Who Knew: The Best ‘Open House’ of the Year
‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. “Week-end crowds have been blocking traffic on Ponus Ridge in this conservative old community of early colonial homes, with hundreds of residents turning out in holiday mood to inspect Philip C. Johnson’s all-glass house. While workmen put the finishing touches on the ‘private’ residence and the adjoining guest house, startled, uninvited visitors tramp about to view the results with mingled expressions of awe, wonder and indignation. They agree that nothing like it ever was seen in these parts.”
— The New York Times, December 1948
The first time I can recall hearing the words “New Canaan” was in an undergraduate survey class of modern architecture, in a hot, sleepy room lit only by images of Philip Johnson’s startlingly simple, rectilinear Glass House on a slide projector. I’d never seen a house so effectively magnify what was beautiful around it.