LOST MODERN 21 WIDGEON WALK
Architect: HARRY BATES, c. 1961.
Harry Bates orchestrated his poetic influence upon the Pines from this diminutive but easily-expanded 600 square feet home. It was raised off the ground so that a guest room could be tucked in underneath, with room to the side for a sleeping pavilion to be reached via a breezeway. Louvers were added to the façade for privacy as the lots around him began to fill up. Red cypress planks formed the walls and louvers. Bates’ signature freestanding fireplace, surrounded by gravel, subdivided the dining and living areas. With this home the architect established a template for “townhouses” on the beach, featuring expansive glass walls front and rear, contrasted with blank walls facing the neighboring homes on Fire Island’s narrow lots. The Southern-born architect then shaded his open facades with covered porches. Thanks to these porches, the cypress louvers and an enclosed garden, a surprising diversity of spaces were wrought from a tiny footprint. Bates’ home was published in The American Home’s Vacation Houses issue in 1964, alongside 137 Beach Hill Walk, 214 Beach Hill Walk, and 491 Tarpon Walk.
21 Widgeon Walk was demolished to make way for a rental property.
House Photos: Bill Maris © ESTO. Bates portrait: Courtesy Bates + Masi.