HORACE GIFFORD (1932-1992)
Gifford was born in Vero Beach FL. He studied at the University of Florida and was influenced by the early Florida work of Paul Rudolph. Later he studied for a Masters in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania under Louis Kahn. He worked in New York for J. Gordon Carr. Openly gay, he lived much of the year on Fire Island, one of the few places in the country where gay people could express themselves freely as a community. He was arrested in 1965 on Fire Island for immoral behavior, which kept him from applying for an architecture license, although that did not stop him from becoming a celebrated architect producing 63 Modernist houses across Fire Island and 15 elsewhere. Gifford died in 1992 of complications from AIDS.
Though critically praised and published during his lifetime, Gifford was nearly forgotten until 2013, when architect and historian Christopher Rawlins, left, published Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction. See also The Horace Gifford Project, Pines Modern, and The Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society. Many thanks to Chris for supplying much of Gifford's history and houses.
1961 - The Horace Gifford House I, 638 Fire Island Boulevard, Fire Island NY. Published in Better Homes and Gardens, 1962. Featured in Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction. Modest additions. Sold to Samuel Menkes. Sold to David Menkes. Avilable for rent.
1961 - The Clyde Slay House I, 9103 Bonhomme Road, Houston TX. Addition by Gifford in 1976. Deeded to Jane Slay. Possibly sold for the first time in 2022.
1961 - The Barney Kane House, Woodstock NY. Presumed unbuilt.
1961 - 635 Fire Island Boulevard, Fire Island NY. Same plan as 638. Sold to Paul Jerome. Sold in 2013 to Charles Renfro. Renovated in 2015 by Brooklyn Office.
1961 - 637 Fire Island Boulevard, Fire Island NY. Same plan as 638. Sold in 1999 to Tilly Davis. Sold in 2006 to Jean Marc Houmard. Destroyed by fire in 2019.
1962 - The Bert Rumely House, 615 Shore Walk, Fire Island NY. Part of a cluster of buildings, not all by Gifford. This is the living area and kitchen. Bottom photo by Tom Sibley. Sold to Stuart Eisner. Sold in 1994 to H. K. Rantfle. Sold in 2003 to Edward Marcus. Sold around 2023.
1962 - The Edgar Wittstein and Robert Miller House I, 491 Bay Walk, Fire Island NY. The clients first considered hiring Andrew Geller. Featured in the New York Times. Sold to ADL Enterprises LLC. Sold to architect Michael Kinlaw, who did an addition in 1990. Sold in 2000 to Warren Seigel. For sale in 2023.
1962 - The Bud Jenkins House, Fire Island NY. Status unknown.
1963 - The Marjorie Dell House, 617 Shore Walk, Fire Island Pines NY. Sold in 1975 to Louis J. Persinger. Sold in 2008 to William J. Melnick and Robert A. Southern. Sold in 2016 to Thomas Edward Gensemer. Available to rent.
1963 - The Edgar Wittstein and Robert Miller House II, aka Wittstein-Miller House, 519 Porgie Walk, Fire Island NY. Sold to architect Scott Bromley, who did an addition around 1983. Available for rent. Bromley still owner as of 2023.
1963 - The Kenneth Leedam House, aka Leedam-Cott House, 137 Beach Hill Walk, Fire Island NY. Second story added by occasional Gifford collaborator Louis Muller in 1985. Sold in 1999 to Robert Rousey. Available to rent.
1963 - The Harold and Panayota Switzgable House, 605A Shore Walk, Fire Island Pines NY. The couple bought 605 and Harold Switzgable built a house at 605 with Walter Reich (who later operated Pines Hardware). In 1963 they commissioned Gifford for 605A and a sister building on Coast Guard Walk. The Switzgable kids grew up with neighbors like Judy Garland and Greta Garbo. After Harold died, Panayota rented it, and one of those renters was restauranteur Jean-Marc Houmard, who later purchased 637 Fire Island Boulevard. Deeded to Meg Switzgable.
Around 1963 - The Paul McGregor House, 13 Ocean Walk, Fire Island NY. In the Gifford archive, listed as 13 Atlantic Walk. Altered, enlarged by Scott Bromley. Sold in 2019 to Myron T. Moore.
1964 - The Benjamin and Martha Kauth House, 152 Bay Walk, Fair Harbor NY. Dell-like house with clerestory in middle. Sold in 1998 to Jane T. and Daniel D. Schube. Photos by Michael Weber.
1964 - The Peter and Nan Schultz House, 554 Beachcomber Walk, Fire Island NY. Sold to Salvatore Contristano. Sold to Michael George Jackoski and Peter Pelusio. Renovated in 2017 by Michael George New York. Sold in 2023 to Anthony Hadaway.
1964 - The Angelo Donghia House, 74 Bay Walk, Fire Island NY. Expanded around 2005 by Hal Hayes. Sold to Ron Chereskin.
1964 - The Ross O. Runnells Jr. House I, 122 Sandune Court, Sagaponack NY. Sold in 1969 to Nina Bourne. Sold in 2011 to 122 Sandune Court LLC.
1964 - The Robert Miller House, Fire Island Pines NY. Status unknown.
1965 - The Alan and Adele Applebaum House, 43 Evergreen Walk, Ocean Beach NY. Cross below, octagon above, with sloping walls. Deeded in 1999 to Gerald Wolland. Color photo by Christopher Rawlins. Deeded in 2009 to Beth Manitsky and Barry Applebaum.
1965 - The Herbert Breslin House, Saltaire NY. Status unknown.
1965 - The Carey House, East Hampton NY. Status unknown.
1965 - The Robert Ackert House, Fire Island Pines NY. Status unknown.
1965 - The Murray Fishman House, 603 Tuna Walk, Fire Island NY. Sold around 1967 to Marvin and Jo Segal. Renovations by Gifford. Sold around 2017 to Michael Giordano who engaged a team led by Andrew Franz for a substantial restoration and pool addition.
1965 - The Evans/DePass House, aka Kodak House, 482 Tarpon Walk, Sayville NY. Sold to Simon Trimble. Sold in 1999 to Garry Korr.
1965 - The Yale and Elizabeth Burge House, 122A Ocean Walk, Sayville NY. Sold in 1972 to Angelo Donghia. Addition in 1973 by Gifford and Marcel Bretos. Sold in 2008 to Derek Lam and Jan-Henrik Schlottmann. Substantially altered in 2014 by Neil Becksteadt. Sold in 2022 to Not The Droids LLC.
1965 - The Horace Gifford House II, 523 Snapper Walk, Sayville NY. Sold to Sam Webb. Sold in 2006 to Michael Gallin. Sold in 2011 to Laurence Isaacson who added a pool and a roof deck. Sold in 2019 to Humberto Duarte.
1965 - The Sprague/Geller House, 574 Coastguard Walk, Sayville NY. Sold to Beth Chase. Sold in 2023.
1966 - The Paul McGregor House II, 573 Coastguard Walk, Sayville NY. Loft addition in 1973 by Gifford. Sold in 2016 to Faith8 LLC, controlled by McGregor family. Skylight has been removed and the house made handicap-accessible.
1966 - The Krieger House, Ocean Bay Park NY. Commissioned in 1963. Identical to the Dell house. Status unknown.
1966 - The Ross Runnells House II, Bridgehampton NY. Pinwheel house with hip roof and separate structure with two small semicircles. Status unknown.
1966 - The James Hillborn House, 518 Porgie Walk, Sayville NY. Bar building with clerestory center. The second story was an addition, not by Gifford. Sold in 2015 to John Clark. Available to rent.
1966 - The John Hoernly House, Long Beach Island NJ. Status unknown.
1966 - The Norman Wolfson House, 487 Tarpon Walk, Fire Island Pines, Brookhaven NY. Status unknown.
1966 - The Morton Globus House, Clipper Way, Corneille Estates NY. Addition by Gifford in 1972. Status unknown.
1966 - The Robert Naiman House, 11 Fifth Avenue, Fair Harbor, Bay Shore NY. Sold in 1998 to Andrew Lippman.
1966 - The Rehbock House, 126 Bay Walk, Fair Harbor, Bay Shore NY. Sold in 2000 to Andrew Lippman.
1966 - The Milton Pike House, 309 Inlet Walk, Bay Shore NY. Sold to Richard and Barbara Fitzhugh. Sold in 2015 to Rikka Tahta.
