August 16, 2023

MidCentury Marvels in Connecticut: Hidden Architectural Treasures

MidCentury Marvels in Connecticut: Hidden Architectural Treasures

Table Of Contents


Connecticut is home to some stunning examples of Mid Century Modern architecture. Though often overlooked, these sleek, geometric structures offer a unique look at post-World War II design, and are often nestled quietly into quiet, forested neighborhoods. For buyers interested in modernist homes or who have a strong appreciation for classic American architecture, owning one of these unique midcentury properties is an opportunity that can’t be missed.

In this article, we’ll run through the unique architectural culture surrounding Connecticut’s scattered midcentury masterpieces, as well as look at how best to find yourself a beautiful midcentury property in a limited market.

Mid Century Modern Architecture in Connecticut

MidCentury Modern architecture emerged in the 1930s and flourished in the post-war period of the 1940s-1960s. The style embraces simple, clean lines and incorporates natural light and indoor-outdoor connections. Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Usonian” homes of the 1930s-1950s helped define Mid Century ideals like open floor plans and minimal ornamentation, which have remained popular with architects and designers to this day. Wright’s presence in New Canaan influenced many Connecticut architects.

The original wave of midcentury architecture in Connecticut began following World War II. Connecticut’s post-war economic prosperity enabled a building boom, and Mid Century homes sprouted up across New Canaan, Wilton, and other Fairfield County suburbs.

Common Mid Century Architectural Features

Mid Century homes showcase hallmarks like:

  • 1

    Open Floor Plans

  • 2

    Floor-to-ceiling windows

  • 3

    Minimal exterior ornamentation

  • 4

    Integration with nature

  • 5

    Flat or low-pitched roofs

  • 6

    Funky diamond, hexagon, or triangle patterns

Notable Mid-Century Modern Homes in Connecticut

The John Black Lee House

Hugh Newell Jacobsen, 1969

Tucked away in New Canaan, the John Black Lee House represents a unique interpretation of MidCentury Modern design. Jacobsen implemented an unusual wedge-shaped layout that accentuates the home’s connection to the outdoors. Full-height triangular corner windows flood the interior with abundant natural light while providing views of the surrounding woods. The dynamic roofline adds visual interest, with raised sections that increase the light within. Wood paneling and brick floors lend warmth to the interior in harmony with the natural setting.

Richard T Foster’s Round House

Richard T Foster, 1969

This unique circular home in New Canaan stands apart from other midcentury designs. The layout centers around a dramatic curved wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that provides panoramic forest views. The circular motif repeats in the home’s details, like the spiral staircase, domed skylights, and ringed overhangs

Various Buildings at Yale University

Louis Kahn, 1960s

Dotted throughout downtown New Haven, these building brilliantly contrast the traditional stonework of most of Yale’s campus. While critics have derived the large, vaguely brutalist inspired buildings as “resembling Kleenex boxes,” in the years since they have become ubiquitous representations of New Haven’s downtown architecture.

Exterior photo, Yale University Art Gallery, Louis Kahn

Image Courtesy of New Haven Preservation Trust

Finding Your Own Mid Century Marvel

For buyers enamored with Mid Century design, Connecticut offers many avenues to locate your dream home:

Real Estate Listings

Specialized sites like Atomic Ranch and Dwell can help uncover hidden MidCentury gems. Agents knowledgeable about Connecticut’s architecture are also invaluable resources. If you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you find a mid century home in Connecticut, I’m happy to be a resource. 

Architectural Tours

Annual home tours in New Canaan, Wilton, and other towns showcase some of Connecticut’s best Mid Century Modern dwellings. These events offer rare access to privately-owned homes.

Preservation Groups

Organizations like Connecticut’s Mid-Century Modern Home Survey work to document and preserve notable homes. Members have deep insight into the state’s modernist legacy. Networking with these groups is a great way to find yourself fast-tracked to owning these exclusive properties.

With a bit of persistence, you can find your own Mid Century Marvel hidden in the Connecticut suburbs. These postmodern dwellings with retro style may be uncommon, but they are out there waiting.


Mid Century Modern architecture made a lasting impact in Connecticut through the works of Wright, Johansen, Jacobsen and other luminaries. For buyers who appreciate clean lines and open plans, Connecticut’s sleek, airy homes offer the perfect Marriage of vintage style and timeless livability.

What Connecticut towns have the most available MidCentury homes on the market?2023-08-16T20:08:01+00:00

New Canaan, Wilton, Westport, and Darien currently have the most options, but inventory changes. An agent can help you identify potential pockets of availability.

How can I find a real estate agent experienced with MidCentury homes in Connecticut?2023-08-16T20:07:47+00:00

Search for agents listed on historical home sites or specializing in architectural properties. Interview agents about their background with MidCentury houses, preservation experience, and inventory knowledge.

How can I find out if a home is designated historic?2023-08-11T16:33:02+00:00

Search the National Register of Historic Places and check with your city and county assessor’s office to see if the home is individually listed or part of a historic district.

What financing options are best for buying a historic home?2023-08-11T16:32:48+00:00

Conventional mortgages, FHA loans, and home equity loans can all work. Talk to lenders specializing in historic properties about options like construction loans or renovation financing.

What kind of professionals should inspect a historic home?2023-08-11T16:32:30+00:00

In addition to a general home inspector, consider hiring specialists like a preservation architect, structural engineer, and HVAC/plumbing professionals used to working on old homes.

Can I make additions to a historic home in Connecticut?2023-08-11T16:32:14+00:00

Additions are possible but must be approved by the local historic commission. Make sure to follow guidelines on placement, size, height, materials, and design compatibility.

Meet Sarah Perrotti


Based in Litchfield County, Connecticut, Sarah is a distinguished full-time realtor specializing in luxury properties and concierge services tailored to discerning buyers and sellers.

With a Masters degree in Social Work, Sarah brings a unique perspective to real estate, ensuring confidentiality and seamless transactions.


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Meet Sarah Perrotti


Based in Litchfield County, Connecticut, Sarah is a distinguished full-time realtor specializing in luxury properties and concierge services tailored to discerning buyers and sellers.

With a Masters degree in Social Work, Sarah brings a unique perspective to real estate, ensuring confidentiality and seamless transactions.

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