We were in Palm Springs last week for Palm Springs Modernism Week, and particularly thrilled to attend the world premiere screening of Modern Tide: Mid-century Architecture on Long Island.
From the Frank Lloyd Wright Rebhuhn House in Great Neck Estates designed in the late thirties, via the whimsical beach houses along the south shore designed by Andrew Geller in the 50s and 60s to the Herbert Beckhard House built by the architect for his family in Glen Cove in 1964, Long Island is dotted with modernist treasures. This film showcases the unique architecture across the island, a testament to beach cottages that still stand fifty years later despite hurricanes and rising property values, and a remembrance of others that have succumbed to the developer's wrecking ball or been remodeled out of all recognition. Academics, historians and family members reveal fascinating details about the architects' vision, the influence of artists from Fernand Léger to Jackson Pollack and the effect the proximity to New York City had on their work.
Of course if you love architecture, especially modern architecture you will want to go see this movie but if you have any interest in Long Island, in its unique geography, urban planning and building codes, you should make a point of seeking out Jake Gorst's documentary. It raises important questions about how design and architecture fit into our surroundings and the lives we choose to live.