31 January 2010

Wright, Stone, Breuer, Johnson, All On Long Island

You'd don't have to look hard to find a community nowadays in which at least a few folks want it to be known that their town or county has a lot of modern houses and that therefore they "played [an important role] in the broader development of Modernism and Post-Modernism in the US." Modern houses are all the rage, as a friend told us a few weeks ago, and everybody wants to participate.

The quote in the first paragraph is from the website of the Heckscher Museum of Art, in Huntington, on Long Island, which has mounted an exhibition called "Arcadia/Suburbia: Architecture on Long Island, 1930-2010."

I saw it mentioned in the Times Real Estate section, which had this to say about star modernists on Long Island:

In 1937, on a relatively small lot in Great Neck Estates, Frank Lloyd Wright used cypress, brick and red tile on the Rebhuhn house. In 1938 in Old Westbury, Edward Durell Stone, the architect of the first Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, built the Goodyear House, a weekend retreat with curving walls, a flat roofline and large expanses of glass. In 1951 in Lloyd Neck, Marcel Breuer created the Hanson House, using a butterfly roof and fieldstone. And in 1956 in Lloyd Harbor, Philip Johnson built the Leonhardt House, its glassed-in public living areas seeming almost open to Long Island Sound.

Since driving from northern Westchester across the Throgs Neck Bridge and out to Huntington on the Long Island Expressway is a punishment I don't deserve, I'm unlikely to go. But if I lived out there, I'd definitely take a look.

Here's the Heckscher website's exhibition page, and here are some photos (I tried to grab one to use here, but it saved as a QuickTime file, hence no illustration).

What will be the next community with enthusiastic historians of modernism who want us all to know about the great and heretofore uncatalogued modern houses in their town? Someone emailed me today with a bunch of great stuff and I'll try to write about it tomorrow. -- ta

1 comment:

anne said...

Hi Gina and Tom,
I'm a kindred spirit in Chicago, renovating a modern house by a lesser known architect in the area. I'm blogging about it at gutnayer.blogspot.com. I had no idea what we were getting into but it has been so interesting. I love your blog and all that you are doing in and outside of NYC. I can't believe my next coveted field trip is to New Canaan and environs! So glad to find you guys in the ether, and thanks-- Anne Stevens