Leisurama Now: The Beach House for Everyone, 1964–

Leisurama Now: The Beach House for Everyone, 1964–

Office of Paul Sahre, New York, New York, 2008


Who buys a house at a department store? Sounds crazy, but then again, why not? Even if a prospective owner didn’t succumb to the smartly designed, full-size, fully furnished Leisurama model on the ninth floor of Macy’s at Herald Square; or didn’t swallow the advertising, which boasted the ultimate in convenience: “Just pick a few colors and start enjoying your new life of leisure”; or wasn’t convinced by the price tag ($490 down and $73 per month), a well-designed house this cheap—and by the beach—could hardly be believed.

And so, in 1964, 200 people did just that, and if the company who sold them hadn’t gone bankrupt during the construction of the first phase, many more would have followed. The initial development plan called for 800 Leisuramas in Montauk, Long Island, alone. Since being built, these identical (and identically furnished) houses have been in a constant state of change. I was introduced to these odd little buildings as a renter in the summer of 2001 and then began research for this book, almost exclusively door to door.

Juror Notes

Some really good information organized in a clear and interesting way. Reading through this book was like watching a great documentary film. 

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2008
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book