MARCEL LAJOS (LAJKO) BREUER, FAIA (1902-1981)
Born in Pecs, Hungary, Marcel Breuer set off for Vienna in 1920 to study art but disliked the atmosphere at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. In 1921 he went to the Bauhaus School in Weimer, Germany, founded by Walter Gropius, known for holistic teaching of the arts and architecture as a profession and as a lifestyle. After graduating from the Bauhaus with a Masters of Architecture degree in 1924, Breuer moved to Paris to study. Gropius invited Breuer back to the Bauhaus in 1925 to work as Master of the Carpentry Shop where he made a great impression on the world of design with the iconic tubular steel chair inspired by bicycle handlebars, an icon which would become known as the Breuer (aka Cesca, named for his daughter Francesca) chair, below left. His Wassilly chair, below right, was also popular.
Breuer married Martha Erps in 1926. They left Berlin in 1932, left Germany for London in 1935, and left the UK for the US in 1937 after Gropius invited him to teach at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Breuer's students included I. M. Pei, Philip Johnson, and Paul Rudolph. Through his roles as teacher and Gropius's business partner, Breuer became a highly influential member of the Modern movement promoting and implementing Bauhaus concepts including Black Mountain College in North Carolina. By the mid-1950s, he married Constance (Connie) Leighton and they had a son, Tamas. They later adopted a daughter, Francesca, for whom is Cesca chair is named.
Herbert Beckhard, left, joined Breuer as an associate in 1956 and became his partner and design coordinator in 1964. They collaborated on projects including the Washington headquarters of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the University of Massachusetts Campus Center in Amherst, the Strom Thurmond Federal Office Building and Courthouse in Columbia SC, St. John's Abbey in Collegeville MN, the UNESCO World Headquarters in Paris (with Pier Luigi Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss), the IBM Research Center in La Gaude, France, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and the Armstrong Rubber Company Headquarters in West Haven CT.
Breuer became known as one of the "Harvard Five" Modernist architects (which included Philip Johnson, John Johansen, Landis Gores, and Eliot Noyes). The AIA awarded Breuer the Gold Medal in 1968 and l'Academie d'Architecture in France gave him the Grande Medaille d'Or in 1976. Breuer was honored with the first one-man show for a living American architect at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1972 and a one-man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1981. Breuer died in New York City later that year. He is buried under the pines next to his house in Wellfleet MA, marked by a simple stone that he and his partner, Herbert Beckhard, brought back from a trip to Japan. Beckhard left the firm in 1982 which was renamed Gatje Papachristou Smith and dissolved in 1986. A documentary, Breuer's Bohemia, was released in 2021. Many thanks to researcher Catherine Westergaard Cramer.
Breuer overview in English and German
1923 - Unnamed apartment. Unbuilt.
1923 - Family House in Weimar. Unbuilt.
1924 - ABC Houses. Unbuilt.
1924 - Prefab House. Unbuilt.
1925 - Steel House. Unbuilt.
1925 - The Wilinsky Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Do you know where it is? Status unknown.
1925 - The Wissinger Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Do you know where it is?
Around 1925 - The Northman Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Address unknown. Built.
1926 - aka Kleinmetalhaus, aka Small Metal House. Unbuilt.
1926 - The Hans Wilhelm Karl Ludwig Grote Residence, Dessau, Germany. Status and address unknown; do you know where it is?
1926 - The Muche/Schlemmer House, Ebertallee 59-71, 06846, Dessau-Rosslau Germany. One of the Master Houses for Bauhaus faculty, it was a duplex for Georg and El Muche and for Oskar and Tut Schlemmer, teachers at the Bauhaus. Designed with Walter Gropius. The Director's house which was included in the 4 houses built was destroyed. The other 3 were extensively renovated in 1992. The unit that artists Klee and Kandinsky shared is closed for 2018, the other two are open for tours.
1926 - The Hildegard and Erwin Piscator Apartment, Katharinenstrasse 4th Floor, Berlin, Germany. Breuer also designed the furniture. Bottom photo includes Hildegard Piscator.
1926 - The Eberhard Thost Interior Remodel, Leinpfad 104, Hamburg, Germany.
1927 - The Bambos Houses, Dessau, Germany. Unbuilt row of prefab houses for Bauhaus masters Bayer, Albers, Mayer, Breuer, Otte and Schmidt (BAMBOS).
1927 - The Smith Apartment, London, England. Address unknown; do you know where it is?
1928 - The Spandau-Haselhorst Housing, Spandau, Germany. Unbuilt project designed for a competition.
1928 - The Marcel and Martha Erps Breuer Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Address unknown; do you know where it is?
1929 - The Gottfried and Gertrud Heinersdorff House, Pfleidererstrasse 4, Berlin, Germany. Commissioned 1928. Breuer was the interior designer and furniture designer; the architect was Walter Würzbach. According to grandson Tom Heinersdorff, Otto Bolte owned this part of the plot of land between Kohlerstrasse, Friedrichstrasse, Kommandantenstrasse and Pfleidererstrasse, and let Gottfried Heinersdorff build a house on it. The family left in 1936 for financial reasons and moved 4km away. The house was seized at the close of WWII by American occupation forces. When Gertrud Heinersdorff returned in 1953, the roof needed repairs, and the lens window and all the furniture had disappeared. She rented the building and grounds to the Catholic Aquinata sisterhood, which turned it into a hospital for women. Later the nuns bought it and after that received permission to demolish it around 1972 to build a new hospital, bottom photo (the house stood to the rear of the second, more modern-looking building).
