New Canaan Now & Then: The ‘Perkins House’ at Park and Seminary Streets


Now & Then: 'Perkins House'

63 Park St. was built in 1836. It served initially as a boarding house for schoolteachers and shoe manufacturers in what was then a burgeoning shoe industry in New Canaan.  

For five years, it was the site of New Canaan Community School, which later became New Canaan Country School.  

And from 1924-1947, it was the home of Max Perkins, editor to F.Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and many others.  Although Max moved out, the house stayed in his family until the1960s.

The architect Richard Bergmann and his wife, Saundra, purchased it in 1973. They stayed for 45 years, living and working out of the Greek Revival building that is on the National Register of Historic Places.  

When they retired to Florida, the building was sold. It is now home to the Onera Foundation.

“New Canaan Now & Then” is presented in partnership with the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society.

4 thoughts on “New Canaan Now & Then: The ‘Perkins House’ at Park and Seminary Streets

  1. I love this building and the Max Perkins connection particularly. He one of New Canaan’s greats, but not as well known here in New Canaan as he should be. If you pick up a copy of “The Old Man and the Sea” – it is dedicated to him. But by the way, he didn’t “move out”of the house in New Canaan. He lived here until he died. He was taken to the hospital in Stamford on June 16, 1947 where he died next morning of pneumonia. On the way out of the house he told his daughter Bertha to pick up two manuscripts and get them to his secretary – one was “From Here to Eternity”.

  2. I would see Mr Bergmann in the library now & then occasionally with his wife Saundra working on the computer. He also was a member of Art Society in New Canaan. This is how I met him.
    Just before they moved I was invited to there home and had the opportunity to photograph their home.
    It is a spacious a beautiful home. I’m glad it will stay that way…
    N. Jensen

  3. I recommend “Genius”, a movie with Colin Firth as Perkins, Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe, Guy Pearce as Fitzgerald, and Dominic West as Hemingway. Not strictly accurate; it shows the Perkins house at the end of a long driveway.

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