Renovation Architect: HORACE GIFFORD, 1972-74. Décor: Vincent Fourcade and Robert Denning.


607A Shore Walk was commissioned by Arnold Rosenthal and advertising executive Yves Dihé (1941-90). It is defined as much by the extensive deck that cantilevers over the Great South Bay as by its principal structure. This was an enlargement of an older home, and there were tensions between the architect and the clients. As a result, the house itself lacks the sculptural purity of its architectural cousin at 265-66 Bay Walk. But the experimental homes where architects work out their ideas can be as interesting as the masterpieces. This was the first time that Gifford employed the slanted glass planes that would define 529 Sail Walk in 1975. An Italian magazine dubbed the home a “parallelpiped,” a prism whose faces are all parallelograms. The trellised walkway from the woods to the Bay is a dress rehearsal for the dramatic entry to the Cortner Residence, a late work in the Fire Island hamlet of Seaview. Prefabricated greenhouses, like those at Gifford’s future loft at Turtle Bay Towers, extend the bedrooms at each end of the home.


Rosenthal and Dihé snubbed Gifford’s austere taste in furnishings for a High Seventies confection of ferns and wicker by society decorators Vincent Fourcade and Robert Denning. The shelter magazines took the bait, and it was featured in House Beautiful, along with French and Italian publications. More archival images and the most recent incarnation of the home can be seen on current owner Evan Lobel’s web site, 607AShore.com.


House photos: Michael Dunne, Alain Dovifat, and Horace Gifford.

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