In Memoriam: Andrew Geller

In Memoriam: Andrew Geller

The American architect who was indirectly thought to have spurred the “Kitchen Debate” between then Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on July 24, 1959 passed away. Andrew Geller’s adaption of a house designed by Stanley H. Klein, was put on display at the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959. It was reported that Khrushchev said that Americans could not afford that “typical American house”. With the Soviet news agency saying, “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.”

Geller was best known for his beach houses found along the Northern Eastern seaboard, especially in the Hamptons, during the 1950s and 60s. “On first impression, these beach houses seem like caricatures, one-liners,” the architectural historian Alastair Gordon wrote in a 1999 New York Times profile of Mr. Geller, but “they represented a kind of everyman modernism that was both playful and accessible, with most houses costing less than $10,000.”

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