John Black Lee’s Modernist Home in Silvermine Is Sold

One of New Canaan’s best-known modern homes has been purchased, approximately one year after the passing of its distinguished architect.

A street view of 160 River Road in New Canaan, a John Black Lee house. Photo published with permission from its owner

John Black Lee’s glass-and-concrete home overlooking the Silvermine River at 160 Mill Road was purchased for $627,354, according to a property transfer recorded Monday in the Town Clerk’s office.

Lee died April 13, 2016 at age 91, according to his obituary.

Designer of multiple homes in New Canaan and elsewhere, Lee lived out his life in the 1990-built, 1,980-square-foot home, his obituary said. It sits on 1.15 acres, tax records show. Lee had purchased the property in July 1978 for $17,875, according to tax records.

A Chicago native known as the “sixth” of the Harvard Five, Lee designed and engineered homes on Laurel Road (1952); Lee House 2 on Chichester Road (1956); Day House; Teaze House; System House (designed with Harrison DeSilver in 1961), and buildings at the New Canaan Field Club, according to his obituary.

Last year’s “Modern House Tour” from the New Canaan Historical Society was dedicated to Lee’s memory.

A Chicago native, Lee grew up in Lake Forest, Ill., attended Brown University and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, according to his obituary, returning to school after serving in the Pacific to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1947.

Photos of the interior of Lee’s River Road home can be found here.

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