The only surviving member of the Harvard Five, architect John Johansen settled in Connecticut in the 1940s, along with Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, Philip Johnson and Eliot Noyes. Drawn to the New Canaan area for its open landscape, the men experimented with new materials and construction methods as well as open floor plans and indoor-outdoor living. The homes they built for themselves and their clients attracted other architects to the area, which resulted in more than 80 modern houses being built over the next two decades.
The most famous is Philip Johnson’s Glass House, now a National Trust historic site and open to the public for tours. Many are still owned by the original families, and on the rare occasion that one of these homes comes up for sale, the hope is that the buyer will be a passionate fan of American mid-century modern architecture.
In the case of the Goodyear House, built in 1955 and located on more than two acres in Darien, Conn., the house is surprisingly large for its day, and nicely suited to today’s way of living. Listed by Halstead Propery, the house showcases Johansen’s use of spatial symbols, such as the cave, bridge and labyrinth. I’m guessing that the “lower level hockey arena” is not original to the home, but the structure appears to be unaltered.