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Touring the Modern Architecture of Fire Island's Pines

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Ever since architect Christopher Bascom Rawlins finished Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction (Metropolis Books/Gordon de Vries Studio, 2013) he has been wondering what to do with the wealth of material he accumulated tracing the career of Gifford, the designer of more than 60 houses on Fire Island, as well as contemporaries like Harry Bates, Earl Combs, Arthur Erickson and Andrew Geller. He has channeled some of his energy into walking tours of the Pines, home of the greatest concentration of modern architecture on the island. I was lucky enough to attend one on Saturday, Instagramming along the way. Rawlins is using the tours to raise funds for Pines Modern, an under-construction website that will allow visitors to lead their own tours, calling up archival photographs and drawings at the touch of an app while standing on Ocean, Snapper, or Tarpon Walk. Rawlins hopes the site will raise awareness of the mid-century masterpieces among the neo-modern McMansions in the Pines, and make sure more Giffords aren't resurfaced beyond recognition.

A tour via Instagram >>