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October 23, 2012

For sale: the Goodyear House by John M. Johansen.


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.



Had the privilege to visit the Glass House just this past weekend and noted the docent's comment that only 90 of the original 130+ of the houses built by the Harvard 5 still stand as they are unprotected by any preservation group (with the exception of the Glass House itself). This was disturbing to my friends and I so I wanted to add my hope to Ms. Horton's that this, and future sales, are made to those who truly appreciate what it is that they are able to acquire; not just a property but a piece of art and history as well.


It was our privilege to live, as second owners, in the W. Hawkins Ferry "residential art gallery" contemporary home in Michigan, designed by Mr. Ferry and acclaimed architect William Kessler. Built in 1964, this home reflected and embraced the design cues of this era. Living in and around this home sculpture was a life dream come true.

Jack and Margery Caldwell

Spectacular dwelling. Standing to the test of time...which is true to the spirit of the concept.

Lovers of Frank Lloyd Wright designs should know that the house he built for one of his sons in Phoenix, AZ is up for sale. The house was built at the time the Guggenheim Museum was built, so the house shares the "oreo" cookie look of the museum. More information is available in the Arizona Republic newspaper website.

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