Greedy developers and homeowners who show off their wealth and bad taste by buying ostentatious and garrish homes are an easy mark in New Canaan. But just because they're easy doesn't mean we shouldn't aim at them. I used tol ike to walk along Laurel Road in New Canaan because its east side is a rocky ridge atop which sits five white moderns, at least two of which are gems. Nearby is a cul de sac called Soundview Road and the last time I was there, maybe a year ago, I did a double take because I thought I remembered a modern house there, at the top of the hill.
Then a couple of months ago I received an email from Pamela S. Gores, the widow of Landis Gores, one of New Canaan's Harvard Five architects. (She still lives in New Canaan, in the house he designed for them.) She was responding to something I had written about modern houses, sustainability and energy-efficiency:
The House For All Seasons designed by my husband, Landis Gores, included numerous energy conservation features, was demolished last year so that a larger house could be built upon the site.
Of course! That was the house I remembered, The House for All Seasons -- a house designed and built in the 1970s specifically to be energy-efficient. You can see pictures and diagrams at LandisGores.com, here.
What could be more perfect for the early years of the twenty-first century, when we need as much energy efficiency as we can get? And what could better epitomize attitudes in New Canaan, where they almost seem to be proud of destroying modern houses, than that a well-designed, energy-efficient house be razed in favor of this: