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Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Modern Icon, in New Canaan, Connecticut

Glass House, New Canaan, CT
Photo by myself, in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Just an hour outside New York lies an icon of modern architecture. Philip Johnson's Glass House is located in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Designed as Johnson's summer getaway, this 1,300 square foot pavilion is situated on nearly 50 acres of land. Architects consider this a major piece of work. It made a splash when it was completed in 1949, expressing the modernist ideal in the lack of applied ornament.

Typically, the wait for a visit can be up to a year. This year, tours have been extended an extra month, through the end of November, and some spots are still available. There is a bit of walking outside, so dress warmly. We drove up, but one can get to the site quite easily from Manhattan, by train.

For tickets and more information, click here.


Friday, Mark and I took a trip to see The Glass House. I have always wanted to visit, and was shocked by how easily accessible the house is from New York.

Glass House Living Room

The interiors are cozy and warm, unlike many modern spaces. There are many traditional references, in fact. The plan is based on the golden mean, a proportion that has been considered pleasing since the Renaissance.

A horizontal band along the facade mimics the wainscots of traditional homes, which in turn relates to the human body. Without it, the height of the building would seem overscaled. Exterior doors are located on all four walls, making each facade symmetrical, another classical device.

The kitchen is ingenious, with panels that flip open to reveal appliances. The bathroom was by far my favorite part, with its tiny green tiles and bronze threshold.

Johnson bequeathed the home to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, upon his death in 2005. Public tours of the house began in 2007.

If you have a chance to visit, Fall is a great time. There are some huge old homes in this town, as well as a cute main street. The train from Grand Central takes you to the New Canaan station, directly across the street from the visitor's center. A short shuttle ride brings you to the property.

Glass House Bathroom

Glass House grounds

Day trips are easily accessible destinations just outside the five boroughs of New York City.

Related posts: Details, Details, The Royalton, Renovated and Building for a Greener Environment.


Javier Martin Alvarado said...

precioso lugar para vivir el oto├▒o

Luis Gomez said...

Great post. Thanks for the info. Love the pictures.

Lily Hydrangea said...

what a great day trip to take. that must have been neat seeing this in person. thanks for sharing your wonderful photos of this Kitty.

Spandrel Studios said...

This is something I want to put on my list of East Coast day trips. What a beautiful place!

Cristine said...

what a great post nice pics