As any modern architecture aficionado knows, the Glass House is Philip Johnson‘s best-known residence. However, it’s not his first. That title goes to the Booth House, built in 1946 (three years prior to the New Canaan beauty) in rural Bedford, New York. Like the Glass House, it boasts Johnson’s iconic floor-to-ceiling glazing, location atop a grass podium, and internal organization around a central fireplace. But unlike the Glass House, now a historic house museum, the Booth House is not protected, and moreover, its title is in litigation which means it could very well face the wrecking ball. Therefore, Archpaper tells us that the long-time owners have listed the home for $1 million in hopes that a preservation-minded buyer will step up.
Screen cap via NYT
Just down the street from the now-closed modernist treasure trove and icon that was the Four Seasons in Manhattan’s east 50s is a lesser-known architectural treasure. Philip Johnson’s 1950 Rockefeller Guest House is one of a handful of private residences the architect designed for New York City clients. The house is a designated historic and architectural landmark, but a subtle one that’s easily missed on the quiet street–as the New York Times puts it, “the house doesn’t give up its secrets easily.” Once you spot the home’s brick-and-glass facade, though, it’s hard not to be enthralled.
Happy New Year! New year, new month, new #Midnightmoment film in Times Square. This month Pipilotti Rist flattens and squishes her face each night across the screens in conjunction with her solo show at the New Museum. SF’s Spoke Art also opens a new show curated at Supersonic at their LES outpost, and Japanese artist Ayakamay examines media perception at The Lodge Gallery. But if you’re looking for a throwback or something more low-key, hear from old school graffiti writers at Eric Firestone Gallery, or treat yourself to new and exciting film at the Museum of the Moving Image. Lastly, head to The City Reliquary to catch a screening about Philip Johnson’s iconic World’s Fair pavilion in Flushing Meadow, bring your ideas to The Center for Architecture, and then visit the Brooklyn Museum for free courtesy of Target.
The 21st century incarnation of the iconic Four Seasons restaurant set to open at 280 Park Avenue will bear no resemblance to the original, beyond the famous name and the sign that fronted the “Mad Men”-era power lunch spot in the Seagram Building, according to the restaurant’s co-owner, Julian Niccolini. The New York Post reports that the team behind the “new” Four Seasons–Niccolini and partner Alex von Bidder, the Bronfman family, landlord Steve Roth of Vornado and representatives of landlord SL Green Realty–approved the new restaurant’s design, by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, last Friday.
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
Starting this weekend, a miniature Redwood forest grows in Brooklyn thanks to the Public Art Fund. Female artists take on the self portrait at the Untitled Space, while Salomon Art Gallery hosts a Beggars Banquet. Countless artists open their doors for Bushwick Open Studios, where you’re also welcome to channel your inner artist at Jacked Fashion Camp. The Queens Museum celebrates a book launch by Rebecca Solnit, and the City Reliquary highlights Philip Johnson’s Queens landmark. Finally, add to your art collection and stop by the Affordable Art Fair in Manhattan all weekend long.
The Wright auction house is gearing up for the July 26 auction of kitchen and dining room items from the iconic Four Seasons restaurant. As 6sqft previously reported, news that the restaurant would decamp from the building surfaced last summer, when Seagram Building owner Aby Rosen did not renew the lease for what has been seen as the quintessential Midtown “power lunch” spot for the last decades of the 20th century since it opened in 1959. The restaurant’s interiors feature custom designs by Pritzker Prize-winner Philip Johnson and furniture, tableware and other modernist treasures by the likes of by Seagram Building designer Mies Van der Rohe, Hans J. Wegner and others and custom-made Knoll furniture.
With an emotional forward by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, the auction catalog offers a preview of items up for auction with estimates. Included will be banquettes designed for the space by Philip Johnson Associates, Eero Saarinen Tulip stools, chairs and tables from the bar of the Grill Room, pans, flatware and dishes created for the restaurant by Ada Louise and L. Garth Huxtable and more.
The Four Seasons: Photo via Le Travelist
News of the iconic restaurant’s impending demise surfaced last summer, as 6sqft previously reported, when Seagram Building owner Aby Rosen did not renew the lease for what has been seen as the quintessential Midtown “power lunch” spot for the last decades of the 20th century since it opened in 1959. The restaurant’s interiors feature designs by Pritzker Prize-winner Philip Johnson, furniture, tableware and other items by Seagram Building designer Mies Van der Rohe, Hans J. Wegner and others and custom-made Knoll furniture.