1966 - The Howard Moss House, 46 Schooner Walk, Ocean Beach NY. Burned in 1987; reconstructed and expanded in 1989 by Gifford. Sold to Joseph Forstadt. Sold in 2015 to Joseph Ades. Damaged by Hurricane Sandy and fully restored.
1967 - The Frank Kahn House, 212 Surf Walk, Bay Shore NY. Sold to Joyce Kahn and Gracie Station.
1967 - The Jeremy Barnes House, 313 Inlet Walk, Bay Shore NY. Like Fishman/Cashel house. Gifford disowned it because he thought it was too large. Stamped by A. Massey Engineer, Cold Spring NY. Sold to Joyce Segal. Sold in 2012 to Bill and Sheila Lambert.
1967 - The John Kiley House, aka House at Reddingridge, 64 Goodridge Road, Redding CT. Sold in 2007 to Gregory Maroun
1967 - The Sam and Joan Scali House, 55 Walnut Walk, Bay Shore NY. Four cubes of staggered and descending heights; 1976 addition of guest house at 47 Walnut Walk, right photo by Michael Weber. Featured in the New York Times, 10/18/1967. Main house owned by the Scali family as of 2020. Guest house sold in 2015 to Mason Pettit.
1968 - The Lawrence Bonaguidi House I, 205 Pine Walk, Fire Island NY. Commissioned in 1967. Sold to Charles Golod. Sold in 2002 to William Katen. Sold in 2006 to Adam Dworkin and Dale Reidel. Sold in 2015 to Fabrice Carrier.
1968 - The David J. Luck House, 486 Jobs Lane, Water Mill NY. Commissioned in 1967. Sold in 1999 to Charles Utstadt. Sold in 2006 to Kim Heirston and Richard Evans.
1968 - The Ross Runnells House III, Noyack NY. Status unknown.
1968 - The J. Hyde Crawford House, 255-256 Bay Walk, Kismet NY. Featured in the New York Times Magazine, 5/1/1977. Deeded to his partner Charles Andrews. Sold around 2021 to Sully Bonelly and Robert Littman.
1968 - The Allen Silverman House, Seaview NY. Simple 1-story house with curves. Status unknown.
1968 - The Warren Rubin House, Seaview NY. Sold to Shorin, who had Gifford do an addition. 2009 photos by Tom Sibley. Status unknown.
1968 - The DeSwaan House, Bridgehampton NY. Elaboration of Luck house cantilever concept with 4 circular piers supporting residence. Unbuilt.
1968 - The Robert Bremeyer House, Fair Harbor NY. Status unknown.
1969 - The Clyde Slay House II, 1565 Wyn Cove, Vero Beach FL. Photo by Chris Rawlins. Status unknown.
1969 - The Robert Kenmore Addition, 73 Bay Walk, Ocean Beach NY. Destroyed for Reflections.
1969 - The Thomas Bellezza Renovation, Putnam Valley NY. Status unknown.
1969 - The Ross Runnels Interior, San Juan PR. Status unknown.
1969 - The Renzo Basili House, Hawley PA. Status unknown.
1969 - The Allan Masur House, Fire Island Pines NY. Featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Fire destroyed the house on /13/2009. New house designed by Bromley Caldari was built later that year, pictured above.
1969 - The Myra Kahan/Kaplan House, aka Cappy Hanlan House, 25 Widgeon Walk, Fire Island NY. Vacant and in foreclosure as of 2023.
1969 - The James Cashel House, 552 Beachcomber Walk, Sayville NY. Deeded to Cashel's nephew.
1969 - The Robert and Celeste Rubrum House, aka Plywood House, 419 Ocean Walk, Patchogue NY. Washed out to sea in 1972. A new house was later built on the site.
1970 - The Lipkins House, 122 Ocean Walk, Sayville NY. Sold to David Steinberg. Sold in 1998 to Seth Lubin. Sold in 2000 to David Martinez. Sold in 2012 to Michael Wagner.
1971 - The Alfred Pilson House, 199 Dune Road, Westhampton Beach NY. Sold before 1981 to Schneiderman family. Renovated in 1981 by Gifford. Addition to the left is not by Gifford. Sold around 2012 to Niki Livas.
