ANDREW (ANDY) MICHAEL GELLER (1924-2011)
Geller was born in Brooklyn to Russian parents and studied drawing with his father. A self-portrait, painted in 1938, was displayed at the Brooklyn Museum and won him free training in life drawing classes. He attended the New York High School of Art and Music and subsequently studied architecture at Cooper Union, where he took drawing classes with Robert Gwathmey, father of architect Charles Gwathmey. During WWII, Geller served in the Army and was inadvertently exposed to a toxic chemical agent, and suffered medical consequences for the remainder of his life. While convalescing in the hospital, he read an article about industrial design and decided that he would pursue that career, following the war. For the remainder of WWII, he was assigned as a naval architect for the United States Maritime Commission designing tanker hulls and interiors. By 1947, he was working for industrial and graphic designer Raymond Loewy.
In 1959, the Kitchen Debate between Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev took place at the Typical American House exhibit. Geller had helped design the interiors for the American National Exhibition in Moscow. They debated the merits of capitalism vs. communism, with Khrushchev saying that the Soviet Union had reached the same level of achievement as the US. Tass the Soviet news agency said: "There is no more truth in showing this as the typical home of the American worker than, say, in showing the Taj Mahal as the typical home of a Bombay textile worker." The temporary Typical American House exhibit was later destroyed, and the housing developer All-State hired William Safire as the company's marketing agent. Loewy and Geller were hired to design "Leisurama," houses marketed at Macy's and built on Long Island — leveraging the press coverage from the Russian exhibition.
After designing a beach house for Loewy's director of public relations, Betty Reese, Geller was featured for his freelance vacation house design work in many national publications, including The New York Times, Life, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire. He left Loewy and created a legacy of innovative, treasured houses across the Northeast.
Special thanks to Geller's grandson, Jake Gorst, who supplied most of these materials. He also produced and directed a 2005 documentary about his grandfather's work on the Leisurama homes; and later a compelling biography, Andrew Geller: Deconstructed. Gorst actively preserves the Geller archives, including drawings, models and film recordings. Most of the images courtesy of Gorst's Mainspring Archive: The Andrew Geller Collection.
1953 - The Edmund Merein House, Great Neck NY. Status unknown.
1953 - The Peg Morse House, Lewis Road, Northport NY. Has been altered. Status unknown.
1953 - The Schlanger House, Great Neck NY. Status unknown.
1954 - The Glenn Gunst House, 38 Girard Avenue, Bay Shore NY.
1955 - The Elizabeth (Betty) Reese House #1, Sagaponack NY. This A-frame popularized the style all across America and put Geller in the public eye. Destroyed in a March 1962 storm.
1957 - The Edward Schneider House, Northport NY. Status unknown.
1957 - The Leonard Frisbie House, 167 Marine Boulevard, Amagansett NY. An A-Frame similar to the Reese House. Includes a Geller-designed addition. Featured in the Showtime series, The Affair. Still owned by the Frisbie family as of 2020.
1957 - The Mike and Gloria Levitas House #1, Chillmark, Martha's Vineyard MA. Standing as of 2020.
1958 - The Beverly Langman House, Sagaponack NY. Looked like a lighthouse. Destroyed in a 1962 storm.
1958 - The lrwin and Joyce Hunt House, aka Milk Carton, sometimes called Boxkite, Fire Island NY. Destroyed.
1958 - The Albert Levinson House, Ocean Park, Long Beach Island NJ. Address unknown. Sold by the Levinsons after the great storm of 1962. According to the second owner's grandson Max Hayden, the kitchen was a technological marvel with turquoise wall hung refrigerators on one side with similarly colored combination range, sink, radio and single washer/dryer combo on the other. The flooring was sheet vinyl with large chunks of muted colored chips. The cypress appeared on walls and ceilings. The oceanfront porch was screened in. One second floor bedroom had L-shaped bunk beds complete with a ship's wheel at the foot of one and bookshelf/steps on the other. Sold to the Luses in 1966. Destroyed in 1991, and a new house built. In 2020, that was destroyed and a large modern house built.
