Is This the Gayest House in America?


Perhaps, according to the Washington Post:

“…seen as a single entity, the Glass House/Brick House structures add up to the gayest house in America, an architectural enactment of a life lived with a rigorous division between the public and the private. Not that Johnson, a man who enjoyed wealth throughout his life, lived that particular dichotomy of hiding and revealing in the way that less fortunate men had to. But even at the level of its mechanical systems, the two-house dyad seems like a metaphor for the publicly brilliant homosexual: The Glass House is enticingly open but dependent on the Brick House for its hidden electrical and plumbing connections.”

Philip Johnson’s 1949 modernist masterpiece, the “Glass House” in New Canaan, Connecticut, will open to the public as a National Trust for Historic Preservation site this Saturday.


  1. says

    What I find ironic is that the structre was copied by the Mo’s at Bravo TV when they held the season finale to Design Star in Bryant Park.

    Gay show: Gay Architect: Gay Network: Gay House. Hmmmm!

  2. Leland says

    It’s a wonderful structure, but after the Repugs and their religionist thugs, “writers” and “critics” and the like on the “arts” with such vibrating logs of pretension and pseudo sophistication up their gnarly asses pose the greatest threat to Civilization. Not to leave out the Bansky fools, of course. As mon grand pere used to say, “They couldn’t tell shit from Shinola.”

  3. BeeDee says

    Glass – brick – gayest… wellll, uhhh, okay, I guess — but, if it’s all that gay where’s the Absolut Vodka advert and numbered litho of Judy Garland sitting on the edge of the stage singing “born in a trunk…”???

    And shouldn’t a number of Advocate back issues be tastefully arranged on the non-angular coffee table?

  4. anon says

    I like it. Reminiscent of Buckmeister Fuller’s dream and designs of the home of the future being completly glass geodesic domes just to keep out the rain with open floor plans and gardens inside. His ultimate dream beyond the glass geodesic domes was (if we ever figure out how to) homes made simply of force fields to keep off the rain and nothing else seperating us from nature.

  5. hzh says

    Why Philip Johnson’s glass house? He was just copying Mies van der Rohe, a far greater architect. And I don’t think people here would really want to associate too closely with someone who was a fascist (Philip Johnson helped set up a fascist party in the US in the 1930’s and defended Hitler). He recanted later, but still, it makes you wonder.

  6. Free says

    Thanks for the nod to Philip Johnson’s Glass House. van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (Plano, IL) is also in the collection of National Trust historic sites.

  7. DanielK says

    Actually, if you own enough of the surrounding land, it makes no difference whether the house is made of glass, brick, or styrofoam. My grandparents built a house in 1951, in a rural area, and realized that without neighbors they needed no curtains on their big bedroom windows! They were open to the World for about 10 years. This glass house & about 10 surrounding acres is about equal to a regular house.

  8. peterparker says

    HZH…yes, Johnson’s fascist leanings were/are disturbing to say the least…and yes, Mies van der Rohe is probably the better architect…but the Glass House combined with it’s setting just makes it more desirable to me than most of Mies van der Rohe’s houses (though the Farnsworth House is stunning).

  9. says

    Uh, I totally don’t get it. Living in a fish bowl is somehow gay now? Totally fucked up. This is no place a real person could live. It’s got to be some kind of conceptual art piece. Where is the privacy here? Where do you fuck? Take a crap? Am I missing something here? Again. How the fuck is this gay? It’s a shitty apartment with no walls.

  10. lead says

    Oh Leland you truly are the biggest load of toss on here! I refrained from responding when you previously editorialised ad nauseam over the sale of the Philip Johnson Manhattan apartment – waffle waffle blah blah. But this time it’s all too, too much pretence – so much in fact that it smelled all the way across the Atlantic.

    Banksy may not be to your taste Dear, but some of us here still adore his irony and wit let alone the fact that he’s a wonderful draughtsman. So make your pilgrimage to New Canaan but kindly keep your dissertation on your ode to Mr Johnson to yourself!

  11. peterparker says


    Your response indicates your ignorance about Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Glass House is not just the one house composed of steel and glass walls, but is instead an entire 47 acre estate that consists of a number of structures.

    The main house, constructed primarily of steel beams and glass walls is sited in such a way to provide privacy from prying eyes (which isn’t really that difficult on 47 wooded acres) even though there are no exterior walls or curtains to shield inhabitants from the outdoors. The bathroom (and all the plumbing/electrical) is housed in a circular room contained within the main house. That answers your question about where one might ‘take a crap’ (charming the way you put that, by the way).

    Across the lawn, another structure, called Brick House was constructed of brick and had only three small windows. This was the room to which you would retreat if you wanted privacy.

    There is also a Sculpture Gallery, a Painting Gallery and another building called Da Monsta.

    And, while you might think it’s ‘a shitty apartment with no walls’, in 2003 Glass House was valued at $19 million. At this point, it’s basically priceless.

    Perhaps a visit to the property would provide you with an appreciation for what is considered to be one of the most important residential architectural works of the 20th century. Then again, I’ll bet Philip Johnson wouldn’t want someone like you within a 100 miles of his property.


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