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Architect Arthur Witthoefft designed this house in 1957 for his family. Considered a modern masterpiece, it received a First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. It is in the International style which began in Europe with the Bauhaus and flourished in the U.S. with the works of mid-century architects such as Philip Johnson, Mies Van Der Rohe, and their contemporaries. This one story, flat roofed house uses structural steel, glazed white brick and cement as its vocabulary of the "machine age." Sited on a wooded lot high on a rock outcropping overlooking watershed land, it provides the house with both privacy and a serene setting.

Witthoefft House

Monochrome, Monochrome photography, Outdoor table, Black-and-white

Witthoefft House

Plant, Tree, Building, Window

Witthoefft House

Tire, Wheel, Plant, Property

Completed in 1957, the Witthoefft serves as an example of awareness in Modern architecture. Following an exhibition of Modern art at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), there was a growth in interest in a new international style. Pieces of European architectural designs were combined to create a new style. Following the commencement of World War II in 1939, many European modernist architects fled to the United States which brought forth the demand for modern designs. This house is significant because it is one of the earliest examples of the modernist style used for residential homes and not commercial buildings. 

The original owner of the house was its architect, Arthur Witthoefft. Witthoefft was born in Chicago in 1918 and attended the University of Illinois. He graduated in 1948 with a degree in architecture and then continued his education at Cranbrook Academy of Art. After obtaining a master’s degree in urban design, Wittoefft worked with the designer of the World Trade Center buildings Minoru Yamasaki for two years until he moved to New York City. 

It wasn't until 1957 that Witthoefft designed a household to live in with his family. The house has a sleek design and was furnished by Arthur Witthoefft’s wife Eleanor Witthoefft who was an interior designer. The couple lived in this house from 1957 to 1989 and raised their four children there. This house received an award from the American Institute of Architects First Honor award in 1962.

1.Danz, Emst-Joachim. Architecture of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1950-1962. New York: Monacelli, 2009. Print

2.National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, Witthoefft House, Westchester County Historical Society Archives, Accessed December 23, 2020

3.Smith, Elizabeth, and Peter Goessel. Case Study Houses: The Complete CSHProgram. New York: Taschen, 2002. Print

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Westchester County Historical Society

The Modern Home

The Modern Home