Those items will be included in the 500 lots headed for auction on July 26. Dezeen highlights critics’ frustration at what Aaron Betsky, leading US architecture critic and dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture rues as the dispersal of “one of the rarest phenomena in Modernism: a place where the architecture, the furniture, the table settings, the service, the food, and even the clientele was of a piece.”
In a 1932 article in Modern Mechanix magazine, the design of this three-story Long Island “skyscraper house” was touted as the “latest in homes,” with an all-metal frame and glass walls. What the story doesn’t mention is that this little house in the ‘burbs was designed as a case study home by noted architects Albert Frey (who spent his early years in Le Corbusier‘s studio) and A. Lawrence Kocher. Known as the Aluminaire House, this diminutive dwelling is among the earliest examples of European-inspired modern architecture in the eastern U.S.. It was included by Philip Johnson in a MoMA exhibit in 1931 that later became the manifesto for the International Style of architecture–one of only six American buildings in the show to exemplify the style.
With the Coachella music festival in the recent spotlight, visions of Palm Springs-style desert homes have been popping up at every turn, and though this little skyscraper house couldn’t be further away geographically, its co-creator Albert Frey is known for establishing the “desert modernism” style exemplified in those iconic Palm Springs homes. And as with many ideas in the ultra-creative 1930s, the construction of this Modernist gem in 1931 was well ahead of its time.
550 Madison rendering via Dbox
Curbed spotted the freshly launched teaser site for the Chetrit Group’s Sony Tower conversion, now going by the name 550 Madison, which revealed several new details about the project. The most notable is that Robert A.M. Stern will be designing the “opulent” condos, and we assume this includes the $150 million triplex penthouse. Interestingly, Stern was once a student of Philip Johnson, who is responsible for the ground-breaking Sony Building. In all, there will be 113 condo units on floors 21-43, up from the previously reported 96, as well as a 170-key luxury Parisian hotel and high-end ground-floor retail.
Photo via mar.mohan/Instagram
After 8,000 hours and 1,600 gallons of paint, the New York State Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow is camera-ready for its spot on Open House New York Weekend. The Daily News reports that Philip Johnson‘s iconic World’s Fair structure in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is now sporting a fresh coat of “American Cheese Yellow” paint. The job “included power-washing off decades of rust, applying primer and the historically accurate paint while working on a platform suspended 100 feet in the air,” and it cost $3 million. It’ll certainly be all over Instagram tomorrow and Sunday, but some ambitious architecture lovers have already gotten up close to the landmark.
This must be the week of glass houses: Yesterday we took a look at Philip Johnson’s Wiley House–built as a successor to his world-famous Glass House–which is on the market for $14 million; today we’re checking out the $1,950,000 Gefter-Press House, inspired by Johnson’s Glass House as well as Mies van der Rohe’s Farnswoth House in Plano, IL.
The U-shaped, single-story, all-glass-and-steel home was designed in 2007 by Columbia University professor and architect Michael Bell, “as an essay in transparency,” according to the listing. He had previously displayed a model of the home at a 1999 MoMA exhibit titled “The Un-Private House.” Philip Gefter, the former culture pictures editor at the New York Times, and his partner, filmmaker Richard Press, had seen the model, and called Bell when they were ready to build their own version of the modernist masterpiece on their 12-acre property in Ghent, NY.
The listing says it’s “perhaps the ultimate Mid-Century Modern home available in the world.” We can’t confirm or deny that statement, but we can assure you that this property, Philip Johnson’s Wiley House, is a pretty incredible piece of modern architecture. Located in New Canaan, the same Connecticut town as the architect’s world-famous Glass House, the Wiley House is considered the most “livable” of all Johnson’s works. It was built in the 1950s, sits on six acres of land, and is “a transparent glass rectangle cantilevered over a stone podium,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Wall Street executive Frank Gallipoli bought the property for $1 million in 1994, a time when buying modernist homes was not as popular as it is today. He then spent millions more to restore the property, preserving Johnson’s original design, but adding green upgrades like heat-insulating glass panes and floor heating. Gallipoli told the Journal that living in the home is like being “up in a treehouse.”
