Nyberg: New Canaan glass house a modern architectural landmark

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Built in 1949, the glass house in New Canaan sits at the bottom of a slope on 49 pastoral acres.

The 1,800 square foot structure is all glass. There are no interior walls.

It was built by the late famed architect Philip Johnson as a weekend retreat for him and his longtime partner.

Johnson is quoted as saying it’s “the only house in the world where you can see the sunset and the moon rise at the same time standing in the same place.”

It is one of the country’s greatest modern architectural landmarks that people from around the world come to see.

“The glass house is the site for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was originally Philip Johnson’s homestead…Famous architect, mid-century modern architecture, Philip Johnson was one of the Harvard five architects who settled there and did a number of projects. Ours is the only one that is currently open to the public,” Executive Director Greg Sages explained.

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“It was a permanent camping trip, a point of origin, an opportunity to be in the landscape, in the most urbane and elegant and conceptual way, and yet he was a great lover of nature, of the Connecticut countryside. He spent as much time at the glass house as he could even though he maintained a home in New York as well, but it’s really about that landscape. About seeing the landscape from the interior. And it changes with time. If it’s a blustery day, if it’s a sunny day, snowing, you have a completely different experience.”

Tours of this masterpiece, the ground and incredible art are kept small, with only a dozen at a time, so you can have a very intimate experience.

It is open from May through November.

To visit the glass house, click here.

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