Goldmark House/Salant House


Architect unknown


1941


Description

The Goldmark House/Salant House is essentially a traditional house with some Modern features and elements; it can best be classified as a transitional house, similar to Mills House 1 (1939, Willis N. Mills). The house is set on a large, flat lot on a secluded road. At the rear of the house is a very large open meadow. Directly adjacent to the rear of the house is a lawn area containing a small swimming pool. Brick and flagstone terraces border the rear facades of the house.

The main part of the house was designed as a series of connected hipped-roof pavilions set in a staggered line at the rear facade. The house walls are concrete block painted white with a chamfered brick cornice. Most of the windows are rolled steel multi-light casement sash; some openings contain glass block. The original doors are glazed wood doors with horizontal panes of glazing, and wood screen doors. The front entrance is located in an inset porch accessed by a set of curving brick and flagstone stairs with a metal handrail; the main door is solid wood door scored with horizontal lines.

At the front of the house, set at a 90-degree angle, is a flat-roofed, concrete-block structure containing the original laundry room, a two-car garage, and a one-car garage (added around 1951). The garages have large horizontal openings filled with glass block. At the other end of the main facade is a flat-roofed, concrete-block bedroom wing (1951). A flat-roofed dining room addition at the rear (1951) includes a deeply overhanging roof line that partially shades a brick terrace (1951). At one side of the house is a multi-sided breakfast room addition (1979-80) clad in vertical wood siding with a large solar panel mounted on its flat roof.


Significance

The Goldmark House/Salant House was constructed in 1941 for Peter and Frances Trainer Goldmark. The Goldmarks had been married in January 1939 and eventually had four children. In 1940, Frances T. Goldmark acquired the land for the house. According to Frances, the land was part of an old farm being divided up and her lot was an open cow pasture without a single tree on it. The house was completed in 1941. Frances stated that she and her husband Peter acted as architects for the house, and the builder was George Hickey of Stamford. A note on an early assessor property street card states, "fancy glass similar looking to quartz," suggesting that the existing glass block may have been original to the house.

In 1951, two additions were completed: a new flat-roofed bedroom wing containing two bedrooms and a bath, and a 14'x33' flat-roofed dining room extension with an overhang extending above a new brick terrace at the rear. The curving brick steps at the front entrance were also added. The one-car addition to the garage may also have been constructed in 1951; the two-car garage and laundry room were already extant. In 1954, Peter and Frances were divorced. Frances retained title to the house. She married Richard Salant in 1955 and had one daughter with him. In 1966, an in-ground swimming pool was constructed. Between 1979 and 1980, an addition containing a new kitchen and breakfast room was added to the house. According to Frances Salant, it was built by Dinyar Wadia and designed by Chris Mooman of Ridgefield, Connecticut. Later alterations (at unknown dates) include the replacement of some original rolled steel casement windows with single-panel aluminum or vinyl casement windows, the replacement of the roof, and the construction of a tennis court.

Both Peter Goldmark and Richard Salant had remarkable careers and were well-known in their respective fields. Peter Goldmark (1906-77) was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1906. He received his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Vienna. After coming to America in 1933, he landed a job at CBS as chief television engineer. In 1940, according to the New York Times, Goldmark "built the first practical color TV system" (New York Times, 17 December 1967). During World War II, he worked on technology to jam German radar. After the war, in 1948, he created the first long-playing record in the world, an accomplishment for which he is best known. In 1954, he became president of CBS Laboratories. By the late 1960s, he was working on the development of EVR (Electronic Video Recording). He retired in 1971 and founded the Goldmark Communications Corporation. In 1967, the New York Times called him "one of the 10 top inventors today" (NYT, 17 December 1967). Goldmark received the National Medal of Science in 1977 and was killed in a car crash a few weeks later.

Richard Salant (1914-1993) was born in New York City and receiveed a B.A. in 1935 and a law degree in 1938 from Harvard University. In 1952, Salant left the law firm of Goldmark, Colin & Kaye to become a vice president at CBS. Despite no background in journalism, he served as president of CBS News from 1961-1964 and 1966-1979. While Salant was leading CBS News, he oversaw the establishment of "60 Minutes," "CBS Morning News," and "Sunday Morning." Salant died in 1993. In his obituary, CBS Broadcast News president Howard Stringer said Salant was "one of the founding fathers of CBS News" (New York Times, 17 February 1993).

The property is still held in the Salant family.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.