Modernist Fire Island beach house designed by Horace Gifford hits market for $3.75M

The Horace Gifford designed beach front home Fire Island. (OneKey MLS)
The Horace Gifford designed beach front home Fire Island. (OneKey MLS)

A Fire Island beach house designed in 1967 by the architect who helped lead a modernist movement there has hit the market for $3.75 million.

According to the website Dwell, Horace Gifford designed 67 homes on the island getaway just off Long Island that helped transform it from an old whaling town to a bohemian summer retreat.

Built in 1967 on a beachfront lot in the village of Ocean Beach, the five-bedroom, cedar and glass home features unobstructed views of the ocean, a dramatic barrel-vaulted ceiling that extends over an outdoor deck, and a landscaped yard with an outdoor shower and dressing room.

The kitchen is set back from the living area, separated by a built-in seating island seating area on the living room side. The living room is directly connected to the dining area, and includes a fireplace and a row of sliding glass doors leading out to the wraparound deck.

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The main bedroom, just off the living-and-dining area, also has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the beach. Four more bedrooms connect to the yard via a boardwalk that leads to an outdoor patio area and the outdoor shower and dressing room.

Gifford was born and raised on the Florida coast, and came to New York City to work for an architectural firm after graduating from the University of Florida. He left the firm to study under the celebrated modernist architect Louis Khan, but returned one semester short of earning his master’s degree.

Gifford, who died of complications from AIDS at the age of 59 in 1992, is celebrated in the 2013 book “Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction” in which architect and author Christopher Rawlins said he “executed a remarkable series of beach houses that transformed the terrain and culture of New York’s Fire Island.”

[Dwell] — Vince DiMiceli