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Architect: HARRY BATES, 1966.

We want a one-bedroom house.”

But what if you want to have a guest?” asked their architect.

Nope. One bedroom,” declared John Mayer and the fashion designer Matej Sherko.


Bates responded with a glass box, romantically framed by arched openings and shielded by a front wall that conferred a fortress-like profile. Even the sundeck was placed between the gate and the house, rather than on the more public, coastal side. “The Password: Privacy” is how House and Garden headlined the house in a 1968 feature. It only pretended to secrecy, though: a gossip column in the Fire Island Tide noted Mayer and Sherko’s “great big splashy party to show off [their] magnificent new house that Harry Bates designed (how can anyone show off a house with 200 people…but then it’s better than conducted tours).”


Colorful pillows made from men’s ties added a whimsical touch to this maintenance-free house whose chores were few—“water the greens once a week, polish the floor once a year and forget it.”


5 Ocean Walk has been substantially altered.


Photos: Otto Maya/House & Garden.

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