443 SAIL WALK
Architect: JULIO KAUFMAN, 1960. Renovation: H3 ARCHITECTURE, 2004.
Background for this house was provided courtesy of the Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society.
John Goodwin, a nephew of financier J. P. Morgan, and his wife Ellie commissioned one of the most unusual homes in the Pines in 1960. Originally reposing on a lot that extended all the way from bay to ocean, this symmetrical home took advantage of equally extraordinary views in all directions. A pyramid with four dormers contained three small bedrooms and a spiral stair that ascended to a loft space.
Architect Julio Kaufman hailed from Buenos Aires. He designed a home for himself in 1957, as well as the concrete-block Botel for Peggy Fears after the original burned down in 1959. A seaplane accident around the time of the Goodwin House's construction resulted in the amputation of Kaufman's arm, which did not stop the architect from designing two model Pines Co-op interiors from his hospital bed.
In 2001 playwright Paul Rudnick and Dr. John Raftis purchased the home, now surrounded by other dwellings. A 2004 renovation undertaken by Hal Hayes demonstrates a clever adaptation to the home's changed context as well as evolving standards of comfort. As Hayes recalled:
"[Rudnick and Raftis] led very public lives in the city, and privacy was very important to them here in the Pines; Paul was also writing his play “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” a humorous and gay retelling of classic Bible stories, during the design process. The design concept grew out of both of these issues.
A large guest house was added at the front of the property; the 30’ width of this structure created a visual barrier from Sail Walk and enclosed a very private courtyard between the guest house and the main house. The mass of the guest house was broken down into three 10’ squares, each rotated to a pure north-south orientation and articulated as three small pyramids, recalling the complex of the Great Pyramid of Cheops and its three adjacent small pyramids, one for each of his queens; Paul loved the idea and insisted that 'we have to have the Queens’ pyramids!' The three 10’ square spaces are two bedrooms flanking a central bathroom, each with a translucent pyramidal roof.
The private courtyard included the new pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen and living room. The main pyramid was completely gutted, creating a single large living/dining/kitchen space on the upper floor. The solid east face of the pyramid was removed and replaced with a custom floor-to-ceiling steel & glass roof-wall system, opening the interior to the spectacular views of the dunes, ocean and bay.
The lower level was expanded to be the same size as the upper floor, with a powder room, laundry and large master suite comprised of a boudoir, dressing rooms, bathroom, sauna, potting shed and gym."
Photos: Courtesy Hal Hayes and the Fire Island Pines Historic Preservation Society. Illustration: Ferron Bell courtesy FIPHPS. 2022 Color photos: Genevieve Garruppo for The New York Times.