Ford House/Edward Winter House


Edward Winter and Russell Ford


1961


Description

The Ford House/Edward Winter House is located on a flat, secluded site accessed by a long driveway. Surrounding the house are lawns bordered by stands of trees, two large ponds, and a stream. A swimming pool and poolhouse are also on the property.

The house is a long, low, one-story structure clad in vertical flush wood siding. Larger than many of the Modern houses in New Canaan, the original house had a double H-plan (two H-plans set adjacent to each other); the inset areas served as courtyards or terraces. Some of these inset areas were later enclosed as living space. At the main facade, the two inset areas are shielded by decorative wood screens: one leads to a graveled courtyard with a large evergreen tree and a glazed wall that allows views through the living room to the backyard; the second is adjacent to the garage and contains a service entrance. Above the living room is a four-sided clerestory window that rises above the main roof line. The remaining facades are heavily glazed with casement, fixed, and horizontal sliding aluminum sash, and aluminum sliding glass doors. At the rear of the house, adjacent to the living room, is an inset terrace paved with red clay tiles.


Significance

The Ford House/Edward Winter House was designed by architects Edward Winter and Russell Ford as a home for Ford and his family. Ford had been a partner in the firm of Gates and Ford, but Frederick Taylor Gates had left New Canaan in 1957. Ford?s wife, Hope, purchased the lot in 1959. Construction began under builders Borglum and Meek in 1960 and was completed in 1961. In 1963, a round glass-and-aluminum greenhouse was added to the site. An in-ground pool was completed in 1967, and the associated pool house was finished in 1968.

In 1976, Victor H. and Eleanor Q. O?Neill purchased the property. According to the DOCOMOMO documentation for the house, in 1992, the 9'x14' brick courtyard at the south end of the building was converted to an enlarged master bathroom; the glasshouse window at this facade was also likely added at this time. Michael Irving was the architect. The incorporated two-car carport was converted to a garage during this same year. The assessor records indicate that there was an addition to the house in 1990, but this was likely the master bathroom work, as no other additions are apparent. In 1994, the kitchen was renovated by architect Mella Kernan and builder Joseph Catalfamo. At an unknown date, it appears that one of the incised porches at the rear of the house was enclosed by a glass wall and converted to interior living space; assessor records indicate that it was originally a screened-in porch.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.