An hour out of Manhattan, this city in affluent Fairfield County has one of many highest median household incomes in the US.
New Canaan wields actual inventive and architectural clout: The feted sculptor Solon Borglum settled right here within the early 20th century, and the celebrated Silvermine Arts Middle is a product of the colony he based.
The Harvard 5, a gang of early Modernist architects, made a long-lasting impression on New Canaan’s residential townscape within the 1940s and 50s, constructing houses with open ground plans and utilizing progressive supplies.
One of many 5, Philip Johnson designed himself the visionary Glass Home, which opens for excursions and isn't to be missed.
1. The Philip Johnson Glass Home
Philip Johnson (1906-2005) constructed himself this Modernist dwelling as a weekend retreat in 1949. Because the identify tells you, the Glass Home has clear glass partitions, and these are on a symmetrical metal construction.
The one utterly non-public component is the brick-lined toilet.
Johnson was a follower of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, serving to the Bauhaus director to return to America in the course of the Nazi regime, and the Glass Home was influenced by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth Home (1947) in Plano, Illinois.
Johnson visited the property for 58 years along with his long-time companion David Whitney, who handed away in the identical 12 months and helped design the grounds, and picked up a lot of the artwork on present.
There’s a alternative of excursions, beginning and ending on the Customer Middle in Downtown New Canaan, essentially the most concise lasting for an hour and essentially the most in-depth happening on weekends and lasting for two.5 hours.
2. Waveny Park
One of many founders of Texaco, Lewis Lapham commissioned this stately Elizabethan-style mansion, often known as “The Citadel” in 1912. Waveny Home is in 300 acres of flowing grounds laid out by Frederick Legislation Olmsted, Jr., and would keep within the household till 1967 when it was offered to New Canaan to change into this distinguished park.
In addition to being a grand place to take a wander, Waveny Park has its fair proportion of facilities, together with an Olympic-size open air-pool and paddle tennis courts.
It’s additionally distinguished in New Canaan’s occasions calendar, staging weekly live shows on Wednesdays in summer time, in addition to the Fourth of July fireworks, performs on the Powerhouse and an annual Easter egg hunt.
The home wants a point out for its mullioned home windows and turreted chimney stacks, and was designed by William Tubby.
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3. Silvermine Arts Middle
Some extent of reference for Fairfield County’s vigorous arts scene, the Silvermine Artwork Middle is an artwork college and exhibition area with 5 galleries.
New Canaan’s Silvermine neighborhood has artwork in its veins, going again to 1908 when the sculptor Solon Borglum relocated right here and established a little bit colony.
The Silvermine Guild of Artists was based in 1922, and the college adopted a few years later and now schedules greater than 100 programs every year.
Exhibitions listed below are accompanied by symposia and panel discussions, and there’s an thrilling program of lectures and visits by artists, in addition to outreach workshops at colleges within the space.
HeART & Thoughts, a landmark exhibition in late 2019, was matched with packages addressing psychological well being points and the therapeutic energy of artwork.
4. Grace Farms
Fully open to the general public, Grace Farms is a non-profit heart devoted to initiatives regarding nature, the humanities, neighborhood, justice and religion.
The primary edifice right here, referred to as The River, is definitely worth the go to alone: Accomplished in 2015, it was designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese structure agency SANAA.
Radiating a way of peace, this lengthy, sinuous construction is created from glass and concrete, with a Douglas fir cover supported by metal pillars.
This homes a 700-seater amphitheater, a tea pavilion, a library, a commons area with a wonderful natural cafe and a sunken courtroom for performing arts and recreation.
Grace Farms is in 77 acres of immaculate grounds, navigated by strolling trails, across the website you'll be able to hunt down modern artwork installations by the likes of Teresita Fernández, Olafur Eliasson and Thomas Demand.
5. New Canaan Historic Society
Documenting the city’s previous, the New Canaan Historic Society (based 1889) owns or operates eight museums and historic buildings, most of that are positioned on the society’s campus on Oenoke Ridge.
Of all of the society’s properties, solely the Little Crimson College Home and the Gores Pavilion (extra under) are off campus.
On the most important location you'll be able to try exhibitions expertly curated from the society’s large collections, and get a style of life in New Canaan in days passed by on the Rock Schoolhouse (1799), Cody Drug Retailer (1845), the City Home (1825), the Hanford-Silliman Home (c. 1764), the Rogers Sculpture Studio (1878) and the Software Museum and Printing Workplace.
The primary exhibit in summer time 2019 was “Sneakers”, with 200 pairs serving to to map out the shoemaking trade in New Canaan, which flourished for greater than a century.
6. New Canaan Nature Middle
There’s 40 acres of restorative landscaped and untended greenery on the New Canaan Nature Middle, containing an arboretum, botanical backyard and nature protect.
The landscaped areas embody a marvellous wildflower backyard, by which 90% of the species are native, together with a herb backyard and a perennial border rising hepatica, Jacob’s ladder, crested iris and bleeding coronary heart.
There’s a 370-square-meter greenhouse to take a look at, whereas out within the pure areas you'll be able to discover two ponds, an historic orchard, moist and dry meadows, cattail marsh and moist and dry woodland.
Lastly the arboretum has a small however admirable assortment counting Swiss stone pine, weeping Norway spruce and moss sawara cypress.
7. Carriage Barn Arts Middle
A 19th-century stone barn in Waveny Park homes this not-for-profit gallery and performing arts venue.
The Carriage Barn Arts Middle showcases native and regional expertise, placing on eight high-profile exhibitions every year, 4 of that are juried and 4 that includes members and invited artists.
All exhibitions are open to the general public and free, though there’s a prompt donation.
Verify the web site for the middle’s wealthy array of packages, together with workshops in watercolours, collage and gouache led by skilled artists.
8. Mead Memorial Park
A city park brimming with facilities, Mead Memorial Park is ready simply off Park Avenue.
For sports activities you’ve obtained lighted and unlighted baseball fields, batting cages, tennis courts and an open-air skating rink below lights in winter.
The playground is unusually huge, and has a separate fenced space for littler kids.
When you’re right here to loosen up you’ll discover picnic areas, a pond and the lately opened Lodge at Mead Park, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and with a beautiful terrace trying over the fields.
9. Browne Wildlife Sanctuary
The New Canaan Land Belief owns a handful of sanctuaries and trails across the city, together with this distant 10 acre parcel of woodland with picturesque vistas of the Grupes Reservoir to the west.
Alongside the quick however candy path there are interpretive boards with details concerning the geology, ecology and the varied human makes use of for the positioning over time.
Right here and there you’ll come throughout some sizeable glacial erratic boulders.
10. Summer season Theatre of New Canaan
Now relocated to Downtown New Canaan, this open-air tent theatre units up throughout in June and July, presenting a professionally produced program of exhibits for audiences of all ages.
Throughout this temporary season there are quick runs of largely Broadway exhibits, in addition to child-oriented leisure and one-night-only performances, all for audiences of round 200. These productions name on recent native expertise each on stage and behind the scenes, working alongside skilled performers and manufacturing employees.
11. Irwin Park
The latest park in New Canaan is on the junction of Wahackme Street and Weed Avenue, in 36 inexperienced acres should you want a dose of chlorophyll.
Irwin Park has come by means of enhancements within the final couple of 12 months and has newly laid down strolling/jogging trails, threading by means of open grassy fields, previous attention-grabbing sculpture and imposing mature bushes.
A great time to be right here is early spring, when the daffodils are a delight.
The attention-catching Modernist constructing at Irwin Park is Gores Pavilion (1960), designed by Landis Gores, a member of the Harvard 5, as a pool home for John Irwin and Jane Watson, who was the daughter of the founding father of IBM.
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The constructing is maintained by the New Canaan Historic Society and opens to the general public within the afternoon from Friday to Sunday between Could and November.
12. Mill Pond Park
On sunny days in summer time this park subsequent to Route 123 is an effective alternative for picnics or to lose your self in a e book for an hour or two.
On the pond’s banks are paths with benches below the quilt of tall pines and hardwood bushes.
The pond is the scene for an annual fishing derby for youths in spring, and in winter turns into the very best place to go ice skating in New Canaan when the lights come on.
This exercise depends on the climate after all, and indicators on the banks will let you recognize when the ice is secure.
13. St Mark’s Episcopal Church
The present St Mark’s was constructed on the northern fringe of New Canaan within the late-1950s, and embedded in its Modernist design are nods to neo-Gothic structure.
Accompanied by a separate bell tower, the church can seat 600 and has a number of beautiful particulars, from the colourful stained glass on three sides to the free-standing altar and floor-to-ceiling reredos adorned with bronze sculpture by Clark Fitzgerald.
Each component was designed purposely for this constructing.
St Mark’s is on leafy grounds and turns into the focus in New Canaan for the Could Truthful, that includes rides, video games, leisure, scrumptious meals (strawberry quick cake after all) and the large Could Truthful White Elephant Tag Sale.
14. Stamford Museum & Nature Middle
A couple of minutes west on the Merritt Parkway within the woods of North Stamford is a museum combining artwork, nature, agriculture and historical past.
The Stamford Museum & Nature Middle is on a former non-public property in 118 acres, ten of that are dwelling to the working Hecksher Farm.
The galleries within the half-timbered Tudor Revival museum constructing are splendidly eclectic, from work by John Singer Sargent, Warhol and Dalí to Native American artifacts, telescopes, classic native pedal automobiles, keys and locks by Stamford’s well-known Yale model and farming implements.
Additionally listed below are necessary collections by Stamford-related artists like Gutzon Borglum (famed for Mount Rushmore) and Reuben Nakian.
On Hecksher Farm you’ll discover heritage livestock breeds, in addition to extra unique animals like burros, llamas and alpacas.
15. New Canaan Halloween Parade
On the Sunday earlier than Halloween is considered one of New Canaan’s most anticipated occasions, and one with children on the coronary heart of the enjoyable.
Wee ones, their dad and mom and even their canines gown up in all method of wacky and spooky outfits and set off down Elm Avenue.
Main the parade is the shiny Previous Trustworthy, a 1924 LaFrance fireplace truck.
There are goodie luggage for youths, in addition to a number of leisure and stay music.
Grandparents and native residents line the road to cheer the parade on.