Naill House


Evans Woollen, III


1954


Description

The Naill House was originally a one-story, flat-roofed, 29'x52' structure with a rectangular plan. According to the assessor property street cards, it was originally sided with concrete block and plywood. Multiple alterations and additions have completely obscured the original house.

The house lot is relatively flat. Lawns and sparse woodland surround the house; at the rear of the property is a shallow pond. Due to the number of additions over the years, the two-story, flat-roofed house does not have a unified design aesthetic, but is loosely characterized by V-channel vertical wood siding, deep roof overhangs, recessed wall planes, semicircular projections, and the use of fieldstone veneer as an accent. The first floor is heavily fenestrated with sliding glass doors, glazed doors, fixed sash, and casement windows. The second floor contains a series of small square windows. The two-story round tower at the rear elevation has narrow rectangular windows. A two-story garage/workshop is similar in appearance and utilizes the same finishes as the main house.


Significance

The Naill House was designed for Eugene J. and Karin E. Naill by architect Evans Woollen III. Eugene Naill was an engineer and Karin Naill was a teacher at the Community Nursery School. As part of her job requirements, Karin worked at the Modern House Tours in New Canaan and developed an appreciation for Modern architecture (Naill, 2008).

The Naills acquired the property in 1954. The road that the property was located on was considered less desirable than roads like Oenoke Ridge, Ponus Ridge, and Smith Ridge, so the lots were more affordable (Naill, 2008). The owner of the land had commissioned Evans Woollen III to design a house for the lot but didn't like it and refused to pay for the plans. The Naills acquired the property for about $1900 and contacted Woollen to purchase the plans; he had just graduated from Yale University and was working as a caretaker to pay his rent. He assisted the Naills with choosing interior furnishings and was paid an architectural fee of about $1800. Woollen eventually spent his honeymoon at the house (Naill, 2008).

Construction on the house began in 1954 and was completed by August 1955. Karin Naill stated that the house originally had a very large pane of glass that was laid on leather to absorb the weight and helped allow the glass to flex in the wind (Naill, 2008). In 1963, a 18'x27.5' structure consisting of a workshop flanked by carports on either side was completed; an above-ground swimming pool and possibly a pool house were also added at this time.

By 1981, according to a realtor listing, the property had a swimming pool with an outdoor shower and changing rooms, a redwood deck, a workshop and two-car carport, a shed, a small pond with a waterfall, gravel terraces, and Japanese plantings. In 1981, Anthony Marino purchased the house.

In 1983, Thomas and Josephine Arnone became the owners of record, although the property was transferred back to Anthony Marino in 1984, and then back to the Arnones later that year. In 1984, two additions were constructed: a second-story addition containing a bedroom and bath, and a first-story addition containing a family room with a wood stove. In 1987, Gina Lorezato acquired the house. Lorezato added another second-story addition (completed in 1988) and renovated the first floor. In 1989, Stanley Scholsohn became owner of the property through foreclosure, and in 1991, the Dime Savings Bank of New York took over the house through foreclosure. The bank offered the house for sale in 1992 "as is" with no certificate of occupancy.

In 1992, Richard A. and Elizabeth W. Rowley bought the house. The Rowleys constructed a two-story garage and storage room in 1993, presumably demolishing the original carport structure. Due to the additions and alterations, the existing house is largely unrecognizable as the original Naill House.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.