The US National Trust for Historic Preservation’s last two major acquisitions were Modernist houses – Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois (1951) and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, completed in 1949. Both experiment with the ideas of continuous open space and the use of a shed-load of glass to unite structure and surroundings. It turns out that New Canaan is lousy with mid-century modern houses, and a website has now been set up to amalgamate info about them and highlight their threat from possible development. This one, New Bremer House, an ‘upside down’ house designed by Eliot Noyes in 1951, is one of my favourites. It’s a shame not to be able to nose around inside them for real (even tours for the Glass House are all but sold out for 2009) but I spose people have to live in them, and if no one wants to live in them, they may not survive.
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