Gores House


Landis Gores


1948


Description

The Gores House is large, single-story, flat-roofed, wood-frame house that is stylistically related both to the International Style and to Wrightian rectilinear or organic architecture. The 130'-wide house is sited on a platform on a large wooded lot and is set back from the road. Wall materials include floor-to-ceiling fixed plate glass sash, narrow vertical tongue-and-groove cypress siding stained grey, and stone. The house is divided into three major wings: at the south end is a low bedroom wing, at the center of the house is a wide block with a raised roof to accommodate the tall ceiling of the living/dining area, and the north end contains the kitchen and utility areas. The main entrance, which has three wide glass doors and is sheltered by a cantilevered roof with large skylights, is situated between the bedroom wing and the living/dining area. A separate garage, connected to the main house by a sheltered walkway, has a clerestory roof.

The Gores House has undergone minor alterations. In 1970, the carport located to the north of the kitchen/utility area was enclosed as living space and a new two-car garage was constructed. Between 1983 and 1985, Landis Gores designed an extension to the terrace at the rear of the house to include two circular seating areas and an oval swimming pool.


Significance

In 1946, Pamela and Landis Gores purchased a four-acre lot to construct their first home in New Canaan. Designed by Harvard Five architect Landis Gores, the house is one of the first Modern houses built in New Canaan. The house was constructed by John C. Smith with lighting design by Richard Kelly and was completed in 1948.

The Gores House was featured in national publications including a large spread in the January 1952 issue of House & Home and an article in the New York Times Magazine. It was part of the 1949 and 1952 Modern house tours in New Canaan.

The Gores House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. The nomination states: "The Landis Gores House is significant because it epitomizes the "modern" architecture of post-World War II America...Among the distinguishing characteristics of the type embodied in the Gores House are its flat-roofed single-story form, emphasis on horizontal planes, extensive use of full-height glass walls, informal open plan, the absence of any reference to historical precedence, and a close relationship between the house and its environment. Leavening the International style's glass-walled austerity with natural wood and stone in the manner of Frank Lloyd Wright, the house was considered avant-garde...when built."

The property is currently held in the Gores family.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.