He Didn’t Plan to Buy a Place on Fire Island. But This Was No Ordinary Home.


Glenn Rice’s journey to possessing a house on Hearth Island, N.Y., commenced unexpectedly in Boston and was propelled, shockingly, by his like of theater.

In September 2017, Mr. Rice, a serious estate agent, frequented Boston to see a good friend complete in the opening night time of the engage in “WARHOLCAPOTE.” At a evening meal afterward, he befriended Rob Roth, the playwright who wrote the present.

“We just began speaking and acquired together like gangbusters,” stated Mr. Rice, 49. “So at the conclusion of the evening, he explained, ‘You must appear out and remain with me in Fire Island. I assume you will like it.’”

Credit score…Giulia Menechella

The upcoming summer, Mr. Rice took Mr. Roth up on the supply and found that he liked Mr. Roth’s getaway in the Pines pretty significantly certainly. But as he strolled along the boardwalk, it was one more house that commanded his attention: a huge, pyramid-formed building with cedar shingles on a few sides and a soaring triangular wall of steel and glass on the fourth.

It was practically as if a significant mock-up of I.M. Pei’s Louvre Pyramid experienced washed up on the beach.

Intrigued, Mr. Rice started inquiring all-around and learned that the home was owned by Jeff Mahshie, a fashion and costume designer. So when Mr. Rice’s buddies encouraged him to question for a tour, he scarcely hesitated just before going for walks over.

Mr. Mahshie answered and welcomed him inside of — and Mr. Rice could not think his eyes as he took in the sweeping see in excess of sand dunes to the ocean and the bay.

“We walk in, and it is just remarkable,” Mr. Rice mentioned.

The residence was built by Julio Kaufman, an Argentine architect, in the early 1960s. Then in 2001, the writer Paul Rudnick acquired it and hired an additional architect, Hal Hayes, to update and increase it. It was Mr. Hayes who added the steel-and-glass wall, and who reconfigured the inside to make the leading amount an open up living-and-eating location with a kitchen area and the reduced stage an expansive major suite. Outdoors, Mr. Hayes additional a poolside guesthouse comprising 3 related bins with pyramidal roofs.

Mr. Rice marveled at the compound, engaged Mr. Mahshie in discussion about scripts he spied on tables and ultimately informed him that he was blessed to reside in these a amazing household.

“And he explained, ‘Actually, I’m considering of providing,’” Mr. Rice recalled.

Mr. Rice occurred to be in the course of action of promoting his Harlem brownstone, which would give him with the resources to invest in the home. Back in Manhattan, a handful of times later, “we satisfied for lunch in TriBeCa and did a handshake offer,” Mr. Rice said, right after agreeing to a rate of $1.32 million.

“I just fell in adore with the residence and considered almost everything about it — including the method by which I was getting it — was incredible,” he reported.

Following closing in December 2018, he desired to furnish the house, but he was geared up for that, as well: An aficionado of design and style, Mr. Rice operates a aspect business enterprise named Supervision, obtaining and selling classic midcentury-present day furnishings and accessories. For the residing place, he introduced in a pair of teak-and-cane sofas created by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen in the late 1950s, moreover a pair of slouchy armchairs with lacquered wood frames and blue suede upholstery from the 1970s. For the key suite, he set up a Norwegian Westnofa rosewood bed room established from the 1960s and classic French resin benches with multicolored geometric bases.

“Pretty much almost everything is from close to the identical time time period as the dwelling,” Mr. Rice stated. “It’s my aesthetic in any case, but it turned out that I was picking out issues that in good shape.”

He opted not to make any significant architectural adjustments, but the household necessary substantial repairs and upgrades, from changing rotten cedar boards outside the house to adding warmth tape all over pipes that would otherwise freeze in the winter.

“Being on Fireplace Island, amongst the ocean and the bay, is really really hard on the houses,” he said. “All the salt, the continual humidity, et cetera. So each calendar year I do a huge challenge. I did the electrical procedure and the plumbing program. This fall, it’s going to be the replacement of all the doorways and windows.”

In all, Mr. Rice believed that he has put in about $400,000 restoring and protecting the house.

He has also flipped the script on possessing a summer months property, expending the majority of the yr on Fireplace Island and periodically returning to his condominium in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When he is not dwelling in the pyramid, he rents it out on Airbnb and Vrbo, in which it can fetch far more than $3,000 a evening in the summer months. “It is my most important home,” he stated, “but I do hire the dwelling out in the large time to support defray all of the ongoing prices.”

And if he misses a handful of very hot, sunny times in July and August, that’s Ok. “Looking as a result of that window,” he said, “no subject what the climate is — a storm, a snowstorm, a sunny working day or clouds likely by — is just wonderful.”

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