Photo via Le Travelist
Aby Rosen’s plans to update the Four Seasons has been squashed by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. According to Crain’s, the only upgrade that received a nod from the commission was a request to change the carpet. Bigger renovations, like replacing a non-original fissured glass partition with planters and to replace a fixed walnut panel between the public and private dining rooms with a movable one, were all rejected. “There is no good reason why they should make these changes,” said Meenakshi Srinivasan, the commission’s chairwoman, Crain’s reports. “There’s no rationale. The space could function perfectly well without these changes, so why do it?”
Photo via Le Travelist
As you probably already know, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the NYC landmarks law. And one of the ways the city is marking the historic event is with an exhibit at the New York School of Interior Design called Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Landmark Interiors, which focuses on some of the 117 public spaces throughout the five boroughs that have been designated interior landmarks. In conjunction with this exhibit, Open House New York recently hosted an interior landmark scavenger hunt (for which 6sqft took eighth place out of 40 teams!), which brought participants to designated interior spaces in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn over the course of seven hours.
One of the spots we visited was the Four Seasons restaurant inside the famed Seagram Building. Through our scavenger hunt challenges here, we learned just how groundbreaking this restaurant was for its innovative design and role as the quintessential Midtown “power lunch” spot. But the Four Seasons, despite its landmark status, is facing an uncertain future.
New York State Pavilion via Wiki Commons
Last Friday, we journeyed to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the Panorama Challenge at the Queens Museum. When the evening of trivia was over, we walked out into the park to find the Unisphere and the Museum, both World’s Fair relics, glowing. But in the distance, Philip Johnson‘s iconic New York State Pavilion was barely visible. That’s about to change, though, as electricians and preservationists have been testing new ways to illuminate the “modern ruin” for the first time in decades, according to the Daily News.
The update comes thanks to a wave of public support to restore the icon, as well as a renewed interest in its architectural merit and the history of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. As we wrote over the summer, the pavilion’s restoration task force secured $5.8 million for repairs, $4.2 million of which came from Mayor de Blasio. Now, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has pledged to get the site illuminated by the end of the year. “We will restore this national treasure into a visible icon befitting ‘The World’s Borough’ for generations of families and visitors to enjoy,” she said.
Calluna Farms © Craig White via Flickr
If you’ve never visited Philip Johnson‘s world-famous Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, you probably imagine it as a single, transparent structure sitting on a vast swath of land. But, in fact, it’s one of 14 buildings on the 49-acre campus, which together made up what Johnson and his partner David Whitney considered “the perfect deconstructed home.” So, the couple didn’t live in the Glass House quite like most of us thought, but rather used it as the focal point of a glamorous weekend retreat.
When the Glass House compound reopens for tours this spring, two of these lesser-known structures will be open to the public–the 1905 shingled farmhouse Calluna Farms, which was used as an art gallery and sometimes as a sleeping spot, and an 18th-century timber house called Grainger that served as a movie room for Johnson and Whitney.
Back in June, we learned that the Chetrit Group was planning to partially convert the Philip Johnson-designed Sony Tower at 550 Madison Avenue to high-end condos. And it has now been revealed that the 96 condo units will amount to a jaw-dropping $1.8 billion sellout, according to plans the developer filed with the Attorney General’s office. By comparison, the initial total sellout at One57 was $2 billion, and at 432 Park Avenue it was $2.4 billion.
Daily Link Fix: Photo Shoot at Philip Johnson’s Glass House; The Knicks are More Popular Than the Yankees, Tue, October 21, 2014
- J.Crew does a photo shoot at Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House. “Clean-lined modern architecture meets tailored coats and cozy sweaters,” says the fashion brand.
- The Knicks are more popular than the Yankees in New York City. And DNAinfo has the map to prove it.
- The Village Voice’s “Best of NYC” issue is out. Categories include “best event for cyclists” and “best reason to eat out in the Bronx.”
- Part of Astor Place is closed to vehicular traffic forever. More on EV Grieve.
Images: J.Crew catalog via J.Crew (L); Knicks vs. Yankees map via DNAinfo (R)
Nest Seekers’ Ryan Serhant may have just found his nest egg at the Renwick Modern, but that doesn’t mean he’s slowing down at all. The star broker is now hard at work on the listing for the neighboring Penthouse 1, which is asking $6.35 million. This luxurious loft-like condo stuns with a sprawling 2,700 square feet of never-before-lived-in interior space and an additional 1,380 square feet of outdoor space in the form of a roof deck and four separate terraces. Sound impressive? Let’s take a closer look.
