There is a new book, “Fire Island Modernist” that will be released in June about the architect Horace Gifford and his contribution to the homes of Fire Island.
“Gifford’s serene 1960s pavilions provided refuge from a hostile world, while his exuberant post-Stonewall, pre-AIDS masterpieces orchestrated bacchanals of liberation. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift once spurned Hollywood limos for the rustic charm of Fire Island’s boardwalks. Truman Capote wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s here. Diane von Furstenburg showed off her latest wrap dresses to an audience that included Halston, Giorgio Sant’ Angelo, Calvin Klein and Geoffrey Beene.” -artbook.com
With a foreward by Alistair Gordon and text by Christopher Rawlins, you simply must put this in your must have list, and don’t forget to get yourself a copy. Horace Gifford is an overlooked major contributor to the modernist movement. With 70 homes in Fire Island, his contribution cannot go overlooked any more.
In 2007, Brad Pitt started the organization Make it Right. Two years after hurricane Katrina, there were still many people who were displaced, and living in FEMA trailers. Make it Right is dedicated to building comfortable, sustainable homes for people in need. Mr. Pitt rallied together some of the world’s best architects to come up with designs that could be easily replicated in New Orleans, and around the world.In 2005, Make it Right started with the “Pink Project,” where pink structures were set up in an area in the Lower 9th ward where all the houses and the entire community was devastated. The structures will be removed as real buildings are put up in their place. Now, the first ever home built by Frank Gehry in Louisiana has been finished. The home actually looks similar to Mr. Gehry’s own home in California. Luckily, the residents of this home will not have to live in something as ugly as Gehry’s own home. The design of this house features two dwellings, a 3-bedroom in the front, and a single bedroom in the back. The platinum LEED certified home is powered by solar panels on the top floor which also serves as shade from the hot New Orleans summers.
Public Art Fund is one of my favorite NYC institutions. Without the work they do, New York wouldn’t be as fun. You must check out “Fir Tree,” an installation by the Polish artist Monika Sosnowska. New York as a public setting for this piece couldn’t be more perfect. Go to the corner of 60th Street and 5th Avenue, where midtown meets central park. The 40 foot high steel spiral staircase has been manipulated using cranes and pulleys to resemble a tree.