557 OCEAN WALK
Architect: ARTHUR ERICKSON, 1977. Interior design: FRANCISCO KRIPACZ.
Arthur Erickson, a famous Canadian architect, shared 557 Ocean Walk with his romantic and business partner, the interior designer Francisco Kripacz. Massive wooden piers, angled for shade and views across the dunes, structure the home into a nine-square grid. Fences were hinged to lower for completely unimpeded views of the ocean, and vice versa. Its monochromatic interior gave pride of place to works by Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Stella. This home was featured in Architectural Digest in 1979.
The high-living couple hosted the likes of Calvin Klein, the von Furstenburgs, and disco royalty. It hails from the late Seventies, a time when residents vied to outdo one another for the most decadent event of the season. Erickson and Kripacz certainly came close in a party at their new home, nicknamed both the “White House” and “Lincoln Centre.” As Roberta Flack sang for the assembled guests, the ceiling retracted and hundreds of silver balloons floated into a starlit sky. It was an era for spectacle. Together with its Horace Gifford-designed neighbor at 556 Ocean Walk, it represents the apogee of Fire Island Pines architecture and culture. Today, it is occupied by television celebrity Robin Byrd.
Photos: ESTO. Plan: Greatbuildings.com. Kripacz portrait: FIPHPS.org.