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Waterfront home in exclusive Fire Island community asks $4 million

The house sits on 2 acres, with a

The house sits on 2 acres, with a pool and deck, as well as a large garden and private boat launch on the bay. Credit: Kathleen O’Donnell

A three-bedroom, four-bathroom waterfront home in the exclusive Fire Island community of Water Island has listed for $4 million.

The Paul Rudolph-designed home has an owner "pavilion" with a master bedroom and bath. An open design plan incorporates the dining area, kitchen, and family room.

The home mostly faces the ocean, but the property goes from ocean to bay. Many of the rooms have large floor-to-ceiling full-walled windows, including the family area and master bedroom.

A guest cottage has two bedroom suites, each with a bathroom, and with its own screened-in porch.

Rudolph was an American architect and former chair of Yale University’s Department of Architecture, known as a modernist for his use of stacked levels and open-floor plans, liberally used in this home, built in 1960. Rudolph was known for his architectural work on public buildings, which makes this home even more unique.

However, there are all types of homes on Water Island.

"Three houses that are here were originally kits, [that were once available from places like Sears]," says Nina Ackerman, who has owned the home with her husband, Joel, for 40 years.

The 2-acre property includes a pool and deck, as well as a large tiered garden and private boat launch on the bay. Annual taxes are only $7,935, because there are few public services.

Water Island, nestled between the boating community of Davis Park and Fire Island Pines, has only about 40 houses with no town, no grocery store, and no restaurants.

The area is full native vegetation, without even a community boardwalk. To get to and from a neighbor’s home, residents walk along the beach, and while there are sparse ferry runs, many people rely on their own boats to get to the mainland. This home has a path from the home to their dock on the bay.

"It’s like a mini-Sunken Forest," Ackerman says.

The wild nature of the bay to ocean community is one of the attractions.

"A lot of families have been coming here for generations, and own multiple houses," says Ackerman. "We raised our kids here, and it’s a place where everyone looks out for your kids. They can run wild."

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