By Karen Cilento
click here for the original article on ArchDaily
After WWII, the East End of Long Island played host to a variety of architectural styles. From modernism, through post-modernism, and deconstructionism, architects experimented with social ideas and aesthetic expressions which culminated in “small” houses scattered about the Island’s natural backdrop. Now, with the advent of the mega-mansion and the desire for “bigger”, it is becoming increasingly difficult to preserve such iconic and progressive architectural projects.
“When the talk turns to modern architecture on Long Island, the usual focus, not surprisingly, is on the last few years…..But, there was another modern architecture on Long Island, a whole generation of buildings that preceded the post-1960′s wave of arrogant, showy construction of our own time, and these buildings represented a very different set of values. They seem earnest where the recent modern buildings tend to feel jaded, eager where the newer ones tend to feel cynical,” explained Paul Goldberger for the New York Times in the late 80s.
With his documentary "Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island," director Jake Gorst seeks to highlight some of the region’s best work as a way to bring awareness and appreciation for such architectural achievement. Interviews are conducted with architects, historians, and clients, and archival material plus current-day high-definition cinematography highlight Long Island’s often underappreciated modernist architectural treasures.
“Long Island has a rich heritage of midcentury modern architecture,” says Director Jake Gorst. “Sadly, much of it has disappeared because of redevelopment and natural disaster. We believe the film will foster renewed awareness and appreciation for Long Island’s remaining modernist structures and its unique architectural history.”
The work of architects such as Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski, among others, will be included in the film.