The Glass House exterior

photo by: The Glass House

Historic Sites

The Glass House

A Distinctive Destination
  • Constructed: 1949
  • Architect: Philip Johnson
  • Address: 199 Elm St
    New Canaan, Connecticut 06840
  • Hours
    Sunday
    11:30 a.m–5:30 p.m.
    Monday
    9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
    Thursday–Saturday
    9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Phone 203-594-9884

Visit The Glass House

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The Glass House, built between 1949 and 1995 by famed architect Philip Johnson in New Canaan, Connecticut, is one of the nation’s greatest modern architectural landmarks. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, the Glass House’s exterior walls are made of glass with no interior walls, a radical departure from houses of the time.

The pastoral 49-acre landscape comprises fourteen structures, including the Glass House (1949), and features a permanent collection of renowned 20th century painting and sculpture, along with temporary exhibitions. The campus serves as a catalyst for the preservation and interpretation of modern architecture, landscape, and art; and a canvas for inspiration and experimentation, honoring the legacy of Philip Johnson (1906–2005) and his partner, David Whitney (1939–2005).

Philip Johnson was a singular tastemaker, influencing architecture, art, and design during the second-half of the twentieth century. The Glass House was a remarkable achievement when it was completed. Invisible from the road, the house sits on a promontory overlooking a pond with views towards the woods beyond.

The house, which ushered the International Style into residential American architecture, is iconic because of its innovative use of materials and its seamless integration into the landscape. It began an odyssey of architectural experimentation in forms, materials, and ideas through the addition of many new "pavilions" -- Guest House, Lake Pavilion, Painting Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, Ghost House, Studio, and Visitors Pavilion -- and the methodical sculpting of the surrounding landscape. Today, the campus is an example of the successful preservation and interpretation of modern architecture, landscape, and art.

Tours of the Glass House are available in May through November and include self guided tours and expanded educational opportunities for local communities; advance reservations are required. While the museum is closed, explore the site online.

The Glass House is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Glass House

photo by: Robin Hill

“...The only house in the world where you can see the sunset and the moonrise at the same time, standing in the same place.”

Philip Johnson

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$15 Discount on All Public Tours

Join the National Trust to enjoy a host of membership benefits.

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Join us for PastForward, the historic preservation event of the year, October 10-12 in Denver, Colorado. Early-bird registration extended through September 13!

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