554 BEACHCOMBER WALK
Architect: HORACE GIFFORD, 1964. Renovation: MICHAEL GEORGE NEW YORK, INC., 2017.
554 Beachcomber Walk marks Horace Gifford’s final riff on his professor Louis Kahn’s iconic Trenton Bath House: a refined but conservative 1964 effort compared to the experimental forms that emerged the following year: “A Hard Day’s Night” rather than “Rubber Soul.”
It originally housed Peter and Nan Schultz, an unhappily married couple. Gifford and his partner Tom Prentiss, an accomplished illustrator, lived just a short stroll way and became quite close with Nan Schultz. So close, in fact, that Nan ended up marrying Tom Prentiss! They remained a couple until Nan’s death from cancer in 1980.
A great sheltering roof envelops the central space, with ancillary spaces projecting from the corners. It appears low-slung today, but when built it enjoyed ocean views. During the 1970’s, these views were framed with Moorish arches by its new, Moroccan owner. A pool was also added.
In 2016, Michael George Jackoski and Peter Pelusio encountered a dark, forlorn house. Brokers suggested that they rip off the roof and build up. Instead, they sanded the rare cypress planks back to their original luster, up-lit the central space, installed luxurious bathrooms, and modestly expanded the master bedroom.
Photos: Tom Sibley