1971 - The Frank Ayers Renovation, 525 Snapper Walk, Sayville NY. New deck, apron, and kitchen. House originally built in 1962. Renovated again since 1971. Status unknown.
1971 - The Eugene Silbert Interior, New York NY. Status unknown.
1971 - The Stuart Raynor House, Kismet NY. Status unknown.
1971 - The Geoffrey Barr House, Wilton CT. Status unknown.
1971 - The Bellezza Renovation, Putnam Valley NY. Presumed unbuilt.
1972 - The Robert Rosenthal House, 54 Juniper Avenue, Seaview, Ocean Beach NY. Modest restoration in 2014 by Rawlins Design. Sold in 2019 to Hare and James Perkins. Rawlins Design is doing a new larger restoration in 2023.
1972 - The Leonard Landau Renovation, 353 Morrow Road, Englewood NJ. Modest renovation of 1950 house. Sold in 2002 to Margot Lee.
1972 - The Samuel Miller House, Seaview, Fire Island NY. Status unknown.
1972 - The Jacques Essebag House, 39 Homesite Avenue, Ocean Beach NY. Corner of Neptune Walk. Sold to Randy Pitata. Sold in 2003 to Northfolk Prop LLC. Sold in 2003 to Kenny (only one name). Sold to Timothy Case. Sold in 2005 to Nathaniel Berman and Julie Peters.
1972 - The Norton and Marlo Sloan House, 567 Driftwood Walk, Sayville NY. Sold in 1977 to Calvin Klein. Addition in 1980 by Gifford. Featured in the movie Longtime Companion. Sold in the 1990s to David Geffen. Sold to Simon Yates. Restoration by Rawlins Design in 2023.
1972 - The Ross Runnells House IV, Sagaponack NY. Sold to Zacharias, who had Gifford do an addition in 1982. Status unknown.
1972 - The Stuart Roeder House, 556 Ocean Walk, Sayville NY. Commissioned in 1969. Has been altered. Sold in 1998 to C&R Partnership.
1973 - The Arnold Rosenthal and Yves Dihe House, 607A Shore Walk, Seaview, Sayville NY. Kitchen alteration, new deck off of kitchen, prefabricated greenhouse extensions. Featured in 1979 in House Beautiful. Photos by Michael Dunne and Alan Dovifat. Sold to Craig Leavitt. Sold in 2014 to Evan Lobel. Website. Renovated by Chris Rawlins. Sold in 2021 to Khepri LLC.
1973 - The Jerry Ansel Renovation, Water Island NY. Status unknown.
1973 - The Ken Duncan House, Franklin Street Extension, Danbury CT. Status unknown.
1973 - The Dan Duhl Renovation and Addition, 462 Fire Island Boulevard, Fire Island Pines, Sayville NY. Original house built in 1957. Destroyed by fire 9/29/2013.
1973 - The Chasas House, 255 Bluff Road, Amagansett NY. Commissioned in 1971. 1800sf. Addition in 1976 by Gifford. Sold in 1988. Sold to Toby B. Morris. Sold in 2015 to Second55 LLC (Kurt and Lisa Strovink). Sold in 2021 to Lisa Strovink. Destroyed.
1974 - The Robert Ross House, New Canaan, CT. Status unknown.
1974 - The Horace Gifford Apartment Renovation, aka the Galleria, 117 East 57th Street, New York City. Status unknown.
1974 - The Ross O. Runnells Jr. House V, 18 Pheasant Road, Noyack NY. Commissioned in 1973. Small shed roof with skylight and loft. Sold in 1977 to Denise and Lloyd S. Fink. Sold in 2000 to Barry C. and Julie E. Browning. Destroyed in 2000; new house built in 2001.
1975 - The Ross Runnells House, Southampton NY. Unbuilt.
1975 - The Florence and Dan Duhl Gallery and Duplex Renovation, 31 West 54th Street, New York City. Formerly Manolo Blahnik's storefront; now Sarah Jessica Parker's flagship store.
1975 - The Sydney Duffy House Renovation, 225 Highland Road, Rye NY. Very large, formal house with slate hip roofs, arched windows. Status of planned renovation unknown. Sold to Virginia Benzak. Sold in 2009 to Happy Highland Corp. Sold in 2022 to Highland Broadleaf LLC. Destroyed in 2022.