1928 - The Melder House, Mahrisch-Ostrau, Czechoslovakia. Raised concrete frame structure. Unbuilt.
1929 - The De Francesco Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Address unknown; do you know where it is?
1929 - The Baron Eduard Von der Heydt Apartment Interior, aka Golfhaus, Wannsee Golf Club, Berlin, Germany. This was an apartment inside a house designed by Karl Hoffmann. Breuer created furniture as well. Address unknown; do you know where it is?
1929 - The Schneider House, Weisbaden, Germany. Unbuilt.
1930 - The Boroschek Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Address unknown; do you know where it is?
1930 - aka Apartment for a Sports Teacher. Status unknown.
1930 - The Singer Apartment, Berlin. Status unknown.
1931 - The Leopold and Ursula Reidemeister House, Berlin, Germany. Address unknown; do you know where it is?
1931 - aka 70 Square Meter Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Address unknown; do you know where it is?
1931 - aka House for a Sportsman, demonstration house designed for the Berlin Building Exhbition.
1933 - The Harnischmacher I House, Schöne Aussicht 53, Wiesbaden, Germany. Destroyed in WWII. Designed with Walter Gropius.
1930 - aka Apartment X, Berlin, Germany. Status unknown.
1934 - The Dolderthal Apartments, Dolderthal 17-19, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland. Designed with Alfred and Emil Roth.
1934 - aka House on the Danube, Budapest, Hungary. Designed with Fischer and Molnar. Unbuilt.
1934 - The Harnischmacher Apartments, Wiesbaden, Germany. Unbuilt.
1936 - The Gane Pavilion House, Bristol UK. Built by Breuer and York for PE Gane Ltd., a Bristol furniture manufacturer with a Modernist line. The house was built for the Royal Agricultural Show in Ashton Park just outside Bristol and was destroyed when the show closed.
1936 - The Crofton Gane House, 24 Downs Park West, Bristol, England. A furniture manufacturer commissioned Breuer, at the same time that the Gane Pavilion was built, to remodel his house. Both projects were aimed at promoting Gane's Modernist furniture. The house still stands but its contents were removed in the 1970s. Quite a bit of the is furniture in various public collections.
1936 - The Dorothea (Dora) Ventris Apartment Renovation, 47 High Point, North Hill, Highgate, London, UK. Breuer also designed the furniture, including this hifi sideboard. Dora Ventris died in 1940, her son Michael in 1956; his wife Lois in 1988. The bulk of the Breuer furniture was sold at auction in 2002.
1937 - aka Sea Lane House, aka MacNabb House, East Preston, Angmering-On-Sea, Sussex, England. Designed with F. R. S. Yorke. Bottom photo by Spellner Millner.
1938 - The Hilde and David Margolius House, 201 North Via Las Palmas, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Walter Gropius. John Porter Clark was to be the site supervisor. The couple divorced before construction could begin. Unbuilt.
1938 - Residential Houses for Eton College, Buckingham College, UK.
1938 - The John Hagerty House, aka the Josephine Hagerty House, 357 Atlantic Avenue, Cohasset MA. Commissioned in 1937 as a summer house for the client's mother. Designed with Walter Gropius. Photos by Dean Kaufman. Sold three times; with several renovations. Janice Sasseen bought it in 2001 and was featured in DWELL.
This was the second house Breuer did in America and the first done in partnership with Gropius. Third photo by David Sundberg/ESTO.
1939 - The Marcel Breuer House I, 5 Woods End Road, Lincoln MA. Commissioned 1938. Breuer married Constance (Connie) Crocker Leighton in 1940. Designed with Walter Gropius. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The original house was enlarged on the north and east sides, which was foreseen by Breuer. The veranda screen windows were replaced by glass, the chimney grew to be higher than the north addition, and spouts were turned into drain pipes. Sold to Mark Goldstein and Myrna Chandler-Goldstein. Bottom left photo: Herbert Bayer (back of head), Marian Willard (back), Ise Gropius (center), and Ati Gropius (above), circa 1940. Bottom right photo: Constance Breuer (at railing), Dottie Noyes (on bookshelf), and Christopher Tunnard, circa 1940. Sold in 1998 to Mark Goldstein.
1939 - The Edward and Margrit Fischer House and Studio, aka Waldermark, 1300 Wrightstown Road, Newtown PA. Commissioned 1938. Designed with Walter Gropius. The Fischers were friends of Breuer and Gropius from the Bauhaus days. The studio is about 20 feet from the main house. Despite studying at the Bauhaus, the Fischers refused to have their house photographed or published, which infuriated Breuer. Sold in 1996 to David F. and Cecily R. Itkoff.
Breuer designed a 1948 guest house, aka Fischer II, at 1280 Wrightstown Road. Similar to the Martine House. Australian Harry Seidler was site supervisor.
1940 - The Robert and Cecelia Frank Residence, 96 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA. Designed with Walter Gropius. Commissioned in 1939 after the Franks visited Gropius' house in Lincoln MA. 12,000-sf, complete with a dining room that seats 24 people, curved glass facade, five terraces, nine bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and a 40x20 indoor swimming pool. Deeded to their son Alan I. W. Frank. Website. Photos by Joe Marinaro and Pete Copeland.
