Our tour concluded at da Monsta, the first building you see when you
arrive onto the property. Unlike Philip Johnson’s other buildings,
this one does not have any right angles as our guided pointed out. It
also has terrible acoustics! Compared with the current visitor center
located in downtown New Canaan, da Monsta would not have served well
as an efficient use of space. It did have AC though and it was a great
relief to step in and chill out.
Beyond da Monsta building is a vernacular house named Grainger after
David Whitney’s middle name. It houses Whitney’s pottery and craft
There is also another vernacular house called Popestead, and this is
where Johnson’s mother and sister stayed when they came to visit –
sorry no pictures of this.
I enjoyed the tour despite my opinion of Mr. Johnson. I do understand
that he had the financial ability to do what he did, and I suppose
that in itself was fantastic as it helped to open doors to styles that
perhaps people may be apprehensive about because it was never done
before. At the same time, I can’t help but come away thinking even
more so that PJ was not at all an innovative architect that deserved
to be put on such a high pedestal. I just thought that all the
buildings he designed on the property were just pretentious if not an
out right mockery of the architects whose ideals and styles he stole
or copied. Just my opinion….I’m sure there’s someone out there who
disagree. If so, please a comment!