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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.

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, Pavilion on the Pond, Painting Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, Ghost House, Studio, and Da Monsta—and the methodical sculpting of the surrounding landscape with outdoor sculptures by Donald Judd and Julian Schnabel.

The Glass House was home to Philip Johnson and his partner, influential curator David Whitney, a place where they hosted many of the most notable architects, artists and designers of their time. Now the Glass House offers a safe space for honestly exploring the multifaceted and sometimes difficult history where art, architecture and social justice intersect—including Philip Johnson’s controversial personal history.

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