1940 - The Chamberlain Cottage, 68 Moore Road (aka Wayside Road), Wayland MA. Designed with Walter Gropius. 7.8 acres. Featured in Architectural Forum, June 1943. Top photo by Ezra Stoller/ESTO. Sold around 1995 to architects Sidney R. Bowen and Angela E. Watson who did a renovation and expansion. Part of the movie The Surrogates was filmed there. Sold in 2005 to Perry and Amy Beckett. Sold in 2016 to 68 Moore Road Rt and Perry Beckett. Sold in 2016 to Geoffrey Vonmaltzahn and Maxine Sharkey-Giammo.
1941 - The Abele House, 325 Winter Street, Framingham MA. Designed with Walter Gropius. Featured in Architectural Forum, June 1943. Sold in 1992. Sold in 1995 to Oded Feingold and Andrea Majewska.
1941 - The Sprinza Weizenblatt Residence, 46 Marlborough Road, Asheville NC. Weizenblatt came to Asheville from Austria to practice ophthalmology. Commissioned in 1940. Bottom photo by Mary Jo Brezny. Asheville's Anthony Lord was the supervising architect. Upon her death, the property was given to Bertrand and Hertha Horwitz, Weizenblatt's niece. Deeded in 2006 to 46 Marlborough Road LLC, controlled by Hertha Horwitz.
1942 - aka Plas 2 Point House, designed as easily transportable, low-cost housing for returning soldiers from WWII. These were demountable houses to rest on two short piers, thus saving on foundation and cellar costs. The floor and roof are formed with cantilevered plywood girders, the end walls are rigid panels in tension. Breuer had this model built of the project and used it as part of his design curriculum while teaching at Harvard. It was never built on a full scale.
1942 - The Yankee Portables, plans for two bedroom row house unit. Unbuilt.
1943 - The Stuyvesant Six Apartments, a Housing Redevelopment in New York NY. Unbuilt. Featured in Pencil Points, 1944.
1944 - The 1200 Square Foot House, aka Postwar Home, designed for the Ladies Home Journal to be located somewhere in Florida. Unbuilt.
1944 - The Aluminum City Terrace Housing Project, Aluminum City Terrace, New Kensington PA. Designed with Walter Gropius. Built by the federal government to house defense workers during World War II. Continues to operate as a successful cooperative.
1944 - The East River Apartments, New York NY. Unbuilt.
1944 - The Long Beach Hospital Nurses Residence, Long Beach, Long Island NY. Breuer was not yet licensed in New York and formed an association with architect Serge Chermayeff. According to the Breuer records at Syracuse, the hospital client forced Breuer to work with an additional architect, Walter Katz, that the hospital had contracted with previously. No one was happy about it, and the project went unbuilt. Breuer resurrected the residence for the Ferry Cooperative Dormitory at Vassar.
1945 - aka Florida Beach House, Miami Heights FL. Unbuilt. Featured in Architectural Record, April 1946.
1945 - The Veterans House. Unbuilt.
1946 - The Gilbert C. and Martha G. Tompkins House, 115 Lake Drive, Hewlett NY. Commissioned 1945. Located on the golf course at the Seawane Harbor Club. B/W photos by Ezra Stoller/ESTO. Featured in Architectural Record, September 1947. Sold in 1965 to C. Rosengarten, who added an enclosed porch. Sold in 1973 to Paul J. and Rita G. O'Keefe. Sold in late 1987. A minor fire broke out January 12, 1993. The next day, another fire completely destroyed the house. A contemporary house, not by Breuer, was later built on the site.
1946 - The Layng Martine House, Stamford CT. Was to be built near one of Breuer's properties. Unbuilt, according to Martine's son.
1946 - The Small House Competition plans. Unbuilt.
1946 - The Maas House, Locust Valley, Long Island NY. Unbuilt.
1947 - The Bertram (Bert) and Phyllis Geller House I, 175 Ocean Avenue, Lawrence NY. Commissioned 1944. Breuer called this layout binuclear, separating the living-dining-kitchen area from the sleeping area. Breuer also designed much of the furniture. Built by Gordon Roth. There was a Jackson Pollock painting commisioned for the house, later ending up in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Featured in Arts & Architecture, June 1947, and named PA House of the Year. Architect Leon Rosenthal designed a 1967 pool installation. Deeded to Geller's son and his wife, Burton and Helene Geller. Deeded to Helene Geller. Sold in 1992 to Edward and Laura Labaton, who commissioned alterations by John F. Capobianco. Sold in 2020 to Shimon and Judy Eckstein, who despite promising to save the house as late as December 2021, destroyed it suddenly in January 2022, and it became a tennis court. Second photo by Ezra Stoller, third and fourth by An Rong Zu.
1947 - The Arthur W. and Marion Gordon Thompson House, aka Wonderwood, 232 Country Club Road, Rector/Ligonier PA. Built on top of a small mountain. Marion Thompson met Breuer through her son Roland who was attending Harvard's architecture program. Deeded to their son Gordon Thompson and his wife Jane Reeves Thompson. Featured in L'architecture d'aujourd'hui 23 (September 1952). Sold in 1988 to Harry and Jane Thompson (no relation, purely a coincidence), still owners as of 2016. There was a kitchen renovation and replacement of all the single-pane windows.