1958 - aka Esquire Weekend House. Unbuilt. Plans were published in Esquire Magazine. Ralph Ginzberg commissioned the plans.
1958 - The Rudolph (Rudy) and Trudi Frank House, 547 Beachcomber Walk, Lot 547, Fire Island Pines, Fire Island NY. Sold to Philip Monaghan. 2006 restoration by Larson and Paul Architects.
1958 - The Hans and Rene Krusa Renovation, Northport NY. Status unknown.
1959 - The Arthur and Mitch Pearlroth House, aka Double Diamond, 615 Dune Road, West Hampton Beach NY. Deeded to Jonathan Pearlroth and Holly Posner. Moved 40 feet and restored into a pool house for a new larger house by CookFox in 2015, bottom photo. The house is open for visitors by appointment, and also can be rented.
1959 - The Typical American House (Exhibition Model), All State Properties, Moscow, USSR. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. This was destroyed and we have not found any photos.
1959 - The Sy Fried House, aka Fort Fried, Lots 376, 377, 378 Michigan Street, Fire Island NY. Photos from Mainspring Archive: The Andrew Geller Collection. Standing as of 2019.
1960 - The Leonard Jossel House, Davis Park, Fire Island NY. Destroyed in a storm.
1960 - The Cordis House, Rocky Point NY. Status unknown.
1960 - The Bernard Owitt House, Westhampton NY. Has been altered.
1960 - The David Pollack House, aka Butterfly House, 20 Oneida Street, Ocean Beach, Fire Island NY. There has been an addition. Sold to Ben Laurine. Sold in 2008 to Butterfly House LLC.
1960 - The Dan Kahn House, 10 Oneida Street, Ocean Beach, Fire Island NY. Next door to the Butterfly/Pollack House. Has been altered. Sold in 2019.
1960 - The Betty Reese Rental House, 22 Ocean Bay Boulevard, Ocean Beach, Fire Island NY. Has been altered.
1960 - The Paul and Merle de Monterice House, Amagansett NY. 1118sf. This is the model, but the house turned out very traditional - because the local building department rejected the original plans. Status unknown.
1961 - The Sidney and Sylvia Harman House, Forte Drive, Old Westbury NY. Geller fought with the clients over design; the final version was never photographed. Status unknown.
1961 - The Victor Lynn House, Westhampton NY. Status unknown.
1962 - The Ira and Mona Schneiderman House, aka Toaster house, 55 Knollwood Lane, Mattituck NY. Sold around 1980 to John and Aurelie Stack. Geller did an addition/renovation in 1982. As of 2020, rentable through AirBnB.
1963 - The Phil George House, aka Mothersill, 56 Pauls Lane, Water Mill NY. Sold to Mary Mothersill. Donated in 2008 to the Peconic Land Trust who placed a conservation easement on it prior to the sale to Bruce and Karen Kopelman. Sold in 2010 to James and Christine Boyle. Has been moved on the property, significantly altered, and became a guest house.
1963 - The Mike and Gloria Levitas House #2, 13 Pilots Landing Road, Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard MA. Has been altered. Deeded to son Daniel Levitas. Available for rent on VRBO.
1963 - The Elizabeth (Betty) Reese House #2, 375 Brick Kiln Road, Bridgehampton NY. Originally 365. One lot with two houses. The Geller was altered by John Bjornen, and they added a new house that's part of the same lot.
1963 - The David and Nancy Neuman House, Fair Harbor, Fire Island NY. Status unknown.
1964 - The Gerard House, Westchester NY. Status unknown.
1964 - The Phil and Harriet Bernstein, Fair Harbor, Fire Island NY. Status unknown.
1965 - The Joseph and Lorraine Suplina House, 11 Round Hill Road, Armonk NY. Original address 7 Round Hill road. Has been altered, deck removed. Sold in 2017 to Monica Garcia.
1965 - The Alan Grisman House, North Haven NY. Status unknown.
1966 - The Elkin House, aka Grasshopper, aka Reclining Picasso, Sagaponack NY. Featured in House and Garden in 1974. Destroyed.
