• List Price: $60.00
  • Save: $14.74 (25%)
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Fire Island Modernist: Ho... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Crisp, clean, unread hardcover with light shelfwear to the dust jacket and a publisher's mark to one edge - Nice!
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $15.79
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 5 images

Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction Hardcover – May 30, 2013


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$45.26
$42.27 $30.95

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
$45.26 FREE Shipping. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction + Tom Bianchi: Fire Island Pines, Polaroids 1975-1983
Price for both: $83.37

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolis Books/Gordon de Vries Studio (May 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938922093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938922091
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Rawlins book, full of gorgeous photographs drawings, illustrates Kahn's influence on Gifford. His understanding of servant and served spaces, and monumental form is beautifully documented.

Salinger asked if we could grow-up, retain our optimism and not be considered naive. Given that Rawlin's book is as much social commentary as it is biogrpahy and architctural history, it asks questions regarding culture while explaining the cultural influences on the architect: can you understand and accept gay culture? Can you see the unique beauty of this culture? Can you see aspirations in the architecture? Can you do it while it evolves, on its own terms? Give this beautiful and thoughtful book, I remain optimistic. (Alastair Gordon Mod 2014-11-01)

Every once in a great while, there is a book that is immediately hailed as so essential one wonders not so much why it was never done before but how we managed to get by without it. If that sounds overly effusive, buy, borrow or steal Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction and, after reading -- no, devouring it -- get back to me. (Steve Weinstein Edge 2013-10-01)

Fire Island Modernist traces 1960s gay culture throught art and architecture. (Leigh Paterson BBC NEWS 2013-07-24)

Every once in a great while, there is a book that is immediately hailed as so essential one wonders not so much why it has never done before but how we managed to get by without it. If that sounds overly effusive, buy, borrow or steal Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction and, after reading - no devouring it - get back to me. (Steve Weinstein Edge on the Net 2013-07-08)

Horace Gifford, the designer of a series of modest but highly influential beach houses in Fire Island Pines, a small town on a spit of land some 50 miles east of New York City, was known for his irreverence... Gifford's houses... were emblematic of a time when even clients as rich as Calvin Klein were weekend minimalists (Fred Bernstein Wallpaper* Magazine 2013-07-07)

Though the thin spit of land off Long Island's coast has long been known as a summer getaway, Fire Island became a truly notable retreat when Horace Gifford brought his serene sensibility to its sandy shores in the '60s. Pictures of the Florida-born architect's modern cedar-and-glass bungalows support an engaging narrative worthy of the site's distinctively colorful heritage. (Jordan Kushins SURFACE 2013-07-01)

The first-ever account of the late Horace Gifford's architectural legacy on the infamous New York pleasure retreat reminds us that history is only ever what we make of it, as personal as it may be, or in this case, queer. Remembered by some for his impulsive ways, irresistible surfer looks, and porn-star appendage, Gifford's largely forgotten work reemerges as a serious voice in tune with post-war grandees like Louis Kahn and Paul Rudolph. Lovers of queer history will thank author Christopher Rawlins for detailing Gifford's beach homes on the barrier island alongside a social narrativie gilded by names like Calvin Klein, Oscar Wilde, and the Mattachine Society. As the sleepy enclave does sex, drugs, and disco, Rawlins covers all ground, from political punches to Gifford's liberated maxi-couches and make-out lofts. It's a sincere retelling which makes a courageous monument of an archive rescued from the rear of a suburban garage. (Pierre Alexandre De Looz Pin-Up Magazine 2013-06-06)

Fire Island wouldn't be the idyllic haven we know today if it weren't for Horace Gifford, a young, often overlooked architect from Florida who designed 78 stunning beach houses off its boardwalks between 1961 and 1980. In Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction (Metropolis Books), a new monograph bursting with inspiring drawings and vintage photographs, author and architect Christopher Rawlins remembers this precocious (and handsome) talent who turned the south shores of Long Island into a modernist's dream. (Andrew Belonsky OUT Magazine 2013-06-01)

Throughout the late '60s and into the '70s, men like Mr. Gifford, Harry Bates, Earl Combs, Arthur Erickson, Andrew Geller and James McCloud - not all of them gay - were kept busy erecting elegant, stark structures on this austerely beautiful and fragile barrier island, houses of naturally weathering cedar, redwood pavilions set back from the boardwalk, their broad windows serving as prosceniums across which backlighted players in Speedos, or else nothing, played out a specific variant of the theater of late 20th century gay life. (Guy Trebay The New York Times, Styles Section 2013-05-23)

In those days, the Pines was seen as an "untainted address," observes Christopher Rawlins in Fire Island Modernist, his new book about Horace Gifford, who designed just about one in ten houses there. Gifford was a strapping idealist, and his houses were communal, economical, and exhibitionistic: the bedrooms small, the central areas open, with everything wooden or glass (he "essentially treated all surfaces like floors," Rawlins writes). (Carl Swanson New York Magazine 2013-05-19)

In "Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction," Christopher Rawlins presents an insightful and gorgeously illustrated account of the luminous midcentury modern vacation homes that architect Horace Gifford built during the 1960s and '70s in Fire Island's gay enclaves. But this beautiful book, published in May by Metropolis Books and Gordon de Vries Studio, contains more than blueprints: Rawlins fluidly merges a cultural history of New York's gay community with Gifford's personal biography and work, showing how his seductive designs were deeply connected to the newfound freedoms he and his clients enjoyed out on the beach. (Bryan Lowder Slate.com 2013-05-02)