1947 - The Lawnhurst House, Greenville NY. Unbuilt.
1948 - The Preston Robinson House, aka the Robinson Estate, 236 Bulkley Street, Williamstown MA. Located on immense acreage. Commissioned in 1946. Featured in: House and Garden, February 1949; and Architectural Record, February 1949. Sold in the 1970s. The new owner asked Breuer's advice and changed the interior colors and substituted the fiber flooring with stone slabs. Sold in 1992 to John and Estelle Kucich. Sold in 2019 to Yvonne P. Hau and Mark Wu.
1948 - The Marcel Breuer Cottage, 634 Black Pond Road, Wellfleet MA. Built by Ernie Rose. In 1961 Breuer and Beckhard added to Breuer's house a separate studio. The addition, which can function as a separate house with its own kitchenette, bathroom, and fireplace, is connected to the original house by an entry porch/ breezeway. Though in essence another complete house, it is comprised of the same materials and details as the main house. Sold in 1992. Sold to Breuer's son, Thomas (Tamas) Breuer. The house was not in very good shape as of 2016. Photos by LIFE Magazine.
1948 - The Marcel Breuer House II, aka the Breuer/Robeck House, 122 Sunset Hill Road, New Canaan CT. Breuer moved to New York City in 1946 and was persuaded by former student Eliot Noyes to build a home in New Canaan in 1947. Unlike other New Canaan Modernist architects, he kept his primary residence in New York City and used the New Canaan house as a vacation retreat. B/W photos by Pedro E. Guerrero. In 1949, the house was featured in Architectural Record.
In 1951, Breuer moved his family to Breuer House III and Russell Roberts became the new owner of Breuer II. In 1964, it was sold to Peter M. and Gertrude M. Robeck. In 1969, a two-car garage was constructed and a swimming pool added in 1971. Between 1985 and 1988, Herbert Beckhard did additions and renovations which doubled the house in size. Sold in 1994 to John R. Horgan.
1949 - The New York Museum of Modern Art Exhibition House, aka MOMA House, aka House in the Museum Garden, erected in the sculpture garden at 4 West 54th Street, New York NY. Built by Murphy-Brinkworth Construction Corporation. Commissioned in 1948. Project architect, William Landsberg. A few years later, Landsberg would build his own Modernist house in Port Washington NY. The House in the Garden plan was devised for middle-income families with two children. Both indoor and outdoor areas are zoned for different activities. Many of Breuer's innovations are incorporated in this house: the butterfly roof; projecting parapets that reach out into space; the tautly designed staircase; vertical wood siding. The kitchen is placed at the center and has a clear view into both living-dining area and the children's playroom. Parents live in the balcony end of the house, the children in the opposite end, visually connected. Moved to the Rockefeller Estate, aka Kykiut, 200 Lake Road, Pocantico Hills, Tarrytown NY. The MOMA House led to many other commissions for Breuer: the Foote House (1949-1950); the Tilley House in Red Bank NJ (1949-1950).
1949 - The Gyorgy Kepes Cottage, 72 Buttry Way, Wellfleet MA. Commissioned in 1948. Kepes was an artist and a friend of Breuer's from the Bauhaus. The design was almost the same as Breuer's own cottage nearby. Built by Ernie Rose.
1949 - The Arthur U. and Edith Hooper House Addition I, 5840 Pimlico Road, Baltimore MD. Featured in House and Garden, April 1951. Sold in 2011 to Mary Azrael. Most of the land was sold. The house is now surrounded by other houses.
1949 - The Alvin R. Tilley House, 174 Conover Lane, Red Bank NJ. Very similar to the MOMA house. Built by Murphy-Brinkworth Construction Corporation. Sold to Kathryn and William McCoy. Sold to Victor Giamanco. Destroyed around 2007. Replaced in 2009 with a 11,000 sf mansion.
1950 - The Donald N. and Dallas f House, 471 Derby-Milford Road, Orange CT. Commissioned in 1949. Built by Emerson Daniels. Stone masonry was used for the base and exterior walls. Color photo by David Sundberg/ESTO. Sold in 2014 to Joseph Satin. Sold in 2018 to Anna Dyson.
1949 - The Jacob (Jack) Marshad House, 204 Cleveland Drive, Croton-on-Hudson NY. According to their daughter, Barbara Marshad Lasky Mitzner, her parents had "seen a house that he had designed in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art. I remember my Dad say that they couldn't get a bank to give them a mortgage because they were afraid of modern design. The house had stone floors throughout most of the rooms and the entire back of the house had large single pane windows (floor to ceiling) which were unheard of at that time. As a child, I remember Mr. Breuer coming over, unannounced to say "Hello" and see how my parents were and to look at the house. While it was not a large house, it was well ahead of its time. My parents filled it with modern furniture from Herman Miller, Eames, George Nakashima, etc." They sold it in the 1970s. Sold in 1998 to Joseph Biber, the third owner, and provided the non-aerial photos.