Philip Johnson is best known for his use of glass, and his iconic Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, is without question his most famous work. But did you know that Johnson also dabbled in plywood construction? In fact, the architect designed several wood homes in the forestlands of Connecticut, including the Wiley Speculative House.
The home was the first (and ultimately, only) of Johnson’s “speculative houses” planned for a large scale residential development headed by the Wiley Development Corporation in 1954. Though built without a hitch, and despite Wiley’s willingness to replicate the home for anyone, anywhere in Connecticut’s Fairfield County, Wiley’s hope for a Johnson-designed development flopped as nobody wanted to pay $45,000 to live in one of the houses. As a result, the Wiley Speculative House saw a somewhat sad fate and remained under the ownership of Wiley’s trust until it was sold off a year later. Since then, the home has changed hands at least nine times, and now nearly 60 years later it’s for grabs again, this time for $1.575 million.
Your Daily Link Fix: A Rock Band from the Sahara Desert; The Mets Want to Save the ‘Tent of Tomorrow’, Tue, July 29, 2014
- A Nomadic Rock Band From The Sahara Desert: MessyNessyChic reminds us that the awesome bohemian band Tinariwen, formed back in the late 70s, is still rocking out with their unique sounds. Be sure to watch the video; you’ll want to have it on replay for the rest of the day.
- The Mets Want To Save the Vandalized Tent Of Tomorrow: Last week Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion was broken into and vandalized, but NYDN reports that the Mets want to pitch in to help restore it by donating a portion of ticket sales.
- Are You Drunk or Did You Not Get Enough Sleep?: You’ve probably heard it many times over that you need to get more sleep—and we all could use more time to catch some Zs. IFLScience featured a video from AsapScience showing what your brain looks like when you’re working on only six hours of shut-eye.
- Panda Bears En Route to Central Park: Gothamist has gotten word that Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is hoping to bring two giant pandas to New York City.
Images: Tinariwen band member (left), Tent of Tomrorow © Matthew Silva (right)
After coming into nearly $6 million for the restoration of Philip Johnson’s ‘Tent of Tomorrow’, preservationists have been hit with heartbreaking news that vandals recently broke into the icon, setting fire to a van and inflicting considerable damage on the already deteriorating terrazzo map.
Philip Johnson lovers rejoice! It was just announced that the city will put aside $5.8 million to restore the dilapidated crown jewel of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Funding for the restoration of the “Tent of Tomorrow” came via Mayor Bill de Blasio, who contributed $4.2 million to the project, while the rest was provided by the City Council and Borough President Melinda Katz. Katz has been a champion for restoring the iconic structure, even forming a task force of civic leaders to save the work. Efforts to restore the project will begin soon, but a bumpy road lies ahead…
The Philip Johnson-designed Sony Tower at 550 Madison Avenue, one of the most notable postmodern office towers in New York City, is set to be partially converted to high-end condos, as states planes filed by developer Chetrit Group. It’s not known which of the building’s 37 floors the residential units will occupy, but Chetrit, led by Joseph Chetrit, has said in the past that it will convert the upper floors and either keep the lower floors as offices or turn them into a luxury hotel.
Construction likely won’t begin for at least one to two years since Sony still leases office space. When the developer purchased the building from Sony in 2013 for $1.1 billion at auction, Sony committed to remaining in the offices for around three years until moving to a new space near Madison Square. Chetrit outbid 21 rivals and paid $685 million more for the building than Sony did in 2002.
The Donald has no shortage of high-rise real estate accolades, but the Trump International Hotel & Tower, located at 1 Central Park West, is considered by many one of his most successful developments. Adapted from a former office tower in 1997, it soars 44 stories above Columbus Circle with stunning views of Central Park and the Hudson River. The lower 22 floors are occupied by a hotel, while the upper 22 contain 158 modern, sunny private residences that are nothing short of trump-tacular.
Unit 23D, which recently sold for $8.55 million through Ido Berniker at Mercer Partners, is no exception to the billionaire-worthy design. The 3BR/3.5BA apartment has 10-foot ceilings, as well as sleek modern finishes that really make the interior shine.