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Leisurama Now: The Beach House for Everyone 1964- Hardcover – March 20, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (March 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568987099
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987095
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.1 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,838,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Fantasy beach cottages are nothing new, but mass-marketing them was novel back in the 1960s, when you could obtain a prefabricated house complete with furniture, linens and melamine dishes for $600 down and $75 a month. Leisurama Now: The Beach House for Everyone by Paul Sahre serves as a visual archive of the experiment in mail-order houses that became a reality for scores of families--and many of these midcentury gems are still standing in Montauk in Long Island. -- Metropolitan Home, August 1, 2008

With all this talk about lifestyle, you would think our generation invented it. Leisurama Now: The Beach House for Everyone, by NYC graphic design who's-who Paul Sahre, reminds us that our version is a pale imitation of the post-World War II originals...Not only does Sahre's assiduous homage gather more fuels to fight tear-down culture, it also makes us rethink colored Formica. -- ELLE, May 2008

Review

In 2001, when graphic designer Paul Sahre rented a summer home in Montauk, his retreat turned out to be a relic: it was one of only 200 or so cookie-cutter beach houses built in the mid-1960s as part of the Leisurama housing project. Sold by Macy's, Leisurama homes were both affordable and all-inclusive; their boxy, simply designed interiors came fully furnished and accessorized -- all buyers needed were 'groceries and a key.' The houses were immensely popular but ultimately unprofitable, and thus sadly short-lived. Sahre's fascinating study of Leisurama's brand identity, marketing effort, and mid-century modern design presents a passionately visual and contextually dense study. All told, it's a revelatory history of how prefab became fabulous.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Consumer on June 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book can be appreciated for both its design aesthetics and its telling of Montauk history. Leisurama tells how people lived and continue to live in their environments, which are these pre-packaged homes. The fun part is the book's layout which jumps timelines and stories, comparing what was then and how it has transformed now. We need more than old radios or televisions or wood paneling to express the 60's and the generation of idealism. Which makes Leisurama a fun and strange book. There are too many things in this world that we will never know of because we lose interest and move on. Here we have an opportunity to obsess over the author's obsession and be part of a history that is still very much alive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I lived on eastern Long Island 50 years and never heard of Leisurama Homes till I saw a PBS tv special two years ago. I took a ride to Montauk and found this development very interesting. The book is nicely done with tons of color photos and alot of history which i like along with then and now photos. You can tell the author did the utmost in research for this book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Cochran on November 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Can you imagine walking into Macy's in 1964 and buying a beach house? Already furnished and ready to go... what a concept! Before a friend brought this book to my attention I didn't know anything about the Leisurama project. After reading it I've got to say that for anyone interested in the history of architecture/planning and intrepid marketing ideas in the 20th century, this is a Must-Read/Must-Have book. It explores a nearly forgotten, yet ambitious, experimental enterprise in the 60s; sensitively explored by a true appreciator of the genius, the talent, and the flaws of the men who built it. Then it unfolds the the part you really want to know: what has become of the place in the 45 years since. (and whether the project succeeded or not is left up to you.)
This book is the perfect combination of well-researched, well-written history, clean, pleasing design and photography, and clever presentation. I wish all books were this satisfying. Like savoring a box of fine Belgian chocolates, it's just a real treat.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic, very thorough and well researched. The layout and design of the book
compliments the subject as well.

I first learned of Paul Sahre because he was in the same design program as me in college (Kent State University). I immediately became interested in his work because I enjoy to keep up with graduates of my future degree.

I recommend this book to whoever is interested in the Leisurama subject. I knew little about them prior to this book, and for me Sahre makes the topic come alive giving visual tours of the homes as well as a visual history.
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