Last year, I was given a special and memorable gift for my birthday. It was given to me by my sons who joined me on an afternoon visit to Marcel Breuer’s former home, set on gorgeous manicured grounds in New Canaan, CT. Designing for his family, this modernist and intimate gem which was built in 1951in the town considered to have one of the most significant collection of mid-century modern houses in this country. The house was designed as a small and crisp glass box of the type you could expect a Bauhaus-trained German architect. But it was later expanded and renovated by Japanese, NYC-based architect Toshiko Mori, who is known for her Brooklyn Public Library into a 4,777sf villa. The ceiling of the original box was raised, and a major steel-and-glass wing was added. Sadly, the house has lost its glory, but isn’t it the fate of most mid-century houses, too small for the lifestyle of today and therefore under constant threat of demolition? While there is an obsession for American mid-century architecture, it is hard to save them. Now, the Breuer’s house is on the market for sale.
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