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May 1, 2023

“Lifestyle site Thrillist set out to find the most beautiful building in each state and Philip Johnson's New Canaan Glass House got the nod for Connecticut,” reported CT Insider. The Glass House, internationally famous for its design is also a landmark in the history of historic preservation and the history of the LGBTQ community. To celebrate May as historic preservation month and June as LGBTQ Pride month, here’s the story of its owner and designer Philip Johnson and his Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.


Our guest for today’s episode is Gwen North Reiss, who has conducted many interviews for the Glass House oral history project and worked for several years as an Educator, conducting tours of the 49-acre National Trust for Historic Preservation site. Her article for CT Explored—Philip Johnson's 50-year Experiment in Architecture and Landscape—was published in the winter of 2020.  She has written many articles on modern architecture in New Canaan especially during the early 2000s when New Canaan’s experimental modern houses were being demolished.

Read her story here:

Read more about Philip Johnson here:

To learn more about the Glass House and to book a tour, go to

Photo Credit: Michael Biondo


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This episode of Grating the Nutmeg was produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan at


Donohue may be reached at