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Pearlroth House: Playful Postwar in Westhampton Beach

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In the 50s, young people who wanted a fun, modern Hamptons summer home went to architect Andrew Geller. Andrew Geller helped bring modernism to the masses in the postwar period. While working for the firm of Raymond Loewy, Geller designed the logo for Lord & Taylor, and later helped design Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the World Trade Center.

On the East End, Geller designed a series of small but distinctive summer houses, many of which were published in magazines such as Life. The New York Times featured his design for the 1955 A-frame Reese House in Sagaponack. Design critic Mark Lamster describes Geller's Long Island house designs as "inexpensive and modest homes with playful shapes that radiated a sense of post-war optimism." Geller nicknamed his house designs: the Butterfly, the Box Kite, Milk Carton, and Grasshopper. Later, Geller was involved with the development of the Leisurama houses in Montauk.

The 1959 Pearlroth House in Westhampton Beach designed by Geller is only 600 square feet. The form is of two boxes rotated 45 degrees into two diamond shapes. The diamonds contain three rooms and a bathroom, while between them is a living space enclosed by glass. Historian Alastair Gordon called the house "one of the most important examples of experimental design built during the postwar period – not just on Long Island but anywhere in the United States. It is witty, bold and inventive."

The Pearlroth house has unfortunately deteriorated over the years. The owner, the son of the original owners, wanted a bigger house for his family. So the compromise was to move the house about 40 feet away. Plans are for the house to be opened as a museum after its current restoration is complete.
· Pearlroth House [pearlrothhouse.org]