He doesn’t plan to buy a place on Fire Island. But this was no ordinary house.

His journey to owning a home in Glen Rice on Fire Island, NY began unexpectedly in Boston and was fueled, ironically, by his love of theater.

In September 2017, real estate agent Mr. Rice visited Boston to see his friend perform on the opening night of the play “WARHOLCAPOTE”. At dinner afterward, he befriends the playwright Rob Roth, who wrote the show.

“We started talking and hit it off like gangbusters,” said Mr. Rice, 49. “So at the end of the night, I said, ‘You have to come out to Fire Island with me.’ I think she likes it.’

Credit…Julia Menechella

The following winter, Mr. Rice took Mr. Roth up on the offer and found that he really liked Roth’s climb in the pines. But as he strolled down the boardwalk, it was another house that caught his attention: a large, pyramid-shaped building with cedar shingles on three sides and a towering triangular steel and glass wall on the fourth.

IM Pei’s Louvre pyramid looked like a huge mock-up washed ashore.

Intrigued, Mr. Rice starts asking around and discovers that the house is owned by Jeff Mahshi, a fashion and clothing designer. And when Mr. Rice’s friends encouraged him to ask for a tour, he didn’t hesitate before going.

Mr Mahshi answered and welcomed him in – and Mr Rice couldn’t believe his eyes as he looked out over the sand dunes towards the ocean and the bay.

“We go in, and it’s amazing,” Mr. Rice said.

The house was designed in the early 1960s by Argentinian architect Julio Kaufman. Then in the year In 2001, writer Paul Rudnick bought it and hired another architect, Hal Hayes, to update and expand it. It was Mr. Hayes who added the steel and glass walls and redesigned the interior, making the upper level an open living and dining area with a kitchen and lower level into a spacious first-floor suite. Outside, Mr. Hayes added a poolside guest suite consisting of three connected boxes with pyramidal roofs.

Mr. Rice marvels at the grounds, talks to Mr. Mahesh about the scripts he spies on the table, and finally tells him how lucky he is to live in such a wonderful house.

“And he said, ‘I’m actually thinking of selling,'” Mr. Rice recalled.

Mr. Rice was in the process of selling a Harlem brownstone, which would have given him the money to buy the house. Back in Manhattan, a few days later, “we met for lunch in Tribeca and did a handshake deal,” Mr. Rice said after agreeing on a price of $1.32 million.

“I fell in love with the house and thought everything about it – including the process of getting it – was amazing,” he said.

After closing in December 2018, he needed to furnish the house, but he was prepared for it: The design-loving Mr. Rice runs a side business called Supervision, buying and selling mid-century modern furniture and accessories. For the living room, he brought teak-and-cane sofas from the late 1950s designed by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen, plus a pair of rustic chairs from the 1970s with glued wooden frames and blue wool upholstery. For an upscale suite, enter a Norwegian Westnofa rosewood bedroom set from the 1960s and French resin chairs with multicolored geometric bases.

“Pretty much everything is in the same period as the house,” Mr Rice said. “It’s my aesthetic anyway, but it turns out I’m picking things that fit.”

He chose not to make any major architectural changes, but the house needs extensive repairs and improvements, from replacing rotting cedar boards to adding thermal tape around pipes that freeze in the winter.

“On Fire Island, being between the ocean and the bay, it’s really hard on the houses,” he said. “All the salt, constant humidity, etc. So every year I do a big project. I’ve done the electrical system and the plumbing system. This fall it will be the replacement of all the doors and windows.

In total, Mr. Rice spent about 400,000 dollars to repair and maintain the house.

He also flipped the script on owning a summer home, spending most of the year on Fire Island and returning periodically to his apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When he’s not living in the pyramid, he rents out on Airbnb and Vrbo, earning more than $3,000 a summer night. “It’s my first home, but I rent it out during the high season to help cover all the ongoing costs,” he said.

And it’s okay if he misses a few warm and sunny days in July and August. “Looking out that window,” he says, “regardless of the weather — hurricane, snowstorm, sunny day or passing clouds — is wonderful.

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