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When the architect Alfred A. Scheffer died in 1976, he was eulogized as the "dean of East Hampton's architects" with more than 100 houses and public buildings to his name on the East End. His work here began at Beach Hampton, where in 1938 he was the architect for the Barbour Beach Hampton Club and in the 1940s his first beach houses were built. In 1949 Scheffer built his own house at Beach Hampton, where he lived for the remainder of his life. This book is about Scheffer's work at Beach Hampton, particularly his designs of the 1940s and 1950s. His work of this period is among his most innovative, as he joined other architects in creating something new, the weekend beach house. For Scheffer this meant treating a traditional form with a modern aesthetic, an overall informality, and, above all, keeping the volume low to the dune landscape. In the aftermath of the Great Depression and then of World War II, this was the era of the small house. Scheffer embraced the idea of economy and pared- down interior spaces and he stripped away all but the subtlest of decorative details. But his spare houses were more about aesthetics than budget. Alfred A. Scheffer enjoyed his profession and kept working until he died at the age of 82. A client, Thomas Griffith, wrote an insightful estimation of the architect: "Interiors were his pride; his own taste ran to cleanliness, natural materials, and simplicity. He loved wood and old brick, so most of his work, though not an imitation of the East End style, fitted beautifully in with it."
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