jaunty, angled forms clad in weathered cedar siding, have faced tear-down threats for two decades now. The archives of their architects, however, are sometimes enjoying better fates.
Jake Gorst/Andrew Geller Archive

This 1961 image of Andrew Geller's Frank House in Fire Island Pines, on Long Island, was recently rediscovered.

Two scholars are sorting through faded color slides, rolled blueprints and musty photo albums related to low-slung houses perched on dunes.

Christopher Rawlins, an architect in Manhattan, is poring over the papers of the architect Horace Gifford, best known for catering to Fire Island clients as prominent as Calvin Klein. Gifford died of AIDS in 1992, at 59, and an artist friend, Ed Di Guardia, had long stored the files in his Long Island garage.

Jake Gorst, a documentary filmmaker, has moved into an 1890s Long Island home in Northport, where the architect Andrew Geller, his grandfather, spent a career playing with geometries. Mr. Geller’s most famous work is being preserved: the Pearlroth House in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., with two diamond-shaped wings often said to resemble a bra.


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