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An Iconic Saga

Restoring Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027 and Clarifying the Controversies

Modernism on the East Coast

Iconic Houses in Latin America

House Tours May 2018 

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Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne

Jorge Liernur -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Latin American Modernism(s)

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House Tours May 2018 


Click on the above photo for the complete photo gallery

Pre-Conference House Tours – 16 May 2018

A day-long program took in the Marcel Breuer House in the Pocantico Hills of Tarrytown; Russel Wright’s home and studio Manitoga in Garrison; and the Roland Reisley House, a Usonian Home by Frank Lloyd Wright in Pleasantville, New York. Roland Reisley, who still lives in the house he commissioned, welcomed us to the latter, which is normally not open to the public. 

The weather - rainy with a tornado warning - could have been better for our first day of tours. However, we didn't let it stop us. Fallen trees lying across the road meant we had to make a detour or two to reach our destinations, and due to power outages we saw Manitoga without the lights on. But seeing the houses in this way certainly had its own charm, as these are in fact the typical weather conditions of the region. 

  • Departure from the hotel in Norwalk. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Director Allison Cross welcomes us for a house tour of Manitoga. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Manitoga, David Leavitt and Russel Wright 1961. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Original client of Frank Lloyd Wright, Roland Reisley gives a tour at his Usonian home. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour at the Reisley House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1951. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour at the Reisley House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1951. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi
  • Sol Friedman House in Pleasantville, New York, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1948. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Curator Cynthia Altman welcomes us for a tour at the Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • The weather - rainy with a tornado warning - could have been better but didn't stop us. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour of the Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico, Marcel Breuer 1949. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Departure from the hotel in Norwalk. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Director Allison Cross welcomes us for a house tour of Manitoga. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Manitoga, David Leavitt and Russel Wright 1961. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Original client of Frank Lloyd Wright, Roland Reisley gives a tour at his Usonian home. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour at the Reisley House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1951. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour at the Reisley House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1951. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi
  • Sol Friedman House in Pleasantville, New York, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1948. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Curator Cynthia Altman welcomes us for a tour at the Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • The weather - rainy with a tornado warning - could have been better but didn't stop us. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour of the Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico, Marcel Breuer 1949. Photo: Els Zweerink.

Welcome Reception – 16 May 2018

The day ended with a reception. This was the first opportunity for all the attendees to meet up at the hotel. For many guests this meant reunions with old acquaintances, but even first-time visitors quickly found companions with whom they could discuss everything they'd seen and experienced that day.


Click on the above photo for the complete photo gallery

Post-Conference House Tours – 19-21 May 2018

After the conference, a smaller group also enjoyed a three-day field trip to the more modest and fragile Modernist summerhouses on Cape Cod, often built by the architects for their own use. The tour also took in Cambridge and ended with Boston’s Gropius House. Tours on Cape Cod included houses run by the Cape Cod Modern House Trust designed by Jack Hall, Paul Weidlinger and Charlie Zehnder. In addition we also visited the Chermayeff compound, where again we were welcomed by architect Peter Chermayeff, the son of the original architect. Not on the programme and therefore extra special was the visit we were permitted to make by Marcel Breuer's son to the weekend and holiday home of the architect's family, under the guidance of expert Peter McMahon. Marcel Breuer is even buried there.

On Monday we closed with a highlight: Walter Gropius' house. After a thorough introduction by site manager Wendy Hubbard, we could explore the house alone, encountering many of the architect's personal effects and finding, for example, a Henry Moore sculpture on the window ledge. We walked around the neighbourhood to see the houses of other Harvard teachers, including that of Marcel Breuer (from outside).

On the way to the airport we finished the Philip Johnson story in Cambridge, with the first house he designed as a Harvard student - known as the Philip Johnson Thesis House or Ash Street House. A typical courtyard house, it is walled and therefore offers little to see. But, because it's so special as a closed box on a street corner, as well as marking the start of his career, we went there anyway. We said our goodbyes at Boston International Airport, looking back on an imspiring week that will stay in our minds for a long time to come.

  • Typical signage on Cape Cod on our way to Chermayeff’s home and studio. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi.
  • Weidlinger House, Paul Weidlinger 1953. Photo: Willie van Burgsteden.
  • Peter McMahon gives us a tour of the Weidlinger House. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi.
  • Weidlinger House. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi.
  • Peter McMahon gives us a tour of the Kugel/Gips House. Photo: Natascha Drabbe.
  • Pavel Kuzentzsov of the Melnikov House at the Kugel/Gips House. Photo: Natascha Drabbe.
  • Chermayeff Compound on Cape Cod. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Peter Chermayeff gives a tour at the Chermayeff house and studio. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Peter Chermayeff in his kitchen of the Chermayeff house and studio. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • How many of us fit one room of the Chermayeff house? Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Hatch Cottage, Jack Hall 1960
  • Peter McMahon explains at the Hatch Cottage. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour of the Hatch Cottage. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Group photo at the Breuer Cottage. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Grand finale at the Gropius House in Lincoln, MA, with site manager Wendy Hubbard. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Typical signage on Cape Cod on our way to Chermayeff’s home and studio. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi.
  • Weidlinger House, Paul Weidlinger 1953. Photo: Willie van Burgsteden.
  • Peter McMahon gives us a tour of the Weidlinger House. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi.
  • Weidlinger House. Photo: Sachiko Uozumi.
  • Peter McMahon gives us a tour of the Kugel/Gips House. Photo: Natascha Drabbe.
  • Pavel Kuzentzsov of the Melnikov House at the Kugel/Gips House. Photo: Natascha Drabbe.
  • Chermayeff Compound on Cape Cod. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Peter Chermayeff gives a tour at the Chermayeff house and studio. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Peter Chermayeff in his kitchen of the Chermayeff house and studio. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • How many of us fit one room of the Chermayeff house? Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Hatch Cottage, Jack Hall 1960
  • Peter McMahon explains at the Hatch Cottage. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Tour of the Hatch Cottage. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Group photo at the Breuer Cottage. Photo: Els Zweerink.
  • Grand finale at the Gropius House in Lincoln, MA, with site manager Wendy Hubbard. Photo: Els Zweerink.

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Posted on 19 July 2018