The Glass House Gang

The Philip Johnson Glass House launches Glass House Openings. Three interesting online videos:
A Place in History, Vision of Place & Power of Place.”

A film project commissioned on the occasion of the Glass House’s 2007 Inaugural Gala Picnic. These films capture the thoughts (reflections?) of guests who attended the opening of this National Trust Historic Site.

Featuring Paul Goldberger, Hilary Lewis, Kurt Andersen, Julius Shulman, Pentagram, Michael Manfredi, Marion Weiss and others.

Shouldn’t the Farnsworth House (which is even better architecture) and other landmarks do something similar? The web is the way to get people to understand what they should look at. And to whet the appetite.

I also like the Glass House web page called
Glass House Conversations.”

Philip Johnson’s Glass House has been described as “the longest running salon in America.”

Vincent Scully told the New York Times, “I visited first when the house was under construction, in 1948. And when it was first built it was wide open. Yale students were there every weekend. It was sort of a running seminar. There was always a conversation about architecture. You’d go in and get a martini. It was a real salon — something we don’t have much of in America.”

Looks like a beautiful place to get some therapy.
Just lay back on that daybed…
And Lord knows Philip Johnson needed it.

Designers create places in which they can finally find some comfort, don’t they? The Glass House seems meant to purify. But it’s also an essay in narcissism.

This year the curators have also launched an exciting oral history project:

“Artists from Robert Raushenberg to Frank Stella, architects and scholars from Vincent Scully and Robert A.M Stern, clients such as Gerald Hines, and close friends of Philip Johnson and David Whitney will be target of this Glass House project to capture and collect conversations, musings, and insight from people who frequented and contributed to the Glass House since it’s completion in 1949.”

We need to see more modernist landmarks record their histories and make them available. Now is the time.

Top photo: Steve Brosnahan
Second photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
With a shout-out to the “Gas House Gangs” of 1890’s New York and 1934 St. Louis.


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