25 September 2013

Modern House Day 2013 is here!

The New Canaan Historical Society is holding another Modern House Day Tour + Symposium, on Saturday, October 5, offering the chance to have an in-depth guided tour of some of the town’s finest examples of modern architecture and to mingle with their owners, designers and architects.

The first MHD in 1949 attracted more than 3,000 people. In 2004, the NCHS revived the tradition and added a symposium that offers the opportunity to hear from experts in the field of Modern architecture and art. Subsequent MHDs in 2007, '09, '11 were all sold-out events. This year’s theme, entitled A Modern Mix: Art + Architecture, celebrates Art in the Modern home.

The MHD opens at 8:30am with check in and a continental breakfast at New Canaan Country School (NCCS), whose campus features buildings by Modern architects: The Arthur K. Watson gymnasium (1974), the Henry Welles Building (1968) and the original Stevens Building (1978), all designed by Gary Lindstrom, as well as the Middle School and Science Buildings (1961) which were designed by Landis Gores. The Symposium is held in the lovely new auditorium (which was the creaky old gym when I was a student there in the '60s). At this time, there will be books on architecture available for purchase, and you will be free to walk the campus.

The Symposium begins at 10am and will be moderated by John Arbuckle, DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State board president, co-chairman of the AIA New York Chapter Historic Buildings Committee, and President of Arbuckle Architecture Tours, LLC. John formerly served as Director of Business Development at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects and as an Associate at Beckhard Richlan Szerbaty & Associates, a successor to the office of Marcel Breuer.

The Symposium speakers are:
Michael Biondo,  Photographer – "Translating Architecture"
For 25 years, Michael has traveled the world photographing architecture and fashion for leading publications. His most recent photographs are featured in Allan Greenberg’s upcoming monograph. He is currently working on a book about New Canaan’s mid-century modern houses.

Robert Gregson, Photographer – "Art in Architecture"
Bob Gregson is an artist who uses architecture as an element in his playful installations and projects. His work encourages interaction and participation – and his love of architecture is expressed in his photographs.
Mary Thorp, Founder of The Harry Bertoia Research Project – "Bertoia: An Architect’s Friend"
A Bertoia expert and aficionado, Mary Thorp is cataloguing Harry Bertoia’s work, organizing exhibitions, and lecturing on his work at auction houses, museums, and universities.

Lunch at NCCS follows the Symposium. After lunch, event-goers will be transported to each location on the tour via small private tour vans, escorted by an architect or historian of the Modern Movement (or maybe by me – neither a historian nor an architect, but I know my way around!).

OK... ok... okay.... I will put you out of your misery. HERE ARE THE ARCHITECTS of the HOUSES ON THE TOUR:

Ulrich Franzen, Gates and Ford, Alan Goldberg, Landis Gores, John Johansen, Bimel Kehm, Hugh Smallen and Edward Durell Stone. I am not at liberty to divulge which actual houses are on the tour because the New Canaan Historical Society is scrupulously honorable about protecting the privacy of the homeowners who have generously opened their for the tour, but I can assure you they are winners.

Each house will have an architect present to point out things of particular interest and to answer questions. In one or 2 cases the actual architect of recent renovations of a particular house will be present at the MHD, if not at the house itself. How great is that?

The day will close with really nice evening cocktail reception at the New Canaan Historical Society. This is really a full day, and, I think, well worth the $275 ticket price. Please call the New Canaan Historical Society to reserve your spot at 203 966 1776, or register online here.

WHOOOO – HOOOOO! Another fantastic day of getting a big, heathy dose of Modern architecture, right at the source! Thank you, New Canaan Historical Society for keeping it fresh!

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