New Canaan is honoring its impressive history of modern homes with The New Canaan Historical Society’s upcoming signature tour event. “Modern: A Way of Thinking” will take place this coming Saturday, May 14, 2016, continuing a tradition that began in 1949 with the town’s first modern house tour, which gathered over 3,000 people. Our company is a proud sponsor of the day, which includes one of our very own contemporary masterpieces for sale.
As many may already know, New Canaan was the epicenter for modernism back in the late 1940s. With the opening of architectural great Philip Johnson’s “Glass House” to the public for viewing about ten years ago, trademark modern styles throughout town have returned to the forefront, proving their sustained high demand. This year’s tour includes residences designed by the legend himself, Philip Johnson, as well as John Black Lee and Eliot Noyes, in addition to numerous renovated homes from other renowned masters.
Saturday’s program begins at 8:30 AM with check in and a continental breakfast served at Grace Farms, a new, multi-use building designed as a welcoming, 80-acre community space for individuals to experience nature, the arts, justice and faith. The actual event begins at 9:45 AM with a symposium that includes presentations by award-winning architects Hicks Stone and Bill Ryall, as well as the head of the Grace Farms Foundation, Sharon Prince. Directly following, guests will break into small groups to enjoy a box lunch, take a guided tour of Grace Farms and visit the modern homes throughout New Canaan showcased on the tour. Private vans will provide transportation to each property, where historians and architects of the modern movement will lead guided tours of the homes. The day’s activities will conclude with a cocktail party from 5-7 PM, surrounded by the peaceful setting of Grace Farms.
Our very own New Canaan agents Inger Stringfellow and Fatou Niang represent one stop on the tour—a stunning contemporary residence that rests on nearly three acres of retreat-like land. Originally constructed in 1950 by Eliot Noyes, one of the legendary architects comprising the “Harvard Five,” this mid-century home embraces the spirit of nature with its light-filled rooms and beautiful views. Similar to the other Harvard Five architects, Noyes built residential properties in New Canaan that evoked simplicity, openness and integration with the surrounding environment. The home has since been renovated, staying true to Noyes’ distinct principles and styles. The “Wiley Speculative House,” a residence sold not long ago by New Canaan agent Diane Jenkins, will also be part of the tour. This fabulous structure was designed by the one and only Philip Johnson, who was commissioned to create a home that was simple, attractive and functional, the result being a one-story post-and-beam modern residence with walls of windows.
There’s still time! Tickets for the Modern House Tour can be purchased online at NCHistory.org. All proceeds directly benefit the New Canaan Historical Society, a non-profit that promotes and preserves the town’s innate beauty and rich past.