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


Glenn Rice’s journey to owning a house on Fireplace Island, N.Y., started unexpectedly in Boston and was propelled, incredibly, by his like of theater.

In September 2017, Mr. Rice, a authentic estate agent, visited Boston to see a good friend conduct in the opening night of the participate in “WARHOLCAPOTE.” At a meal afterward, he befriended Rob Roth, the playwright who wrote the exhibit.

“We just started out talking and bought along like gangbusters,” explained Mr. Rice, 49. “So at the close of the evening, he claimed, ‘You ought to come out and keep with me in Hearth Island. I think you’ll like it.’”

Credit…Giulia Menechella

The subsequent summer season, Mr. Rice took Mr. Roth up on the provide and identified that he preferred Mr. Roth’s getaway in the Pines very much indeed. But as he strolled alongside the boardwalk, it was a different dwelling that commanded his focus: a massive, pyramid-shaped setting up with cedar shingles on a few sides and a soaring triangular wall of steel and glass on the fourth.

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

Intrigued, Mr. Rice began asking all around and realized that the property was owned by Jeff Mahshie, a fashion and costume designer. So when Mr. Rice’s buddies inspired him to request for a tour, he barely hesitated ahead of walking more than.

Mr. Mahshie answered and welcomed him within — and Mr. Rice couldn’t consider his eyes as he took in the sweeping watch above sand dunes to the ocean and the bay.

“We wander in, and it’s just amazing,” Mr. Rice stated.

The residence was built by Julio Kaufman, an Argentine architect, in the early 1960s. Then in 2001, the author Paul Rudnick acquired it and employed yet another architect, Hal Hayes, to update and extend it. It was Mr. Hayes who included the metal-and-glass wall, and who reconfigured the inside to make the best degree an open living-and-eating location with a kitchen and the decreased stage an expansive key suite. Outside the house, Mr. Hayes added a poolside guesthouse comprising 3 related bins with pyramidal roofs.

Mr. Rice marveled at the compound, engaged Mr. Mahshie in dialogue about scripts he spied on tables and eventually told him that he was fortunate to reside in such a breathtaking dwelling.

“And he claimed, ‘Actually, I’m wondering of promoting,’” Mr. Rice recalled.

Mr. Rice transpired to be in the approach of offering his Harlem brownstone, which would give him with the resources to get the house. Back in Manhattan, a number of days afterwards, “we met for lunch in TriBeCa and did a handshake offer,” Mr. Rice mentioned, right after agreeing to a price of $1.32 million.

“I just fell in enjoy with the household and imagined every thing about it — which includes the approach by which I was getting it — was amazing,” he said.

Soon after closing in December 2018, he required to furnish the property, but he was organized for that, far too: An aficionado of style, Mr. Rice runs a side organization called Supervision, acquiring and advertising classic midcentury-modern-day home furnishings and add-ons. For the living space, he introduced in a pair of teak-and-cane sofas built by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen in the late 1950s, in addition a pair of slouchy armchairs with lacquered wooden frames and blue suede upholstery from the 1970s. For the key suite, he installed a Norwegian Westnofa rosewood bed room set from the 1960s and classic French resin benches with multicolored geometric bases.

“Pretty a great deal all the things is from about the exact time period as the household,” Mr. Rice reported. “It’s my aesthetic in any case, but it turned out that I was selecting points that fit.”

He opted not to make any big architectural variations, but the residence needed intensive repairs and updates, from replacing rotten cedar boards exterior to adding heat tape all around pipes that would if not freeze in the wintertime.

“Being on Fireplace Island, amongst the ocean and the bay, is truly hard on the homes,” he explained. “All the salt, the frequent humidity, et cetera. So each year I do a large challenge. I did the electrical procedure and the plumbing program. This tumble, it is heading to be the replacement of all the doors and windows.”

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

He has also flipped the script on owning a summer season dwelling, paying the bulk of the calendar year on Fireplace Island and periodically returning to his condominium in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When he isn’t residing in the pyramid, he rents it out on Airbnb and Vrbo, where by it can fetch much more than $3,000 a night in the summer months. “It is my major residence,” he explained, “but I do hire the dwelling out in the significant period to assistance defray all of the ongoing costs.”

And if he misses a handful of sizzling, sunny times in July and August, that’s Ok. “Looking via that window,” he reported, “no make any difference what the temperature is — a storm, a snowstorm, a sunny working day or clouds going by — is just amazing.”

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