Walk in the footsteps of Westport’s Patriots!

This historic walking tour on Sept. 28 from 3 pm to 4 pm is the perfect opportunity for history buffs to learn about one of Westport’s oldest settled areas, some homes of which date to the mid-1700s. 

Originally, Kings Highway North was part of a postal road laid out between New York and Boston in 1762. Kings Highway North was established as a local historic district in 1972 and named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. It encompasses 106 “contributing buildings” – structures that add to the district’s historical qualities – and four historic sites.  The historic sites include a small triangular green at the intersection of Old Hill Road and Kings Highway North that was used as a military drill ground. 

Ed Gerber, Past President of WHS will be accompanied on the tour by Edward Hynes, a specialist on the history of Westport during the American Revolution. Hynes will discuss the planned ambush by Continental troops under Benedict Arnold to fire cannons from the high ground on Old Hill down on British soldiers returning from a raid on Danbury to prevent them from crossing the river on the bridge below. But the British outsmarted the Colonials and crossed upriver near the site of present Ford Road. 

Online pre-registration $8 for members, $12 for non-members. Day of admission $10 for members, $15 for non-members.  Tickets are nonrefundable. In the event you must cancel, we will consider your purchase a donation and will happily issue you a donation receipt. Register online here or call (203) 222-1424 x5.  Meet on the green across from the cemeteries at the foot of Old Hill Road; park along Kings Highway North. The tour covers 1-2 miles of sidewalk walking, please bring water and suitable outdoor attire.

Fall Barn Talks @ Hollister House Garden

On the heels of a successful spring program, Hollister House Garden announces their fall series of educational lectures. The lecture series known as “Barn Talks” at Hollister House Garden has been developed to inform and inspire gardeners and garden lovers. Guest presenters are horticultural industry professionals with decades of experience, who will share their passion and knowledge on topics of interest to gardeners.

The fall series line-up is as follows:

Saturday, September 28th Sermons in Stone: The Stone Walls of New England and New York

Presented by Susan Allport, science writer turned baker whose books have focused on the world around her. Her book, Sermons in Stone: The Stone Walls of New England and New York has been praised as a “well-written, fascinating contribution to the region’s social and economic history”.

Sermons in Stone is the enthralling story of the stone walls that are everywhere in New England. It is a story that begins in the Ice Age and that has been shaped by the fencing dilemmas of the nineteenth century, by conflicts between Native Americans and colonists over land use and by American waves of immigration and suburbanization. In this surprising and illuminating talk Susan Allport will illustrate how these walls are much more than monuments to the skill of Yankee farmers.

Saturday, October 5 Forcing Bulbs for Winter Delight

Presented by Page Dickey, garden writer, lecturer designer, and board member at Hollister House Garden.

If you follow beloved author and passionate gardener Page Dickey on Instagram you are familiar with the pots of beautiful blooms that decorate Church House in the winter. In this illustrated talk and demonstration Page will show us that a great variety of the bulbs we buy in the fall can be potted up in October and put somewhere cold (a cold frame, cellar steps, a refrigerator) for about 12 weeks, then brought out to light and sun and coaxed into bloom for the winter months. Less expensive and much more delightful than florist flowers to decorate your house! Page will show you how she has been forcing bulbs for years and she will share her favorite ones.

Saturday, October 12th Overwintering Houseplants – Growing Techniques that Work

Presented by Barbara Pierson, Horticulturist and Nursery Manager at White Flower Farm where she is the face and voice of many of the how-to gardening videos on their website.

Flowering and foliage houseplants thrive outdoors during the summer months and the transition to the indoor home environment for winter can be challenge. In this illustrated talk Barb Pierson will share species-specific growing instructions and simple techniques to ensure that your favorite plants remain happy all year!

Barn Talks take place on Saturday mornings from 10-11:30 am in the barn at Hollister House Garden. Reservations are suggested and can be made online at www.hollisterhousegarden.org/lectures.

HHG members $25, Non-members $35/$40 at the door.

Hollister House Garden is a non-profit corporation and one of only 16 exceptional gardens designated a Preservation Project by the Garden Conservancy, whose mission is to identify and preserve important private gardens across America for the education and enjoyment of the public. In 2010 Hollister House achieved its prestigious listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The property has also been named a Town Landmark Site by the Town of Washington.

Hollister House Garden is open to visitors April 26th through October 12th. Wednesday and Friday hours are 1-4PM and Saturdays 10-4PM. Private group visits are welcome weekdays by appointment only. Directions to the garden’s 300 Nettleton Hollow Road location are also available on the website.

New One Hour Autumn Afternoon Tours @ Glass House

As they say, time is of the essence and sometimes we just don’t have enough of it! With this in mind, the Glass House in New Canaan Connecticut has added a special one-hour tour of the property in September and October.

The Glass House, or Johnson House, designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1997 is a historic house museum in New Canaan, Connecticut built-in 1948–49. It was designed by Philip Johnson as his own residence, and “universally viewed as having been derived from” the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois design, according to Alice T. Friedman. It was an important and influential project for Johnson and for modern architecture. The building is an example of minimal structure, geometry, proportion, and the effects of transparency and reflection. The estate includes other buildings designed by Johnson that span his career.

This fall the Glass House has added a one-hour afternoon tour in September and October. It is billed as the most concise tour of this magnificent property that will focus on the Glass House and its promontory, with minimum walking.