1976 - The Fairway One Waterwood, Huntsville TX. Unbuilt.
1976 - Marshall Street Townhouses, Houston TX. Unbuilt.
1976 - The Lawrence Bonaguidi House II, 529 Sail Walk, Sayville NY. Sold to Robert Eckhardt. Sold to Marc Blackwell and Eric Reinitz, who restored it and added a roof deck. Sold in 2017 to Sophie Morner. Sold in 2022 back to Blackwell and Reinitz.
1975 - The Patrick Travis and William Wall House, aka Travis-Wall, 252 Bay Walk, Kismet, Fire Island NY. Commissioned in 1972. Addition in 1977. Sold to Richard Winger.
1977 - 607 Peden Street, Houston TX. Presumed unbuilt.
1978 - The Joseph Strafaci Renovation, 333 East 30th Street, Apartment 10L, New York City. Status unknown.
1978 - The Horace Gifford Apartment Renovation, 310 East 46th Street, Turtle Bay Towers, New York City. Gifford planned to use prefabricated greenhouses to extend the spaces. Status unknown.
1978 - The Larry Bonaguidi Addition, 875 Park Avenue, New York City. Terraces.
1978 - The Marlo Sloan Apartment Renovation, 500 East 77th Street, New York City. Status unknown.
1978 - The Gene Silbert/John Kiley Renovation, 50 Park Avenue 10G, New York NY.
There is also another renovation in the building for Jay Rosenberg.
1979 - The Peter, Jeffrey, and Richard Graham House, aka Sea Cove Farms, 108 Seatuck Avenue, Eastport NY. Commissioned in 1978. 5 acres, with 17 adjacent. Deeded entirely to Peter Graham. Addition in 1996, not by Gifford, enlarged the house to 6000sf. Sold in 2017 to Jonathan and Maria Harber.
1979 - The Sheila H. Thal House, 650 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk NY. Sold in 1996 to Marcus E. Farrell.
1980 - The Swartz Addition, Kelp and Thompson, Seaview NY. Status unknown.
1980 - The Cortner House, 31 Juniper Avenue, Seaview NY. Second photo by Chris Rawlins. Status unknown.
1980 - The Rosenberg House, Roxbury CT. Unbuilt.
1980 - The Ross Runnells House VI, Noyack NY.
1981 - The Silverman House, Sagaponack NY.
1981 - The Jamie Seidner House, 37 Walnut Walk, Fair Harbor, Bay Shore NY. Photos by Chris Rawlins. Still owned by Jamie Seidner as of 2015.
1982 - The Francesca Lechtrecker House, 47 Bellport Lane, Bellport NY. Unbuilt.
1983 - The Orentreich House I, Fair Harbor NY. Status unknown.
1984 - The Robbins Apartment Renovation, 45 East 9th Street, New York City. Status unknown.
1984 - The Rosenberg/Perlo Addition, 30 Bellport Lane, Bellport NY. Sold to Marna Davis.
1985 - The Orentreich House II, Dunewood, Fire Island NY. Status unknown.
1985 - The J. J. Roe House, 12 Pearl Street, Bellport NY. Still owned by Robin Roe as of 2019.
1985 - The Weiser House, 5 Titus Lane, Bellport NY. Still owned by Barbara Weiser as of 2019.
1986 - 15 Hulse Street Renovation, Bellport NY. Renovation of an 1860 house. Sold to Robert Starr. Sold in 2001 to Michael Walker. Sold in 2016 to Hellen Kimble. Sold in 2017 to Maureen Veitch.
1987 - The Kiley-Silbert House, 69 Flag Swamp Road, Roxbury CT. Commissioned in 1980. Unbuilt.
Around 1989 - The Eva Smith Cottage. Gifford did a preservation plan, but the house was moved contrary to that plan. Status unknown.
Year unknown - The Milton Pike Apartment Renovation, 157 East 18th Street, New York NY. Status unknown. He was 98 in 2019.
Year unknown - The Robert Kassel House, 7 Sunset, Westhampton Beach, NY. Status unknown, needs verification.
Sources include: Timothy Godbold; Long Island Modernism 1950-1980, by Caroline Rob Zaleski; Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction, by Christopher Rawlins.