What Are America’s Most Iconic Homes?- page 8 | History | Smithsonian
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(Model by Studios Eichbaum + Arnold, 2010. Photo by Museum staff.)

What Are America’s Most Iconic Homes?

According to the National Building Museum, these houses, more than most, have impacted the way we live

The Glass House

The Glass House Connecticut
(Model by Studios Eichbaum + Arnold, 2007. Photo by Museum staff.)
Over a 50-year period, architect Philip Johnson used his 47-acre property in New Canaan, Connecticut, as an architectural laboratory of sorts. He built 14 modernist structures, including his famous Glass House.

Built in 1949, the Glass House is a single room surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Johnson once said that he wanted the outside landscape to be “wallpaper, where the sun and the moon and the stars make different patterns.”

The Glass House hasn’t been a popular design to copy, as most homeowners do not want to feel so exposed. “But the impact of that house does ripple out into culture at large,” says Donald Albrecht, also a guest curator of the exhibition. “It can be argued that the use of glass walls is reflected in suburban homes that have patios and sliding glass doors.”

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