1966 - The Richard Saltzman Ski Lodge, Stowe VT. Status unknown.
1967 - The Harry Martin House, New Fairfield CT. Address unknown. Standing as of 2019, according to Jake Gorst.
1967 - The Jack and Diane Lipman House, 256 Vineyard Road, Huntington NY. Sold to Jane and Steve Jagger who did a restoration. For sale in 2021.
1967 - The Aileen Hunt House, Amagansett NY. Has been altered.
1967 - The Melvin Zaid Renovation, 83 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury NY. Sold to Christiane Tsakis. Sold in 2012 to Leon and Hana Nitkin destroyed it and built a new house in 2013.
1967 - The Solomon House, Amagansett NY. Status unknown.
1967 - The Stan and Sophia Schacter House, 49 Gilberts Path, Montauk NY. House on the left. The one on right is the Carol Green House. Status unknown. House there now may or may not be the Geller. Needs verification.
1968 - The Carol Green House, 55 Gilberts Path, Amagansett NY. House on the right, top photo. House on the left is the Schacter house. Available for rent.
1968 - The Laurence and Laura Antler House, 23 Neck Path, The Springs, East Hampton NY. Sold in 2003 to Mary Braverman. Sold in 2014 to Christopher Fisher. Restored and back deck added in 2019 by Forrest Frazier of ArchitectureAF, bottom three photos (by Ashok Sinha).
1968 - The Louis and Racile Strick House, Amagansett NY. Has been altered.
1969 - The Jerry and Verene Nanfito House, Omaha NE. A close copy of the Suplina House. Standing as of 2019.
1970 - The Thomas and Jane Morley House, Lloyd Harbor NY. Status unknown.
1971 - The Len Silver House, 308 Surf Walk, Bay Shore, Fire Island NY. Sold to Gary H. Richard.
1972 - The Peg White Shed, Washington CT. Standing as of 2019.
1972 - The John and June Christensen House, Eatons Neck NY. Status unknown.
1974 - The John Buren House, 114 Archers Hope, Williamsburg VA. Has been altered. Sold for the first time in 2008 to John Schumann.
1975 - The Mike Twomey House, Shelter Island NY. Has been altered. There may have been another project for the Twomeys at 6 West 77th Street, New York NY.
1976 - The Peg White House, aka Wild Acres, 142 Blackville Road, Washington Depot CT. 130 acres. Sold around 1980 to Henry and Lisa Schaefer. Sold in 1992 to Arthur Frumkes. Sold in 2017 to Brian M. Fenty. Remodeled, not by Geller. For sale in 2020.
1978 - The Kevin Upton House, Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk NY. Status unknown.
1980 - The Gregg Geller House, aka Butterfly, 375 Brick Kiln Road, Sag Harbor NY. Designed for Geller's son. Sold to Tom and Mary Ross, who commissioned Geller for a renovation in the 1990s. Destroyed in a fire.
Year unknown - aka the Mobile House. Status unknown.
1962 - aka the Quiet House, Dallas TX. Fox Jacobs, developer. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. Status unknown.
1962 to 1967 - The Miscellaneous Tract House Models, Dallas and Houston TX. Fox & Jacobs, developers. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. Status unknown.
1963 - The Sherry Lake Apartments, 1801 Butler Pike, Conshohocken PA. Fox Built Homes. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc.
1963 to 1965 - The Leisurama Homes, All State Properties, Montauk NY and Lauderhill FL. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. The houses came with furniture, linens, air conditioning, toothbrushes, silverware, and everything else. The NY Times reported in 1963, when a full model was being displayed at Macy's, that they include "a living room, dining room, bath and den fitted with a Murphy wall bed. More room could be included for a few thousand extra, and the Times noted that they could also be "rented at yearly rents that range from $1,600 to $1,900 with two-year minimum leases." The NYT also believed these Montauk homes helped revive Murphy beds. 1000 homes were planned, only 200 built as they weren't profitable, and the closing of the World's Fair dried up marketing. It was essentially Geller's design but changed when it left the drawing board, he remarked there were "insensitive box additions." Geller's grandson Jake Gorst produced a documentary on the project.
