Director of US Programs World Monuments Fund
An important aspect of the Glass House property is that it contains 8 buildings designed by Philip Johnson and built over a span of 50 years, expressing his development from an architectural student to one of America’s premier architects. Over that half century, Johnson changed the appearance of some of the buildings from their original design.
Are properties like the Glass House more valuable educational tools with the buildings presented as originally intended, or as they have been changed over time?
Building Conservation Consultant
Jeremy gave the final word
This is one of the fundamental questions of building conservation and has provoked more debate and possibly even argument than any other subject relating to historic buildings.
The way we respond to buildings is very emotive but when dealing with something that might be around for hundreds of years, we must not be impulsive. We should not alter things just because it would be nicer but should also consider if it would be better.
I think there is no generally correct answer. Each building must be considered on its own merit. In the case of the Glass House the fact that the architect himself altered the building shouldn’t necessarily have any bearing on a decision.
I think the fact that the question has been posed here already indicates the educational value of the buildings in their current form. And I suggest that if you could stand a group of students in front of the Glass House in its present state and put this question to them, then the learning benefit of that is invaluable.
Friday, February 11 at 5:05am
Selected list of words appearing in this and other conversations.