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Home of the Week: This $18 Million Richard Meier-Designed Compound Has Its Own Spiral Escape Slide

Because you never know when you'll need a quick, roller coaster-style exit.

Richard Meier home Photo: KJW Photography

Think of this architectural gem on New York’s Long Island, from the drafting board of legendary architect Richard Meier, as a home you could slide right into. Or, more likely, out of.

Open a door on the home’s lofty third level, step on to this expertly crafted, stainless-steel, corkscrew slide, and you can whoosh down to the ground. Hands in the air, rollercoaster-style, naturally.

“It’s a really fun slide for kids and grown-ups, though it was designed as a more elegant solution to the traditional fire escape,” explains listing agent Bonnie Doran, with brokers Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

Known as the Maidman House, this sprawling, wooded, three-acre compound overlooks Hempstead Harbor on Long Island’s tony Gold Coast. It also comes with 200-feet of private sandy beach.

Meier House

The “escape slide” from the third floor.  Photo: KJW Photography

New York property scion Richard H. Maidman reportedly bought the run-down compound in 1971 from the Brooklyn Archdiocese, which had been using it as a retreat for nuns.

He called on his friend, the then up-and-coming architect Richard Meier, to remodel the original main house. Meier essentially gutted the property, completely reconfiguring the interior and exterior.

Richard Meier home

The compound includes a three-bedroom guest cottage and a boat house.  Photo: KJW Photography

On his website, Meier says the home was “in poor condition, lacking both amenity and an identifiable style.” What it did have was “a magnificent setting, including hundred-year-old maple and oak trees and a park-like surround sloping gently down to a sandy beach.”

The now 86-year-old Pritzker Prize-winning architect, famous for his design of The Getty Museum in Los Angeles and Spain’s Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, took the house down to bare bones.

Richard Meier home

The kitchen has seen a recent remodel.  Photo: KJW Photography

“The transformation involved gutting the entire interior except the main stair, while retaining the foundation, basement, exterior bearing walls and roof.”

To transform the bland exterior, Meier added towering, curved end pieces—he calls them “high bookends”—providing “a foil to the somewhat squat volumetric mass of the house.”

Richard Meier home

The open-concept living area.  Photo: KJW Photography

The result was pure Meier, with his trademark stark-white exterior, bold stance, dramatic curved forms and horizontal elements to give a clean, minimalist look.

Astor Lane, on Long Island’s Sands Point peninsula, leads down to this wooded estate, just 40 minutes by train from Manhattan and next door to the 210-acre, members-only Village Club of Sands Point.

Richard Meier home

The living room.  Photo: KJW Photography

With its 18-hole Tom Doak-designed golf course, tennis, hiking and swimming, the club is village-owned and part of the fabled Guggenheim Estate.

The main house has more than 4,600-square feet of interior space over three floors and comes with five bedrooms: a sprawling master suite on the second floor and four bedrooms set in the pitched roof with skylight windows.

Richard Meier home

The family room has water views.  Photo: KJW Photography

The open-plan first floor living area features a towering, double-height ceiling with a gallery featuring a library and cozy reading area. Sliding doors open out to an oversized deck with views of the harbor.

The newly renovated kitchen—done with Meier’s overview and approval—is again all-white with professional-grade appliances and features a row of cabinets seemingly suspended in air across a large window.

Richard Meier home

One of the main house’s five bedrooms.  Photo: KJW Photography

On the grounds, a highlight is the home’s lovely three-story boat house right on the sandy beach. A main living area opens out onto a waterfront terrace, while an open-tread ladder leads up to the galleried loft-style bedroom with its spectacular water views.

Also on the property is a stand-alone guest cottage with three bedrooms and a studio, a tennis court, a small swimming pool and terraced gardens.

Richard Meier home

A sitting room with vast harbor views.  Photo: KJW Photography

A recent addition is the detached, five-car garage—seems the Maidman family, which still owns the property, are keen classic car enthusiasts.

And, according to Sotheby’s Bonnie Doran, that lovely black 1939 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine and lemon-drop-yellow 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Convertible in the photos, could be included in the sale.

“This is truly a unique, exceptional property on the Gold Coast of Long Island, an area that is in high demand right now,” says Doran. “I expect the buyer to be someone who has a true love of architecture and sees the appeal of a home designed by the great Richard Meier.”

Richard Meier home

The dining terrace.  Photo: KJW Photography

Richard Meier home

The tennis court and new garage.  Photo: KJW Photography

Richard Meier home

The sloping lawns lead to a private beach.  Photo: KJW Photography

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