Summer in New York has long been defined by various escapes from it, and Fire Island is one of the prime destinations sought after by those seeking escape from Manhattan heat. London-based freelance writer Thomas Page finds Modernist cool in a book focused on the architecture of Fire Island, a locale he describes as "The Hamptons' party-going cousin, south of Long Island."
Fire Island boasts a wealth of Midcentury beach houses that are collected in Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction by Christopher Rawlins (Metropolis Books, 2013). Rawlins documents the island's architecture, which includes the work of Harry Bates, Arthur Erickson, and Horace Gifford, who, as Rawlins argues, remain largely under the radar. Gifford was a gay architect with a predilection for timber structures, who moved to Fire Island in 1961—in an era when such a relocation would effectively out himself. In his book, Rawlins documents the community formed by these architects, who favored connections to nature upon Fire Island.