Both a cultural history and an architectural mediation, Fire Island Modernist captures the look, feel and sensation of gay society in the 1960s and '70s that flourished on the sandy shores and shifting dunes of the 31-mile barrier island of its title... Rawlins's clear graceful prose has just the right tone and style for his subject, and his selection of photographs, drawings, and illustrations brings Gifford's times back to life... Photographs of handsome young men cavorting on the beach ad striking fashionable poses by the pool add to the book's glamourous ambience. As Alistair Gordon states in his foreword, Gifford's houses 'expressed the longings of a culture that had transformed Fire Island into a free-fire zone of social and sexual discovery. (Clifford Pearson Architectural Record 2013-04-01)

Customer Reviews

Horace Gifford was an amazing architect.
William McCaffrey
The material is VERY well presented, not only from a photographic perspective, but from architectural and historical perspectives as well.
Stephen K. Burman
I sat down that night and read the book cover to cover.
Robert E. Meaders

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By beach bunny on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love the way the writer integrates the history of Fire Island with the career of the architect Horace Gifford during the Pines' most narcissistic and outrageous period. The images in this gorgeous illustrated book tell a story in themselves, they vary from powerful architectural shots to funny to archival to celebs like Calvin Klein. In all this book is so much more than an illustrated architecture book, and creates a new paradigm for the architectural genre book, which, lets be honest, can be rather dull at times, and NEVER before has gotten as sexy as this one.... hey Amazon, I would recommend you offer a Kindle version of the text so we can read this at our beach houses, in the sand, without messing up the picture book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Meaders on May 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book on Amazon recently and ordered it not really knowing what I would be getting into. Upon its arrival, I glanced at the book and was immediatey intrigued with the photographs of not only the architecture but the decidely social setting of the houses designed by Horace Gifford. I sat down that night and read the book cover to cover. It is a fairly easy read, and Gifford's clients came to life in the writing of author Rawlins. And what lives these men lived!!!! It is amazing how the architecture created by Gifford responded so completely with the changing times of society of the 1960's and 1970's. These are not large, boring mega-mansions of today, but small incredibly powerful designs set within the site and environment, not wanting to overpower but to meld in. As an architect, I enjoyed the many photographs and drawings of the houses. As a gay man, I was entranced by the stories of the client relationships and the social history of Fire Island. Rawlins has written a "must read" for summer vacation 2013.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles M. Bryant on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an interior designer, I notice detail. As a young man visiting Fire Island, I was struck by a number of the houses I saw, and each time I asked who had designed it, the same name came up -- Horace Gifford. Mr. Rawlins' book has captured, in a unique and complete way, a time past, a time of fond memories, coupled with a sense of loss that is very tangible. There are books about architects and books about architecture, but seldom have I read such an evocative combination of thoughtful research, which captures both the art of Mr. Gifford, and at the same time captures the color of the man, the moment, the time, and the place. Reading it, you are swept up in the dialogue, and perhaps, because I have been there, I was brushed by the breeze, smelled the cedar, and felt the sand under my feet, not to mention the visceral recollection of friends, both present and past. Anyone who cares about the richness of experience and the dynamic of living it needs to read Mr. Rawlin's book -- and to quote Thoreau ; "The world is but a canvas to our imagination."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Toby Morro on May 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Just got this book today and couldn't put it down, an entertaining/unusual melange of
cultural (gay and straight) history, personal biography
and the story of Fire Island itself, all woven together in a well-paced narrative
that reads at times like a Gothic thriller and other times
like a prosaic architectural guidebook, illustrated with
with hundreds of photos and drawings. Horace Gifford, misfit
architect/dreamer, is our Virgil throughout and through him
we watch Fire Island evolve from an ephemeral strip of sand with a handful of eccentric squatters
to a vortex of wild experimentation, both architectural and sexual, in the 1960s/70s, (author Rawlins is at his best when
he knits the two together and makes them one,) up until the tragic epilogue when Fire Island is ravaged
and Gifford himself dies of AIDS. I don't usually read coffee table books but this is not only
great looking but smart and well-researched, a rare combination!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norman G. White on June 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I and two friends in the 70's rented for three seasons one of Horace's house he designed. The Evans DePass house.I also had the privalege of knowing Horace on a "hello" basis. Avery nice man. And if I might add underrated for his concepts. But I think this book will bring to light how great Horace was.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thinking of building a house? You want it to be something good, something important, something that gets better as it ages? If you just can't find the right ideas for your own contribution, it's in this book. Gifford didn't quite do it all "of, for, and by" (gay) men-- because not all of his clients were gay, but aesthetically speaking, Rawlins provides the evidence that shows Gifford as a true original master whose designs were driven by his love of beauty, light, and what works for people who entertain and like being in their houses with others. Here you will see a peek at Gifford's "all glass teepee/tree house" in Fire Island, Pines; other (more modest-- financially conservative) solutions for a house you could say is "just for socializing and sleeping on weekends;" and then the houses with bedrooms that are virtual alters to whomever were to occupy that room! Another volume could have more floor plans, and even more pictures, but Christopher Rawlins provides the trail that will lead you to understanding Gifford's brilliant work, and some great ideas you might want to incorporate into your own new house. A+!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?