1949 - The Sidney Wolfson House, aka the Trailer House, County Road 13, 122 Clinton Corners Road, Salt Point NY. Wolfson commissioned Breuer to construct a house using a Spartan Trailer, Mansion Model 30, 1947. He nestled the trailer beneath a pergola. Wolfson commissioned Tip Dorsel in 1960 to build an artist's studio on the property. Photos by Don Freeman. Sold to David Daio and Maureen Conner, who did a restoration, including a larger kitchen, bottom photo. Was a vacation rental. Sold in 2012 to Ashley Mohr and Matthew Mitchell.
1949 - The Arnold and Selma Potter House, 84 Stoneybrook Road, Cape Elizabeth ME. Although the house has since been added onto (a bedroom wing) and the materials stripped back to bare wood from its original coated surface, the form remains intact. Today, the screens are closed in with glass. Sold to Carla Stenberg.
1949 - The Paul Rand Houses, Woodstock and Harrison NY. Built, but during construction Rand and Breuer had a falling out. Status unknown.
1949 - The Stuart and Katherine Scott House, near Scargo Hills Road, Dennis MA on Cape Cod. Commissioned in 1947. In 2009, through a collaborative effort between the Museum of Modern Art, the Cape Cod Times, and the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, the Scott house was located in an unaltered state. The structure still held its original furniture and was still owned by the Scott family, as of 2011 Susan Scott Porter who grew up in the house.
1949 - The Newton J. and Annette Miller Herrick Jr. House, 464 Seeber's Lane, Canajoharie NY. The Herricks admired the Kniffin House and asked Breuer for something similar. The garage was eventually removed and a new three-car version built to the left of the house. A gabled roof eliminated the clerestory windows. Sold in 2011 to Jeffrey and Brenda Hill.
1950 - The H. Elliott and Caroline Foote House, 50 Ridge Drive, Chappaqua NY. Commissioned in 1949. 4400 sf. Variation of the MOMA house. Built by William Lockhardt. Sold to Barbara and Alan Arkin. After they divorced, sold in 1995 to Cheryl and Alexander Ehrlich.
1950 - The Ferry House Cooperative Dormitory, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY.
1950 - The Peter and Karen R. McComb House, 27 Hornbeck Ridge, Poughkeepsie NY. Sold to Arthur and Margery Groten.
1950 - The Walter Paepcke House, aka Aspen House, aka Barrailler Farm, aka Vacation House, Aspen CO. The design consisted of a reinforced concrete wall set between a wall-enclosed area. Unbuilt.
1950 - The John E. and Jessie R. Englund House, Pleasantville NY. Destroyed by fire in 1960.
1951 - The John and Beverly (Bea) Hanson House, 4 Beech Hill Road, Huntington NY. The carport was planned by Breuer for conversion into a three- bedroom, two-bath wing for children at a later date. Another architect did the expansion around 1966. Deeded to son John Blake Hanson and his wife Lenore. As of 2021, seriously deteriorated.
1951 - The Edmund V. Witalis House, Saddle Rock area, Great Neck, Kings Point NY. Commissioned 1948. Built. Possibly Cove Road, needs verification.
1951 - The James H. and Nancy M. Smith, Jr. House, aka North Star Ranch, aka North Star Preserve, 74 Northstar Drive, Aspen CO. Breuer got the commission through fellow Bauhaus student and architect Herbert Bayer, who was friends with James Smith. Commissioned in 1949. Benjamin Spivak, mechanical engineer; Sigman Farkas, engineer; Sam Huddleston, landscape architect; built by Hendricks.
The site has spectacular views down the valley. According to son Morgan Smith, his parents were not happy with the radiant floors, which didn't work properly, and broken pipes, among other probems. He recalls in general the house was cool-looking but not particularly functional. The Smiths eventually withheld payment; the case went into arbitration, and Smith had to pay Breuer some of the money. They did not part on good terms. Breuer did not finish supervision and the house did not appear in the usual architecture publications. The house was open for a public tour in August 1961.
James Smith gave away most of the considerable acreage for a nature preserve in the 1970s. Over time, the house deteriorated and parts were painted pink, presumably from renters. His daughter Joy Smith sold it in 1997. Destroyed. A 2013 Modernist house was built on the site, bottom photo, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson with a definite nod to the former house.
1950 - The Edward E. Mills House, 180 Sunset Hill Road, New Canaan CT. Commissioned in 1949. Addition in 1953 by Breuer. Destroyed.
1950 - The Gerold Lauck House, 880 Lawrenceville Road, Princeton NJ. Based on the MOMA house exhibited in 1949. In the mid-1980s a second owner added space to its southwest corner, extending the slope of the roof. Sold. Sold to Rafi and Sara Segal, who did a years-long renovation starting in 2008. Bottom four photos by Jeff Tryon.
1951 - The Marcel Breuer House III, aka the Breuer/Bratti House, 628 West Road, New Canaan CT. Sometimes referred to as Breuer House II by those who aren't counting his first house in Lincoln MA. 4264 sf. Featured in the New York Times and Holiday Magazine. Sold in 1975 to Gerald O. and Nancy F. Bratti. The Brattis hired Herbert Beckhard to design extensive renovations completed between roughly 1976 and 1982. Those renovations were featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1981, built by Louis Lee. There was a one-story children's wing connected to the main house by an enclosed glass-and-stone corridor (1976); a new garage (1976); swimming pool (1980-1981); a 27'x29' underground poolhouse/guesthouse (1980-1981); and an attached greenhouse (1982). Sold in 1990 to Edward N. and Jeanne S. Epstein. Sold in 1997 to Arlene H. Stern. Sold in 2004 to development company 628 West Road LLC.
