From May 15-18, the Iconic Houses Network will hold its bi-annual international conference in New Canaan, Connecticut and the surrounding area. This year’s conference, titled “Modernism on the East Coast – Philip Johnson and the Harvard Five,” will highlight the work of the famous five Harvard architects–Philip Johnson, John M. Johansen, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, and Eliot Noyes–who “stirred up an experimental modernist movement in the sleepy New England town.” There will be a number of different events, but perhaps most exciting is the slew of tours of modernist icons such as Johnson’s Glass House, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Usonia community,
Connecticut’s picturesque New Canaan boasts glorious architectural juxtapositions of old and new, with super traditional center hall colonials alongside classic mid-century modern homes, all in a super posh, perfectly manicured, “country” setting. Located at 126 Chichester Road, this five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home asking $1,549,000 falls into the latter group. It was built by James Evans, a student of Louis Kahn’s when Kahn was president of Yale University’s architecture department. Take a tour
New Canaan, Connecticut became the hot-spot of modern architecture in the 1940s and 1950s, when a group of architects known as the Harvard Five settled here and built nearly 100 modern homes. Of the surviving properties–20 were torn down over the years–this one still stands in impressive condition and is now on the market. The DeSilver House is a striking midcentury modern design by architects Harrison DeSilver and John Black Lee. From the exterior, floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the nearly three-acre site, and the interior is chock full of preserved modern details. It’s been offered through a private sale by the owner for $1.7 million.
Just an hour outside of NYC in Stamford, Connecticut, a mid-century modern gem is available for sale for the first time in 65+ years, and it’s got some serious celeb history. The Post reports that the late Oscar-winning actress Luise Rainer and her husband, publisher Robert Knittel, bought a 6.64-acre site in 1950, “where they enjoyed weekend getaways in a 600-square-foot cottage.” After just a couple years, though, they sold the property to Lester Rossin, one of the original Madison Avenue “Mad Men” advertising executives. He added a stunning modern home, which was designed to host his “lavish, Hollywood star-lit parties,” according to the listing. Both this main home and Rainer’s cottage have now hit the market for $995,000.
This studio apartment at One Brooklyn Bridge Park looks straight off the set of “Mad Men.” The owner managed to pack plenty of mid-century modern design into just 589 square feet while creating an inventive layout that creates some private spaces within the apartment. Best yet, the studio comes with a big wall of windows, a common feature throughout the Brooklyn Heights development, which leads out to a private terrace. After last selling in 2013 for $672,045, the studio is now on the market asking $810,000.
Yes, there are Eichler homes in New York! They are sometimes called “lost Eichlers,” as most of noted mid-20th-century developer Joseph Eichler’s homes exist in Northern and, to a lesser degree, Southern California. Three custom-built Eichler houses were constructed (and still stand) in the Rockland County, New York community of Chestnut Ridge, just north of Eichler’s hometown of New York City.
Joseph L. Eichler, whose modernist tract homes can be found throughout the Bay Area in Northern California as well as the Greater Los Angeles area, was one of the most celebrated residential homebuilders of the mid-20th century. His homes are enthusiastically “collected” by modern design buffs, and their renovations appear on the covers of design and home decor magazines like Dwell and Metropolitan Home.
After sitting vacant at JFK Airport for 14 years as a vestige of jet-age architecture, Eero Saarinen‘s iconic 1962 TWA Flight Terminal received a new life in the summer of 2015 when it was announced that the neo-futurist structure would be reborn as a high-end hotel. MCR Development teamed up with JetBlue and the Port Authority to develop a “505-room LEED-certified hotel with restaurants, 40,000 square feet of meeting space and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck,” as 6sqft previously described. Initial reports referred to the project as the “TWA Flight Center Hotel,” but the Times now confirms that it’ll simply be the “TWA Hotel.” And with construction four months in, Curbed noticed that signage for the hotel has gone up, preserving the airline’s logo and font.
If you’ve got Eichler dreams and Fallingwater fantasies, but don’t live in state that’s abundant with mid-century modern architectural gems, it helps to be on the lookout for homes like this one. The Rockland County house on over an acre of woods in Wesley Hills, NY, now on the market for $488,000, was built in 1965 by Versland Rhodes, a popular builder of contemporary upstate homes of the day. The four-bedroom home is beautifully preserved, with details like a sunken living room, cherry wood cabinetry and hardwood and stone floors joining conveniences like central A/C. Like many modern homes, every effort was made to minimalize the border between inside and outdoors, so you get to enjoy a wraparound deck, tons of windows and scenic views.
Eichler homes are rare on the East Coast, and why be a brand snob? This mid-20th-century gem in West Orange, NJ has plenty of modernist style and views of the NYC skyline. On a private gated road in Essex County, on the southeastern ridge of the Watchung Mountain (known for their many scenic vistas overlooking the New York City and New Jersey skylines and for their rare ecosystems of endangered wildlife, plants and rich minerals) this dramatic crescent-shaped home could be the answer to your modern house dreams. “Restored, not renovated,” the three-bedroom residence has contemporary comforts and mid-century charm, along with a well-engineered floor plan and plenty of outdoor space.
The listing says this undeniably out-of-the-ordinary home at 130 Grotke Road in a wooded Rockland County, NY community is “Not for everyone except you!” Which means Eichler fans and modern house lovers will want to take note: This could be your chance to scoop up a modern classic for half the price of its California counterparts.
6sqft previously featured the rare trio of East Coast Eichlers and the story of their rise to popularity during the dawn of the American suburban heyday—and plans to expand to the East Coast starting with three homes in the quiet community of Chestnut Ridge. Inevitably weather conditions and other factors led to a decision to return the focus to the West, but those three homes have not only endured—they have encouraged a community of modern architecture lovers to grow around them. One of those three homes—a four-plus-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot 1962 slate grey beauty—is now on the market for $489,900.