Hidden in Plain Sight: The Heart of Mid-Century Modern
Not many people know that just 45 miles northeast of New York City, a graduate course worth of the finest mid-century modern architectural gems lie in the town of New Canaan, CT. That secret will not last for long if Jack Trifero has his way. Trifero is the founder of modernhouseman.com, a website, and now an architectural driving tour focused on the house's of the world renown “Harvard Five” architects, Philip Johnson, Marcel Breuer, John Johansen, Eliot Noyes, and Landis Gores.
As a long time resident and successful business owner in town (Gramophone Shops) Trifero has worked over the years to preserve the history and integrity of the town. “The modern movement was an integral part of our every day culture.” said Trifero. These architects not only built and designed in New Canaan, but also made it their hometown. The designs created a new architectural style never seen before, and now “these architectural masterpieces are hailed as great examples of architecture. These buildings do more than just define a period they also lift our spirits; they are a part of the legacy of this remarkable town.”
Although Mr. Trifero has participated in saving many of the town’s landmarks over the years, he has a special passion for the moderns. “If you think about the state of the world in the 1940’s when this movement began, this is where it started, it was the coming together of great artists and thinkers that happened and produced these amazing works. It’s important that we acknowledge and celebrate that legacy. It’s in the fabric of this village; our town is rich not only in tradition, but innovative thought.
The tours are about an hour and a half long. They start in town with important town buildings’ histories that were part of the modern movement. From there, a driving tour throughout the town highlights some of the most beautiful roads in picturesque New Canaan, while viewing twelve examples of modern architecture by the Harvard Five and other important architects of the period.