Chivvis House


Eliot Noyes


1978


Description

The one-story, flat-roofed Chivvis House is finished with vertical wood siding, solid fieldstone walls, and glass walls. The house has an irregular H-shaped plan, with the primary uses (public and private) of the house separated into two parallel rectangular pavilions connected by a wide corridor. The corridor serves as the main entry lobby for the house and opens onto a landscaped courtyard between the pavilions. The entrance side of this 18'-wide corridor is faced with fieldstone while the courtyard facade is a window wall.

The house was originally built with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an entry lobby, a kitchen, an open living/dining room, and a courtyard. Except the courtyard-facing wall, which is a 12'-tall solid fieldstone wall, the bedroom wing walls are clad with vertical wood siding relieved with fixed and sliding sash. The walls of the wing containing the public living spaces are more open, with vertical wood siding on the primary facade, window walls along the long facades, and both wood siding and glass walls at the rear facades.

In 1982, a separate 3-car garage was added along with two additions which seamlessly extend the rectangular plan of each pavilion of the house.


Significance

Mary-Lynette Chivvis (nee Mary-Lynette Bremer) purchased the four-acre site in 1976. She and her husband Arthur Beecher Chivvis, Jr., commissioned architect Eliot Noyes to design a house for their family. Mary-Lynette Chivvis grew up in the Bremer House (1951), also designed by Noyes. The design of the Chivvis House is reminiscent of the New Canaan home the architect designed for his own family in 1954 (Noyes House 2). The house was completed in 1978 after Noyes's death.

Although completed at the end of the Modern period in New Canaan, the house is clearly marked as a Modern structure by its open plan, expressive use of glass and local materials, architectural details, and its interior/exterior living spaces. The house retains very high integrity.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.