The Cool House: preservation
Showing posts with label preservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preservation. Show all posts

Friday, June 25, 2010

Andrew Geller News

Renovating the kitchen (and the den) has brought it home to us once again what a great and underrated architect Andrew Geller is. The built-ins in the den that were not part of the original blueprints boxed in the room, making it feel darker and smaller, and the platform cut the flow on the ground (first) floor. Removing them not only makes the space feel much lighter but now we can truly appreciate the architecture. You see immediately that the kitchen is the same shape and size as the great room - a trapezoid - and the den is a rectangle. It all feels much simpler now... and right.

It's a fortuitous coincidence that just as we are finishing updating this uniquely modern Andrew Geller designed house, we hear that the iconic Pearlroth House has been approved for the National Register of Historic Homes. This is great news for all lovers of mid-century architecture - I can't wait to see the restored beach house.

Then we got word that Jake Gorst, grandson of the architect, has embarked on an enormous project: founding the Andrew Geller Architectural Archive Preservation Project to identify, catalogue and preserve Geller's documents, drawings, photographs and memos - and he will film the whole process, including site visits to the architect's commercial and residential buildings, releasing a documentary in the coming year. To support this project visit the Project: Preservation of the Andrew Geller Architectural Archive - it's tax-deductible!

By the way, for those in the Long Island area, Jake Gorst's 2005 documentary, Leisurama the story of Montauk's "swanky" mid-century modular home community, will be played on PBS WLIW21 at 2 AM and 9 PM Saturday June 26. This is not to be missed!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lieb House finds its new home

A month ago I posted this piece about the the start of the journey to move the Robert Venturi Lieb House from the Jersey shore to the north shore of Long Island. The beach cottage, which had been in danger of demolition, has been purchased by Deborah Sarnoff and Robert Gotkin, who plan to use it as a guest house to their own Venturi designed home. On Friday it succesfully completed the second leg of its journey from Manhattan's South Street Seaport to Glen Cove NY, a move that was documented both by news teams and by cameras for a forthcoming film Learning from Bob and Denise by James Venturi, son of the architect.
You can see the whole move in a New York Times slideshow and read the rest of the article here.
There has been a lot of discussion on architecture blogs about whether this is a judicious move, if the removal costs are justified in a recession and whether modernist beach houses should be preserved. I think you know which side of the argument I come down on but I'm interested to hear what you think. If you had the means to undertake such an endeavour, would you do it?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Floating a Beach House

Well this certainly puts my attempts at restoration into perspective. Imagine the amount of money and the stress for the architect and new owners as the Robert Venturi designed 1969 Lieb House is hoisted from its home on the Jersey Shore, placed on a barge and floated up the East River, around the North Shore of Long Island to Glen Cove, where it will eventually be used as a guest cottage to another Venturi house. All this being dependent on the City of Glen Cove giving the project a permit. At the moment the iconic beach house is stuck in a parking lot. For shame. If it gets the go-ahead I'm going to cheer it as it sails in. Go Lieb House!
The NY Times has a story on the move here. Further background, plus a video of the initial stages of the move, here and from Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Andrew Geller article in Newsday

The article on architect Andrew Geller will be in Newsday tomorrow, but for those impatient folks who have to have it now, it's available online at
The major part of the article concerns the Frank House on Fire Island, which has undergone a complete restoration back to its original design. The photos are amazing, I'm blown away by the beauty of the work. Our house is featured in an article entitled A love affair with a Geller house. There's a link to this blog and photos, including a truly stunning one taken in the den, where the photographer got the perfect shot of the den, living room, foyer, part of the dining room and front stairs by facing directly at the media unit/bar. I think I've fallen in love with the unit again - it looks like the prow of a ship. Thanks, Bill.
One really sad note: the article mentions that the Hunt House, also known as the "Milk Crate" will be demolished later this year. I can't believe another modernist marvel will just be bulldozed. It sparks an interesting debate about house preservation. How far should we go to keep our architectural masterpieces? Is this is even possible? And if we do choose to restore them, should it be to their original state, or should we adapt them to fit our current lifestyles and tastes?
Read the article and weigh in. And consider contributing to save the Pearlroth House, which will become a museum of modern architecture here on Long Island.