Arlt House


Evans Woollen, III


1954


Description

The Arlt House is set on a massive rock outcropping overlooking a wooded valley. Fieldstone walls that predate the house run throughout the property. The original house was a one-story glass box, but it has since been completely obscured by later additions.

The current house is considerably larger than the original structure. It is a two-story, flat-roofed structure clad in vertical wood siding with an L-shaped plan. The house is heavily fenestrated and has multiple projecting wood decks. The recessed main entrance is at the driveway and is adjacent to a two-story semicircular tower and two narrow openings filled with glass block. To the north of this entrance is a two-car garage shaded by a brise-soleil located above the second-story windows.

To the north of the garage are tall fieldstone walls and a set of steps formed from large stones that lead to an in-ground swimming pool surrounded by a flagstone terrace and stone walls, with a pavilion-style poolhouse at the northern end of the terrace.


Significance

The Arlt House was designed for Paul Arlt and his wife by architect Evans Woollen III. Paul Arlt was a cartoonist and artist and a member of the Silvermine Guild and the Rowayton Art Center. At one time, he worked as a political cartoonist at the New York Herald Tribune. His wife worked at Bloomingdale?s.

Paul Arlt acquired the property in 1953. Construction began shortly thereafter under builder Ted Hobbs. The house was completed in 1954. In 1955, the Arlt House was featured in Architectural Record. In this article, architect Evans Woollen III described the challenges with the site: ?a beautiful, wooded 2 acres with a high, narrow ridge of rock running north and south through the center of the property. The decision was to place the house on top of the ridge with the long side of the rectangle opposing the direction of the ridge; the ridge being the fulcrum with the house overhanging on either side? (Architectural Record, February 1955). The house, which was essentially a rectangular glass box, had posts, beams, frame, and trim constructed from a 3? by 6? section of fir, with fixed glass and outswinging ventilators. In plan, a combination dining/living room was placed in the center of the structure, divided from rooms at either end of the house by 4-foot-wide sliding doors. One end held the kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom, and the opposite end held the study, a bedroom, and a bathroom.

The Arlt House was included on the 1959 Modern House Tour in New Canaan. In 1966, the property was sold to William P. and Irma J. Kennedy. Architect Leon Boris Pogacnik and Tatjana Pogacnik acquired the house in 1978. Boris Pogacnik designed a two-story addition, which was constructed in 1982. Sometime after 1988, a second large addition designed by Pogacnik was completed, which enveloped the original house. The fenestration pattern on the original house was completely altered, making it difficult to recognize the original Arlt House, although the new design is in sympathy with the Modern aesthetic. A large swimming pool, bluestone terrace, and pool house were also constructed.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.