Last summer I received a phone call from Bruce Capra. He was renovating a house and was quite excited about it. Oh yes, it was the Edward Durell Stone house on Oenoke Ridge Road — you know, the house with the pyramids on the roof.
That got my attention. Realizing that we already had another renovation story in the works and that over the years we had written rather extensively about the moderns of New Canaan, I wasn’t sure that we could cover Capra’s project. But I certainly wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to see the inside of a house that had piqued my curiosity since I’d first driven by it.
What is it they say about the best of intentions going awry? Although the place was still torn up, I couldn’t help but be influenced by Capra’s enthusiasm. When he described what it would look like once a new floor was laid and the repaired shoji screens were reinstalled, visitors could see past the current construction to the clean lines and bright light that were the hallmark of this house when it was built back in the late 1950s.
As you can see by the byline on “House of Light and Shadow — Rescuing a New Canaan Treasure,” I became caught up in Capra’s project. Over the next few months, I visited the house several times, taking copious notes and watching it come back to life. No detail was too small to be overlooked. The final result was part of the New Canaan Historical Society’s Modern House Day Tour this past November, earning rave reviews from a majority of the visitors who toured it that day.
It is fitting to include the story of the Pyramid House in our annual real estate issue. Preservationists give many explanations for saving iconic modern houses. The fact that this house is currently on the market points to still another reason. “Now it’s ready to embrace a new family — it’s been given a whole new life,” says Capra. Ah, if only I had an extra $4.9 million!
From real estate, we turn to another topic that gets a lot of attention in our communities — teenage athletes. Given all the benefits of physical exercise, it is no surprise that the number of youngsters participating in sports continues to rise. At the same time, injuries and other problems have developed, especially among those young men and women who committed to one activity at an early age. Writer Stephen Sawicki talked to doctors, athletic trainers and to athletes themselves as he explored what happens when too much stress is placed on young bodies, especially among the most committed players, and what can be done to avoid potentially serious consequences.
Finally, in this issue we are excited to debut a new section, “TownTalk,” which will run in place of “Snapshots.” Here, readers will find shorter articles on a wide variety of topics, everything from current news items to updates on people and issues we’ve written about
previously. Our “People & Places”, “What’s New” and other sections also have a new design, so don’t forget to take a look.