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News February 2017

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Modern Houses Seeking New Owners

February 22, 2017

In the past we’ve highlighted listings from, an online gallery of Modern houses on the market in the Tri-State area. There has been a blip in Trimoca postings over the past several months so we’re going to step in with our own Modern on the market highlights—this month, New Canaan, CT. Plus one in nearby Darien. 

Tirranna (Rayward House)
Frank Lloyd Wright, 1956
Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Tirranna,” is an expansive structure originating in a 1956 L-shaped Usonian hemicycle design, expanded with a 1958 Wright-designed wing, and later extended by additions designed by Wright’s successors Taliesin Associated Architects—all overlooking an elaborately landscaped site featuring ponds and waterfalls created by damming the Noroton River. Original gardens and plantings designed by Frank Oakamura and Charles Middeleer incorporate fountains and a Wright-designed outdoor playhouse. A gracefully arcing covered passageway connects the main house to the caretaker’s suite, guest studio and greenhouse. The living spaces, several of which surround an interior courtyard, are showcases of Wright’s exquisite interior finishes in fine wood, all original and impeccably maintained.
6,917 sq ft; 14.98 acres
Listing site and slideshow



Wiley House
Philip Johnson, 1952
Philip Johnson’s 1952 Wiley House, is a variation on the design of his own earlier home—with the Glass House here perched on top of the Brick (in this case stone) House. The sharp slope of the site was leveraged in the expansive glass openings that bring light and views to the lower-level rooms. Later additions on the site, including a minimalist “art barn,” were designed by Roger Ferris + Partners. The vintage swimming pool with its original diving pad is a twin to the circular pool at the Glass House. Johnson is noted as choosing the site for its stand of towering Hickory trees that create a cathedral-like space around the house.
5,616 sq ft; 6.33 acres
Listing site and slideshow




27 Tory Hole Road
Arthur C. Holden, 1938
This 1938 transitional Moderne/International Style house designed by Arthur C. Holden features voluptuous curves, cove lighting, multiple fireplaces and terraces all overlooking an artfully landscaped sloping site with two ponds. Behind the gentle curve of the façade at the entry and the tall glass-block window is a three-story spiraling staircase from which the house radiates. The rear façade is shallow curve terminating in a semi-circular dining room wrapped in a ribbon of windows. Curving plaster walls and integrated lighting add theatricality throughout. The construction is steel and cast-in-place concrete and most of the interior metalwork is custom cast aluminum. Holden received degrees in architecture and economics from Columbia University in 1915. After serving in WWI he worked at McKim Mead & White before opening his own firm, Holden, McLaughlin, and Associates, in 1920. Holden and his firm are known for serving as the local architects for Frank Lloyd Wright on the Guggenheim Museum in the 1950s.
4,035 sq. ft.; 5.47 acres
Listing site and slideshow
Overview brochure with photographs by Bob Gregson

Lee House No. 3
John Black Lee, 1990
This unusual New Canaan structure was the home of John Black Lee, who designed a number of elegant, symmetrical houses in New Canaan (including two previous designs for himself). This one departs from expectations (though still symmetrical), with concrete slabs cantilevered from the banks of the Silvermine River and entry through an A-frame skylight (an unsung predecessor to I. M. Pei’s entrance/skylight at the Louvre). Larger than it looks, the lower-level rooms are tucked into the hillside. Constructed entirely in concrete, the house has an open floor plan that flows into a wrap-around cantilevered terrace. John Black Lee was one of the first wave of architects to arrive in New Canaan post war, practicing alongside the Harvard Five and for a very long career. He is said to have remarked, “This house is the only one in New Canaan that you enter thru a skylight.”
$750,000 (sold as is; requires substantial remedial work and renovation for habitability)
1,980 sq ft; 2.95 acres
Listing and slideshow

Tirranna (Rayward House), Frank Lloyd Wright, 1956, New Canaan, CT
Wiley House, Philip Johnson, 1952, New Canaan, CT
27 Tory Hole Road, Arthur C. Holden, 1938, Darien, CT
Lee House No. 3, John Black Lee, New Canaan, CT Photos are courtesy and copyright the real estate listing website