The Adir House 1977.
144 Ocean Walk The Normal Heart house.
The property of two building plots were originally owned by Broadway composer Jerry Herman. He purchased them as not to obstruct his ocean view in front of his own home.
The home was also unique in the fact that it was next door to then Pines commercial properties owner John Whyte.
Jerry Herman sold them to Shillo Adir and his then wife Bernice (Bunny). Bunny had a bohemian lifestyle and happened on the Pines when a friend invited her out. Liking it she then brought her family out, and decided to buy. Shillo a Banana importer did very well eventually purchasing farms overseas where he then shipped many different fruits all over the world.
2016 .Shillo Adir started coming to the Pines in the late 1960s. He built his oceanfront home on two lots, opening it for its first season in 1977. This same house was where The Normal Heart was filmed a few years ago in the Pines. He spent over 50 summers here in the Pines, and docked his own boat in our harbor for many of those years. He was considered the Banana King of Fire Island Pines, since as President of the Pacific Fruit Company, his principal business was the worldwide banana industry. He also served as the Chairman of the International Banana Association. His three children, Karin, John and Debbie grew up in the Pines, and in turn, Shillo’s grandchildren also enjoy the Pines. Shillo passed away quietly at 89 years of age.
Their daughter Karin remains the homes resident and here is her story:
My family started coming to the Pines in the late 1960s. We started visiting because my mother had gay friends and they urged her to come out. We lived in Bayside, Queens so my father appreciated the easy trip to Sayville and we started renting houses for the summer, starting with Lila Swell’s house on Fisherman’s Walk. I was a teenager and found it heavenly, all those good looking sweet boys! (I still feel that way…). We continued to rent houses for the next eight years, and my father decided to buy a double lot at 143 and 144 Ocean Walk from Jerry Herman. He originally put one lot in his name, and the other in my mother’s and then had to buy her out when they divorced, saying “I don’t want my ex-wife building a house next to me!” He hired Bill Reilly as the architect, and the house was finished in time for the 1977 season. Some design flaws became obvious, and the house was modified to include the walk in pantry and the guest bath.
In June 2013 we had the honor of being chosen as the home featured in Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart” for HBO, partly because so little has been done to modernize the house as we have deliberately decided to keep the beach house look. Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, Jonathan Groff and Julia Roberts were all there and the house was transported back to the 80’s. I remember that terrible era all too well, with men rolling their IV poles into Tea Dance, it seemed like every weekend we lost more and more friends. The Pines evolves, and we along with it. Summers come and go, and memories abide and sometimes blur, but our love for getting on that ferry and joining others in a love for this extraordinary place draws us back again and again.
At the Premiere of Normal Heart.
(Karin Adir on right)
2017. The view from above …
In 2018 the house was sold to a new owner. The history continues…