Example house: 33 Pine Tree Drive, Montauk NY. Sold to Arkadie Pikulik. Sold in 2018 to Michael and Kimberley Schoen.
1964 - The Miscellaneous Tract House Models, Fox Built Homes, Pittsburgh PA. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. Status unknown.
1964 - The Miscellaneous Tract House Models, Huber Homes, Dayton OH. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. Photo from Mainspring Archive: The Andrew Geller Collection. Status unknown.
1966 - The William Paulsen Renovation, Northport NY. Status unknown.
1967 - The Carl and Mary Tiedemann Renovation, 41 Apaquogue Road, East Hampton NY. Deeded to Mary Tiedemann. Sold in 2013 to APQ LLC.
1967 - aka the Presidential House, Wainscott NY. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. Photos from Mainspring Archive: The Andrew Geller Collection. Status unknown.
1969 - aka Easy Care Aluminum House, aka Vacation House System, developed for the Aluminum Association of America, Chicago IL. Designed while at Raymond Loewy/William Snaith Inc. Still there as of 2019.
1972 - The Harry Oswin Renovation, Greenburgh NY. Status unknown.
1973 - The Edmund Merein Renovation, Brookville NY. Status unknown.
1975 - The Llovera House Renovation, 215 Bay Avenue, Huntington NY. Original house built 1920. Sold in 2012 to Kimberly Leonard.
1979 - The Martin and Lois Witkoff House Renovation, Westhampton Beach NY. Status unknown.
1979 - The Newsday House of the 80s, a concept house. Status unknown.
1980 - The Milton and Shirley Cooper Renovation, 6 Red Ground Road, Old Westbury NY. Original house built 1930. Coopers still owners as of 2019.
1980 - The Gregory and Linda Sand Renovation, 141 Asharoken Avenue, Northport NY. Sold in 1999 to Mark and Anna Pollaci. Presumed destroyed; new house there in 2001.
1982 - The Kent and Susan Seelig Renovation, 85 Belvedere Drive, Syosset NY. Original house built 1976. Still owned by the Seeligs as of 2019.
1983 - The Gerald and Sue Kagan Renovation and Deck, 3214 Oxford Avenue, Bronx NY. Deeded to Sue Kagan.
1983 - The Richard and Jennifer Huntley Renovation, 37 Bevin Road, Northport NY. Original house built in 1980. For sale in 2020.
1984 - The George and Dorie Lo Renovation, Scotch Plains NJ. Status unknown.
1984 - The Richard and Gerry Englemark Renovation, 89 Oak Street, Northport NY. Original house built in 1921. Sold in 2017 to Ian and Lauren Hoffman.
1985 - The Jose and Malle Andrade Apartment, East 73rd Street, New York NY. Status unknown.
1987 and 1993 - The Charles and Helen Lazarus Renovations, 30-32 Shinnecock Road, East Quogue NY. Needs verification.
1988 - The Stanley and Carol Kanoff Renovation, 183 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury NY. Original house built 1968. Deeded to Carol Kanoff. Sold in 1997 to Robert and Joanne Haber. Bank owned in 2018. Sold in 2018 to Kermalli Husein.
1993 - The Arnold Gumowitz Apartment Interior Design, aka Long Beach Towers, 10 West Broadway, Long Beach NY. Building designed by Samuel and David Paul.
1996 - The Subba and Urmila Bhatt Renovation, 75 Plymouth Road, Plandome NY. Status unknown.
1996 - The Venkateshwar and Rathi Raja Renovation, 48 Mallard Road, Manhasset NY.
2015 - The Scott and Nancy Adams House, 5665 Adams Leidenfrost Road, Hector NY. Similar to the 1965 Suplina House. Nancy Adams is Geller's granddaughter.
Sources include: Jake Gorst; Beach Houses: Andrew Geller; Andrew Geller: Deconstructed; Leisurama Now: The Beach House for Everyone, by Paul Sahre.