All tours originate from the Visitors Center and Design Store at 199 Elm Street, New Canaan. Tours are taken to and from the site in a shuttle from the Visitor Center. Tickets are required for admission so it is best to check ticket availability and reserve a ticket prior to your visit. The one-hour tour is available on Monday and Friday at 9:45 a.m. and in September and October on Thursday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Torrington House Tour features Six Homes Sept. 28

Once again on Saturday, September 28, The Torrington Historical Society is hosting a house tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This house tour includes the following six houses that provide house tour participants with a variety of architectural styles. Tickets are available online and on the day of the tour. Check-in is at the NW CT Chamber of Commerce located on 333 Kennedy Drive in Torrington. For online tickets https://www.torringtonhousetour.org/touroverview.html.

William Shotola House, 1947
This attractive house in a well-preserved north end neighborhood was built just after WWII for William Shotola, the assistant sales manager for the Torrington Company. It was constructed in the colonial revival style and is unique for the use of clinker brick on the exterior. The home is beautifully decorated with a mix of antique and contemporary furnishings and creative paint colors.

Lorrain Thrall house, ca. 1825
This Greek Revival style farmhouse was built around 1825 by Lorrain Thrall, a successful farmer. The exterior is high style and very well preserved. Over time, the home underwent renovations and additions but the house still has much of its early 19th-century character as evidenced by the original wide board flooring and distinctive wood moldings. It is exceptionally well furnished and decorated.

F.L. Dougal House, ca. 1914
This architect-designed colonial revival home was built in 1914 for F.L. Dougal who was a foreman at the Coe Brass Branch of American Brass. The home has been meticulously restored on the outside retains many of the original interior features including oak woodwork, original chandeliers, butler’s pantry and built-in dining room cupboard.

Homer Thrall House, ca. 1902
This well-preserved historic home in the Wilson Ave neighborhood was built around 1902 for Homer Thrall an employee of the Excelsior Needle Company. This house is architecturally classified as an American Four Square. The house retains its original character outside and inside. The spacious interior features original oak woodwork, hardwood floors, and an impressive fireplace mantel.

William J. Allison House, 1957
A post-WWII boom in new, single-family housing led to the creation of Torcon Drive in the mid-1950s. William J. Allison, a machine operator at the Torrington Company, is listed as the first owner of this house in 1957. His daughter Shirley lived here until 2015. The home has hardwood floors and is furnished in a stylish mid-century modern aesthetic well suited to contemporary tastes.

Doolittle House, ca. 1850
Returning by popular demand from our first house tour, this mid 19th century home is a real gem. The house was constructed in the Greek Revival Style. The current owners have restored the 1850 house with its original moldings and wide floorboards. A new kitchen was created within the historic home and a great room addition was added. The home blends historic preservation with new construction.

39th Annual Faber Birren National Color Award Show Opens Sept. 22

The Stamford Art Association will present the “39th Faber Birren Color Award Exhibit” at its Townhouse Gallery, 39 Franklin Street, Stamford CT September 22 through October 24, 2019, and the opening reception will take place on Sunday, September 22 from 4-6 pm.

This amazing show will highlight the work of 45 national artists that will present their interpretations of color in this juried multimedia art exhibit. The exhibit honors Faber Birren, world-renowned color theorist and former Stamford, CT resident. He wrote extensively on color and published 40 books and over 250 articles on the subject. This competition is the only artistic event devoted exclusively to the use of color.

In 1980 Faber Birren endowed the Stamford Art Association with $1000 to create a juried exhibit for an original and creative expression of color. $2000 in cash awards will be presented at the opening reception. Some of the prize money has been donated by the family of Faber Birren and family and friends in memory of Diane Etienne Faxon, a founding member of the Stamford Art Association, who worked with Faber Birren to start the exhibitions.

The juror for this exhibit is Dr. Meridith A. Brown, Senior Curatorial Research Associate in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she organizes exhibitions of contemporary art.

The Glass House Presents SNØHETTA Sept. 26

The Glass House in New Canaan is inviting guests to a program curated by architect Craig Dykers of Snøhetta, architecture critic Paul Goldberger, and historian John Maciuika for a conversation about preservation, living buildings, and the public realm, including Snøhetta‘s revitalization of the Philip Johnson-designed 550 Madison tower and public spaces in New York. There will be a self-guided tour of the Glass House Site from 5:30 – 6:30 pm, followed by a lecture from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm and a reception from 7:30 pm – 8 pm.

Rendering of 550 Madison. (c) Moare & Snøhetta Courtesy of the Glass House

As one of the Founding Partners of Snøhetta, Craig Dykers has led many of Snøhetta’s prominent projects internationally, including the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York City, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion in California, and Calgary’s new Central Library in Canada. Recently, Craig has led the design of the new pedestrian plazas in Times Square and The French Laundry Kitchen Expansion and Garden Renovation in Yountville.

Dykers’ work has led to numerous international awards, including the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize of Architecture, two World Architecture Awards, and the Aga Kahn Award for Architecture. He is a Recipient of the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Architecture, the Grosch Medal in Norway, and the AIA Gold Medal for the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion.

Paul Goldberger, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, spent fifteen years as the architecture critic for The New Yorker and began his career at the New York Times, where he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism for his writing on architecture. Goldberger is the author of many books, most recently Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, Why Architecture Matters, Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, and Up From Zero. Goldberger is also completing a new book on the architecture of American baseball parks to be published next year. He is also the chairman of the Advisory Council of the Glass House and the Joseph Urban Professor of Design and Architecture at the New School.

John V. Maciuika specializes in the history of modern architecture and design. He teaches courses in the history of art, architecture, urbanism, the decorative arts, and design at the City University of New York’s Baruch College and at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research interests include the relationship between architecture and cultural identity; shifting narratives of the “modern” over time in architecture and design; the sociology of the design professions; and the cultural politics of architecture in particular national settings.