Horace Gifford, Fire Island Modernist

Here is a book I recommend for hot summer days, by my friend Christopher Bascom Rawlins (forwarded by Alastair Gordon), ‘Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction,’ published by Metropolis Books. The first attempt to tell the cultural history of Fire Island’s modernist homes, built in the gay community of the Pines in the 1960s and ’70s by Horace Gifford, it is an intimate look at Gifford’s personal biography  by someone who has lived in that beach community for a very long time. As the 1960s became The Sixties, architect Horace Gifford executed a remarkable series of beach houses that transformed the terrain and culture of New York’s Fire Island. These homes provided refuge from a hostile world. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift once spurned Hollywood limos for the rustic charm of Fire Island’s boardwalks; Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s here; Diane von Furstenburg showed off her latest wrap dresses to an audience that included Halston, Giorgio Sant’ Angelo, Calvin Klein and Geoffrey Beene. To summarize, the book illustrates a glamorous, prolific beach lifestyle pre-AIDS, which now belongs in history.  

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