Victor Christ-Janer

Victor Christ-Janer was born in Waterville, Minnesota, in 1915. He attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota and then enrolled at Yale University, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors in sculpture in 1940. After serving as a conscientious objector in the military during World War II, working as a camouflage artist and in Army intelligence, he returned to Yale and received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the School of Architecture in 1947.

Shortly after receiving his degree, he established the architectural firm Victor Christ-Janer and Associates in New Canaan and became part of the first wave of Modern architects living and working in the town during the post?war period. In August 1948, Christ-Janer and his wife Elizabeth purchased a lot in New Canaan, Connecticut, and constructed the Christ-Janer House between 1949 and 1952. Christ-Janer designed several houses in New Canaan along with Walter Stewart's Market (1955), the New Canaan Senior High School (1958), and the New Canaan Post Office (1958).

Victor Christ-Janer and Associates served as a combined architectural firm and art gallery; throughout his career, Christ-Janer was able to apply his interests in art, art conservation, teaching, writing, and open space conservation to his work.

When asked to design a monastery, he lived among the Carthusian Order in France before designing the Carthusian Charterhouse of the Transfiguration (1970) in Mount Equinox, Vermont. He was the third American to win the Reynolds Award in 1967 for his design of the James F. Lincoln Library (1959) at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. Other well-known works include St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rochester, Minnesota, and his redesign of the Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist, in New York City. Christ-Janer served as an instructor at Stephen's College, Yale University, and Columbia University.

Victor Christ-Janer died in 2008 at his home in New Canaan.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.