Third Annual Modern House Tour to showcase New Canaan's moderns
Sunday, May 20, is the date for "May is for Moderns," the third annual modern house tour celebrating New Canaan's unique heritage of mid-century moderns. This year's tour, from 1 to 5 p.m., features eight homes designed by members of New Canaan's world famous "Harvard Five," their associates and disciples, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright's top apprentice/draftsman, John Howe, who worked with him for more than 30 years. Some of the homes have never before been open to the public. Six are in New Canaan and two are in Darien and Wilton.
Included are a home designed by Philip Johnson and two homes designed by John Johansen, another Harvard Five architect: the famous Bridge House, which straddles the Rippowam River in New Canaan, and a home in Darien, both of which show how Johansen was influenced by the classic symmetry of Palladio. The Wilton home is designed by Rob Graf of Eliot Noyes Architects. Other architects represented include Victor Christ-Janer, who started a New Canaan firm and helped transform the town into an incubator for distinctive modernist dwellings in the l950s; James Evans, of Wilton, who studied with Louis Kahn at the Yale School of Architecture; and Willis Mills, designer of St. Mark's Church in New Canaan, who was founding partner of Sherwood, Mills & Smith in Stamford. The Mills home on this tour, originally designed for his family, is listed by the National Register of Historic Places and has been extensively renovated by BassamFellows architects.
The tour is free, but reservations are advised, as space is limited. All the homes have been either restored, updated, renovated or expanded, according to Rita Kirby of William Pitt Sotheby's in New Canaan, tour sponsor.
"Some of the homes are currently on the market, while others are open to the public only for this tour, thanks to homeowners who are proud of New Canaan's modern architectural heritage and willing to share their part of it with others who are interested.," she said. Last year's "May is for Moderns" tour attracted more than 300 people.
Reservations may be made with William Pitt Sotheby's at 203-966-2633, where maps will be available the day of the tour at 26 Cherry St.