Preservation easement will protect architect Eliot Noyes' family home in New Caanan
The family of mid-century architect Eliot Noyes, who was a member of the Harvard Five, has agreed to place his Connecticut home into an easement to ensure its longterm survival.
The Noyes House II is located in New Canaan, a town well known for architectural works such as Philip Johnson's Glass House and the Grace Farms building by SANAA.
Completed in 1954, the house was designed by late architect Eliot Noyes for his family, and is still privately owned by his descendants.
To ensure the home's longevity, Noyes' family has signed a preservation easement that will be held by The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, a non-profit organisation.
The easement stipulates that future owners must properly maintain the house and obtain permission from the Trust before making alterations. Moreover, alterations must "preserve the significant historic and architectural features of the structure".
"The Noyes house is one of New Canaan's crown jewels of modern design, underscoring the broader narrative of remarkable architectural exploration for the town in the mid-20th century," the Trust said in a statement.
"The Connecticut Trust will hold the easement to ensure the home is protected and preserved in its original design intent."
The house, which sits quietly within a wooded site, is composed of two parallel bars and a central, open-air courtyard. One wing is for social functions, while the other is dedicated to rest. Walls are made of stone and glass.
At the time of its completion, modernism was just gaining a strong foothold in the United States.
"It was both radical and simple all at once, which established it in the firmament of modern architectural icons," the Trust said.
Noyes, who died in 1977 at the age of 66, was a Harvard-trained architect who served as the first director of industrial design at New York's Museum of Modern Art. He also is credited with designing the IBM Selectric typewriter.
Noyes was part of the Harvard Five, a group of architects who settled in New Canaan in the 1940s. The other members were Johnson, Marcel Breuer, John M Johansen and Landis Gores.
Noyes designed another house for his family in the 1940s, called Noyes House, which is no longer standing.
Access to Noyes House II can only be granted by the family at this time. The dwelling has been part of a local architectural tour over the years.
Other preserved mid-century homes in the US include the Frost House, a low-lying, privately owned dwelling in Indiana that was designed by Emil Tessin and built in 1964.
Recently, preservation plans were unveiled for the Eames House, a modernist LA residence that Charles and Ray Eames designed for themselves. It was completed in 1949 and earned landmark status in 2006.
Photography is by Michael Biondo.