Sold in 2005 to Robert and Susan Bishop, saving it from demolition. They removed the addition designed by Beckhard and constructed a freestanding structure designed by Toshiko Mori in 2009 (aka House in Connecticut II). Addition designed with Jolie Kerns; built by Prutting; structural, Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, MEP, Plus Group; civil: McChord Engineering; lighting, Tillett; landscape: Quennell Rothschild; photos by Paul Warchol, Michael Biondo. Featured in Architectural Record, April 2010. Sold in 2018 to Kishore Ponnavolu.
1951 - The Rufus and Leslie C. Stillman House I, 63 Beecher Lane, Litchfield CT. Commissioned in 1950. Breuer designed three houses for Rufus Stillman; this was the first, a hillside house entered from the upper floor. Parents were upstairs; children downstairs. A studio building and a screen porch was added along with a steel framed stair from the living room balcony to a new swimming pool. The Stillmans sold it around the time they moved to Stillman II then bought it back years later. Sold in 2009 to Kenneth Sena and Joseph Mazzaferro who as of 2013 removed the screen porch. Deeded in 2015 to Stillman House LLC, controlled by Sena and Mazzaferro. Bottom photo by Jeremy Bitterman.
1951 - The Howard Pack House, 12 Herkimer Road, Scarsdale NY. Commissioned in 1950. The house was later enlarged by Herbert Beckhard by occupying a part of the rectangular platform, so that the L-scheme became a U-scheme. Sold to Dorothy Pack. Color photos by David Sundberg/ESTO.
1951 - The Gustave and Maria Aufricht Porch Addition, Greacen Point Road, Mamaroneck NY. Contractor: August Nelson. Unsure if built.
1952 - The George Robinson House, Redding Ridge CT. Unbuilt.
1952 - The John and Emily (Em) Tibby House, Port Washington NY. It was a 2,500-square-foot variation of the House in the Museum Garden at MoMA. Unbuilt.
1952 - Anchorage, Alaska. Unauthorized version of the House in the Museum Garden at MoMA. Built.
1952 - The Harry Irvin Caesar and Doris Porter Caesar Cottage, 147 Interlaken Road, Lakeville CT. One of the first uses of tension cables, inspired by sailboat rigging, for deck railings. Sculptor Doris Caesar was Breuer patron Leslie Stillman's mother. Sold in 2015 to John McNiff.
1953 - The Paul Calabi House, 205 Emans Road, Lagrangeville NY. Unbuilt. Calabi instead went with a Modernist design by Aaron Resnick, a Frank Lloyd Wright associate.
1953 - The George and Vera Neumann House, 19 Finney Farm Road, Croton-on-Hudson NY. Bottom photo by Ben Schnall. Indoor pool. Stunning view of the Hudson. Sold in 1983 to Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor. Sold in 2014 to Kenneth Sena and Joseph Mazzaferro who did a full restoration. Sold in 2021 to Mye LLC.
1953 - The Crall House, 7670 Old Mill Road, Gates Mills OH. Has been significantly altered. Sold in 2005 to Ann M. and G. Richard Hunter. Sold in 2014 to Joshua D. Davis and Tina Starkey.
1954 - The Edgar Stillman Beach Cottage I, Wellfleet MA. Commissioned 1954. This long house on stilts was made to fit the unusual site. All structural support comes from widely-spaced posts in outside walls with no interior load-bearing partitions. The house was moved back from the dunes and significantly altered.
1954 - The Harnischmacher II House, Schöne Aussicht 53, Wiesbaden, Germany. Replaced the family's earlier house destroyed in WWII.
1955 - The June Halverson Alworth House, aka the Starkey House, 2620 Greysolon Road East, Duluth MN. Soon after finishing the house, Alworth married Robert J. Starkey. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. Built by J. D. Harrold. Fred Dubin was the mechanical engineer. Weisenfeld and Hayward were the structural engineers. Overlooks Lake Superior. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1958. Sold to Neal and Iola Vanstrom. B/W photos by Ezra Stoller/ESTO.
"People will stop and stare," she says. "But once inside, they say, 'Well, it is nice looking.' They seem surprised. As a matter of fact, I think they are glad we did it. They wouldn't themselves, but they get a kick out of seeing ours." — June Starkey, Time Magazine, 1956
1955 - The Robert P. and Marianne Snower House, 6701 Belinder Avenue, Mission Hills KS. Commissioned in 1954. Sold around 2013 to Robert Barnes and Karen Bisset. Restored by Hufft Projects, bottom two photos.
1955 - The Andy and Jamie Gagarin House I, 144 Gallows Lane, Litchfield CT. Commissioned in 1953. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. 12,200 sf. B/W photos by Ben Schnall. Bottom photo by Otto Baitz. Son Nicholas Gagarin died by suicide in the living room in 1971. Andy Gagarin took up with Nicholas' former girlfriend, Odile Segal, for the next 30 years but Andy and Jamie also stayed together. Renovated. Sold to Walter Holden. Sold to 2003 by Brian Sullivan. Sold to David Gilo. Sold to Mountain Home Properties. Sold in 2010 to Edson Paes. Sold in 2015 to Gallows Lane Ltd., controlled by Paes.
