A Noyes House in Stamford Finds a Spot on the National Register of Historic Places

A house in Stamford, Connecticut, designed by Eliot Noyes has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a significant honor for a modern house. Called the Graham House, it represents the evolution of an idea Noyes first tried out on his own house in New Canaan, known as Noyes II.

We learned about it yesterday while poking around on the website of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (scroll down). That's where we found this photo, which was taken by H. McGrath. Here's what the CTHP says about the Graham House:

The Graham house, built in 1968-1969 on the crest of a rocky outcropping in the Stamford woods, is one of the most dramatic and sculptural houses designed by Eliot Noyes (1910-1977), a master Modernist architect and industrial designer and a highly influential member of New Canaan’s famed Harvard Five. Although the house is less than fifty years old, the usual age requirement for the National Register, it was listed because of its exceptional importance as a work by Noyes and particularly as the culmination of a series of related designs by Noyes.
The series began with Noyes’ own house, built in 1954 with living spaces and a courtyard sandwiched between two massive stone walls (see CPN, November/December 2008). In the following years, the architect created several other variations on the wall-house idea, but they were not built. Finally, Robin Graham, owner of a Manhattan art gallery, provided an opportunity to construct the fully-developed version of the idea, a house with two walls close together forming a wide hallway, and the rooms hung outside the walls.
With its rugged fieldstone-and-concrete walls, stone pavement, and numerous skylights, the central space is more like a street than a hallway--in fact, Noyes sometimes referred to the space as a street. In contrast, the living spaces are lightly framed and cantilevered out from the stone walls so that they float over the landscape, with views defined by carefully placed windows.

There's lots more about the house, including plenty of photos, at the blog formerly known as EmbraceModern, now called Modisabi, here. -- TA

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