Becker House


Hugh Smallen


1963


Description

The Becker House is set on a hillside overlooking a pond and stream. The street-facing facade of the house is sheltered by a high fieldstone wall. The main entrance is through a narrow opening in the fieldstone wall which leads to a secluded courtyard with a pergola roof. A carport is located adjacent to the courtyard, also behind the stone wall. The main part of the house is rectangular in plan. At the lower level of the hill, the house is two stories high; this rear wall is heavily glazed. A wood deck extends across the back of the house. The house is clad in flush vertical wood siding, which contrasts with the heavy stone wall and stone base of the building.


Significance

The Becker House was designed by architect Hugh Smallen, who designed several other houses in the area. According to the assessor records, Nathaniel Becker purchased the lot in 1962, construction began in 1963, and the house was completed by April 1964. It was shown on the 1967 Modern House Tour in New Canaan. The original owners, Nathaniel and Theo Becker, owned the house until 2002. Nathaniel Becker was president of Becker and Becker Associates, Inc., an architectural planning firm which he founded in 1950. The firm relocated to New Canaan in 1973. Becker and Becker Associates completed numerous planning studies; their projects included work at Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., the Winterthur Museum, various museums at the Smithsonian Institute, Boston City Hall, Philadelphia Municipal Services Building, and the Town of New Canaan. His wife, Theo, was a painter, designer, and partner in the firm. They had three sons: Todd, Kenneth, and Bruce. Theo Becker completed the overall landscape design for the property and courtyard and created the pond. The interior cabinetry was designed by Jens Risom.

Marianne Dolan purchased the property in 2003. Theo Becker completed the overall landscape design for the property and courtyard and created the pond. The interior cabinetry was designed by Jens Risom. The current owners, Thomas and Carol Herbig, acquired the house in 2006.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.