1955 - The Vito Grieco House, 81 Sunset Rock Road, Andover MA. Commissioned in 1954. Featured in Architectural Record, November 1955; and Architectural Record Houses of 1956. Sold in 1962 to Paul and Ruth Kleven. Sold in 2007 to Alfred and Anne Hammond. Sold in 2014 to Andrea Rutherford. Sold in 2022 to Daniel Sewell-Adams and Marie Law-Adams. Top two photos by Ezra Stoller/ESTO.
1955 - The McGinnis Apartment, Biltmore Building, New York NY. Address unknown; do you know where it is? Possibly 271 West 47th Street; needs verification.
1955 - The McGinniss House Renovation, Charlmont MA. This was a lodge with a chimney that dated around 1902. Status and address unknown; do you know where it is?
1956 - The Thomas Karsten House, 34 Caveswood Lane, Owings Mill MD. Sold in 1969 to David and Margot Blum.
1956 - The Marion Levy House, 102 Russell Road, Princeton NJ. Commissioned in 1952. Deeded to the Ley Family Trust. Sold in 2016 to Charlotte Friedman.
1957 - The George and Marian Laaff House, 81 Reservation Road, Andover MA. 3200 sf. Commissioned in 1955. Photos by Ben Schnall. Designed with Herbert Beckhard; Dan Kiley, landscape architect; built by Fichera Construction Company. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1960. Sold around 2005 to Keith Vangeison. Sold in 2008 to Richard and Stephanie Sipley.
1957 - The Marshall House, aka the America Builds Exhibition House, aka the Haus Amerika Baut, Berlin, Germany. Status unknown.
1958 - Recreational Apartments, Tanaguarena, Venezuela. Unbuilt.
1958 - The Bill and Mariana Staehelin House, Feldmeilen, near Zurich, Switzerland. Commissioned in 1956. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. 9000 sf. Willi Neukum, landscape architect. Eberhard Eidenbenz was the project associate in Switzerland. Featured in Architectural Record, January 1960; GA Houses 2. Do you know where it is?
1958 - The Krieger House, 6739 Brigadoon Drive, Bethesda MD. Commissioned in 1956. The landscape architect was Dan Kiley. The Kriegers lived there until 1964. Sold in 1990 to John G. Katinas. Placed on the National Register in 2007.
1958 - The John W. and Arlene P. Mellor House, 956 Snyder Hill Road, Ithaca NY. Bob Gatje was the project architect; Breuer was not really involved in the house. According to their son Mike, Arlene Mellor served as the general contractor coordinating construction. When the couple divorced, Arlene Mellor moved to Florida. Years later, she would return to Ithaca and rent the house. Sold in 2015 to Gordon and Spencer Woodcock.
1959 - The Roy Halvorson Fishing Camp House, Dryberry Lake Island, Kenora, Ontario Canada.
1959 - The Arthur and Edith Hooper House II, 1100 Copper Hill Road, Baltimore MD. Commissioned in 1956. Built by Harry Hudgins; landscape design, Dan Kiley; engineers, Wiesenfeld Hayward Leon. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1961. Sold in 1996 to Richard North. B/W photos by Ben Schnall; middle two photos by Zubin Shroff; bottom by David Sundberg/ESTO.
1959 - The Peter Ustinov House, Vevey, Switzerland. Unbuilt.
1959 - The Holiday House, Aspen CO. Unbuilt. Was to be part of 12 vacation houses.
1960 - The McMullen Beach House, 716 Wildwood Avenue, Ocean Gate NJ. 4400 sf. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. Extensively renovated, with the flat roof gabled, bottom photo. Sold to Gilbert and Brenda Alto. Destroyed in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy.
1961 - The Fairview Heights Apartments, aka Fairview Apartments, 100 Fairview Square, Ithaca NY.
1962 - The Frank Kacmarcik House, 2065 Wildview Avenue, St. Paul MN. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. Kacmarcik lived there until 1983 when he joined a monastery. Sold in 2000 to Christopher Monkhouse. Sold to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Sold in 2008 to Chad Bogdan.
1963 - The Howard Wise Cottage, 445 King Phillip Road, Wellfleet MA. 1600 sf. Designed by Herbert Beckhard. A mirror image of the Breuer Cottage. The breezeway became an important gathering space. Still owned by the Wise family as of 2017. Photos by Joseph Molitor.
1963 - The Van Der Wal House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Featured in Architectural Record, November 1966. Designed with Hamilton Smith. Reinforced concrete construction. Designed to house a considerable art collection. Unbuilt.
1964 - The De Gunzburg Chalets, Megeve, Haute-Savoie, France. Unbuilt.
1965 - The Jacques and Christina Koerfer House, Moscia, Tessin, Switzerland. Commissioned in 1963. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. Overlooks Lake Maggiore. 14,000 sf. Bene Meyer was the structural engineer. Edison Price was the lighting consultant. Construction supervision by Rudolph Frank. Featured in Architectural Record, November 1966. Won a national AIA Award.
1965 - The Rufus and Leslie Stillman House II, 106 Clark Road, Litchfield CT. 9.5 acres. Commissioned in 1964. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. Built by the Hirsch Brothers. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1967. Sold in 2007 to Barbara Dente and Donna Cristina. Restored in 2008. Sold in 2013 to David Zorrow. Sold in 2017 to Rhonda (Ronnie) Sassoon.
