Long Island Modernism

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Long Island has a rich history of modern architectural gems. Who knew? When I lived  in NY, I would make a Sunday afternoon of it; hunting down a modernist classic tucked away in a unsuspecting neighborhood. A few historic structures remain, but sadly many have been torn down, or fundamentally altered.

In her new book Long Island Modernism: 1930–1980, author Caroline Rob Zaleski has thoughtfully explored and documented the modern architecture of this region. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the author explains the source of her intrigue: ‘Numerous architecture stars used parts of Long Island as a sort of laboratory. Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe all built there, and even contemplated a plan to re-establish their Bauhaus school on Long Island after relocating to the U.S. from Nazi Germany. Many other notable homes and buildings conceived for corporate and public use were conceived by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Richard Meier and I.M. Pei, among many others.

Image:  Philip Johnson’s Robert and Mary Leonhardt House, Lloyd Neck, 1954-56

Image:  1969 – The Renny B. and Ellin Saltzman House, East Hampton, NY.

Ms. Zaleski has created a treasure worthy of the sleuthing it took to make it. This compilation of design by some of the most well known architects of our time is a gift of history, and provides the reference and foundation for design innovation to come.

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