The New Canaan Historical Society (NCHS) is proud to announce that its signature event Modern House Day Tour + Symposium, titled Modern: A Way of Thinking, will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2016, following a tradition that began in 1949 with the first New Canaan, modern house tour that drew more than 3,000 people. This year’s tour will feature homes designed and renovated by Philip Johnson, John Black Lee, Eliot Noyes, Hariri & Hariri, Kengo Kuma, Joeb Moore, Toshiko Mori, Amanda Martocchio and others.
The 2016 Modern House Tour is dedicated to the memory of John Black Lee, a renowned architect who passed away this week at the age of 91. John Black Lee was a midcentury architect who began his career working for Eliot Noyes, later founding his own practice in New Canaan. This year’s tour will feature the Lee House 2 which John Black Lee designed for his family in 1956. Lee practiced alongside the Harvard Five and achieved ground breaking success with his innovative use of materials and timeless sophisticated design. He was the last remaining midcentury architect in New Canaan affiliated with the Harvard Five and the modernism movement.
This year’s Modern Tour program begins at 8:30 am with check in and a continental breakfast at Grace Farms, a new center for nature, arts, justice, community and faith. Owned and operated by Grace Farms Foundation, Grace Farms was established as an 80-acre gift of open space. The site incorporates an 83,000-square foot multi-use building called the River, that blends into the surrounding woodlands, wetlands and meadows. Tours of Grace Farms will be offered throughout the day.
"All of us at Grace Farms are excited to be a part of the Historical Society’s Modern House Day, honoring the important legacy of modern architecture in New Canaan," said Sharon Prince, President of Grace Farms Foundation.
"By living in the midst of so many outstanding modern residences—the greatest concentration of early mid-century moderns in the U.S.—the people of our town have an opportunity to experience firsthand an architecture of minimalist simplicity, which calms the mind and reduces our separation from nature. Our intention with Grace Farms was to create this type of experience, and the architecture was the path to doing so," adds Prince.
The program kicks off with a Symposium at 9:45 am that includes presentations by Hicks Stone, architect and author of Edward Durell Stone: A Son's Untold Story of a Legendary Architect; Bill Ryall, LEED, PHIUS and partner at Ryall Porter Sheridan. Bill was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects for his work integrating the highest world standards of energy-efficiency with high-quality architectural design; and Sharon Prince, who will discuss her work with Tokyo-based, Pritzker Prize-winning firm SANAA who designed Grace Farms. AIA credits will be offered.
Following the Symposium, guests will break into small groups to enjoy a box lunch, take a guided tour of Grace Farms and visit modern homes throughout New Canaan via private tour vans, escorted by an architect or historian of the Modern Movement. The day will conclude back at Grace Farms for a Cocktail Party from 5-7 pm.
Tickets for the Modern House Day Tour + Symposium can be purchased online at NCHistory.org.
$500 – Full day program including Breakfast, Symposium, Lunch, Modern House Tour, Grace Farms Tour, Cocktail Party and Transportation
$275 – Breakfast + Symposium
The Modern House Day Tour + Symposium, sponsored by Grace Farms Foundation, William Pitt / Sotheby’s International Realty, Prutting & Company LLC, Rick Sillo Construction and Media Sponsor Moffly Media, will benefit the New Canaan Historical Society, founded in 1889 to promote historic preservation and build an appreciation of the town’s rich past. A portion of the ticket is tax deductible.
For more information or to receive a printed invitation, please contact The New Canaan Historical Society at 203.966.1776. Tickets can also be purchased online. http://www.nchistory.org/modern-house-day-tour-symposium-modern-a-way-of-thinking/