The New York Times had an article yesterday about a house that is going to be torn down in Westport. A modernist house designed by Paul Rudolph, a student of Walter Gropius of the Bauhaus Movement, it has, according to its owner, great views of Long Island Sound. It has been sold to someone who wants to raze it and build something not so modern.
Having grown up in the era of American modernist architecture, I well remember the use of plexiglass, glass, unfinished woods such as teak, white marble and vinyl with the occasional shag rug thrown in as the interiors of these houses. The light of these houses was always great, but the interior design, a lot of light fixtures that looked like geometric exercises and furniture with brass tipped feet was cold. It was an era banking on the future of basic geometry in home design, sort of an ex post Deco.
The memories of that era are sketchy, but what I can’t get over is how we are seeing the decorating of that era resurfacing. It was simplistic then and is now. Deco had guts and glamor. But maybe simple is what is required for today. I am not certian whether it matters that the houses that this stuff were made for are disappearing. Someone always seems to care, which is a good thing, but then the world always moves on and good tends to be both forgottern and remembered. I guess this house and all the others like it are just waiting for…….,