New Canaan contains one of the most significant collections of modernist architecture
DeSilver House is a prime example.
New Canaan Modern
In the late 1940's, New Canaan was an established town steeped in tradition and history. White clapboard houses and traditional New England stone walls adorned the landscape.
The arrival of Eliot Noyes in 1947, followed soon after by the architects that became known as the 'Harvard Five', drew the ire of traditionalists in the town.
One young and enthusiastic architect followed another. Including: Marcel Breuer, John Black Lee, Landis Gores, Harrison DeSilver, Eliot Noyes, John Johansen, Philip Johansen and Victor Christ-Janer. They descended on New Canaan blinded with enthusiasm and creativity.
Let's talk Modern
These architects were embarking on their careers, and they developed a deep sense of community. They often met to discuss design and to solve their design issues. Many of the architects designed homes for their own families and lived in New Canaan throughout their working careers and beyond.
The number of modern homes in New Canaan built from the late 1940's was unparalleled. Today, around 90 modern houses remain. Unfortunately many others have succumbed to developers over the past decade. New Canaan's modern houses are now steadily gaining the protections and recognition that they so readily deserve.
The modernist movement of New Canaan continues today as a living history, through the dedicated custodianship of current modern home owners.