Geller’s work is distinguished by a very American sense of optimism and a whimsical conception of space, especially when it comes to his iconic beach house designs. No wonder they called him the “architect of happiness.”
After reading of his death, we were inspired to go hunt for more images of Geller’s work online. Unlike many traditional architecture photos, which can be very staid and composed, vintage images of Geller’s work are full of life and color and people. They are snapshots of an era in American history when the middle class flourished and the beach house was a representation of a generation’s hopes and dreams.
It’s a good thing such images exist since, as the New York Times obituary poignantly notes, the houses themselves have fallen victim to time and over-zealous development. From the obit: “In recent years Mr. Geller’s playful houses were the subjects of books and articles, but most of those houses now exist mainly in memories and black-and-white photographs. Mr. Gordon recalled driving around the Hamptons with Mr. Geller in 1999, trying to find some of the scores of houses he had built there. Altogether, they located fewer than a dozen. Mr. Geller said he felt like he had lost his children.”