1967 - The Arthur and Anne Haft Kreizel Residence Renovation and Addition, 181 Cedar Knoll Drive, Port Washington NY. 3 acres. Commissioned in 1965. Consulting architect, Herbert Beckhard. All chairs were by Breuer. Featured in Architectural Record, July 1968. Photo by Joseph Molitor. Sold around 1970 to Jules V. Lane. Dramatically altered. Sold in 2021 to 181 Cedar Knoll Drive LLC.
1969 - The Soriano House, 10 Close Road, Greenwich CT. Commissioned in 1967. Designed with Tician Papachristou. Greatly expanded. Sold to Judith Goldfarb. Destroyed in 1999.
1969 - The Bert and Phyllis Geller House II, 339 Ocean Avenue, Lawrence NY. 4500 sf. The house is behind 333 Ocean Drive. Commissioned in 1967. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. Featured in Architectural Record, July 1970. Zoldos and Meagher were the engineers. Built by Barnes Building. Azzarone Construction did the concrete. Interiors by Breuer and Beckhard. Landscape architect, Klonsky Associates. Juan Montoya designed an addition with a curved roof, bottom two photos, in 1980. Sold to Joel Boyarsky, who also owned 333 Ocean at one time (see entry below).
1969 - The Arnold T. and Rochelle Rosenberg House, Georgica Close Road, East Hampton NY. Commissioned in 1968. Designed with Herbert Beckhard and Jeff Vandenberg. Sold in 1987 to Thomas Flynn who expanded the house. Photos by Joseph Molitor.
1973 - The David Picker House, Lake Carmel, Kent NY. Work ceased on the house in 1973 to be resumed in a year. Unsure if ever built to Breuer's plan.
1973 - The Louis Sayer House, aka Saier House, aka Maison Sayer, La Huderie, 14950 Glanville-Calvados, France. Commissioned in 1972. Designed with Italian architect Mario Jossa, it was the realization of the unbuilt Ustinov House in Vevey, Switzerland. Featured in Architectural Record, August 1977. Built by Enterprise Marion. Engineers, Cabinet Dufromont.
1973 - The Andrew (Andy) S. and Jamie Gagarin House II, 108 Gallows Lane, Litchfield CT. Just west of Gagarin I. Deeded to heirs when Jamie died in 2016. Sold in 2016 to Declan Lane (Kyra and Rob Hartnett).
1974 - The Rufus and Leslie Stillman House III, 56 Clark Road, Litchfield CT. Commissioned in 1973. Breuer's Wellfleet Cottage was duplicated as a guest house on the property, (black walled building, bottom photo). Built by Rufus Stillman. Sold in 1999 to Rodney Steinweg.
1974 - The Rufus and Leslie Stillman Cottage, aka Roman Cottage, 95 Wheeler Road, Litchfield CT. Built by Rufus Stillman. There has been an addition, not by Breuer, and a new pool. Sold in 1976 to Toby Moffett. Sold in 1998. Sold in 2004 to Kenneth and Joseph Mazzaferro. Deeded to Kenneth Sena.
1975 - The Andrew (Andy) Gagarin House, 54670 Highway 1, Big Sur CA. 600 sf. Designed primarily by Herbert Beckhard and Thomas Hayes. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1979. Deeded after Gagarin's death in 2002 to his girlfriend, Odile Segal, still owner as of 2019.
1977 - aka Twelve Bikes House, 782 Red Barn Road, White River Junction VT. Designed with Herbert Beckhard. Used by two families and was also a rental. Sold around 2016. Status unknown.
1978 - The ITT Palm Coast Condominiums, Flagler Beach FL. Unbuilt. Overseen by Beckard.
1979 - The Joel and Barbara Boyarsky House Renovation, 333 Ocean Avenue, Lawrence NY. Original house built in 1963. Breuer did the renovation, according to both Joel and Barbara. Sold to Morton and Marlene Krieger. Destroyed around 2020.
1980 - The Arthur and Francine Cohen House, 284 Redmond Road, South Orange NJ. Commissioned in 1971. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1978. Interiors, Jane Yu; built by Steven Scott; Herbert Beckhard was the project architect; photos, Gil Amiaga. Sold in 2020 to Dale and Lois Schreiber.
1981 - The Amando and Maria Garces House, Cali, Colombia. Unsure if built. The partner in charge was Tician Papachristou.
1982 - The Eggleston House, 8 Long Meadow Road, Bedford NY. Breuer died during design and build. Bob Gatje, project architect. Sold to Yvonne Pollack.
1984 - The Laurie and Peter Schwartz House, 36 Beachside Avenue, Westport CT. The design is attributed to Breuer, who was dead several years by that point; the project architect was Herbert Beckhard. As of 2011 still owned by the Schwartzes.
Sources include: Archives of American Art; New Canaan CT NTHP Breuer Archive; Marcel Breuer: Buildings and Projects; Sun and Shadow: The Philosophy of an Architect; Smithsonian Archive of American Art; Architecture without Rules: Houses of Breuer and Beckhard; Peter McMahon; 2G magazine's Marcel Breuer American Houses edition; Breuer Archives at Syracuse; Rochelle Rosenberg.