Paul Rudolph's Louis Micheels House, 16 Minute Man Hill, Westport, Fairfield County, CT
Significance: The house, built for Dr. and Mrs. Louis Micheels in 1972, was the creation of architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997). Rudolph had been chairman of the Yale Department of Architecture from 1958-1965 and designed a number of buildings in Connecticut. After leaving Yale, he continued to develop a reputation for complex and richly textured buildings with a rich variety of spatial effects and went on to build an international practice. In the words of Michael Sorkin, ,Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York: "Rudolph's architecture often used relatively simple means to achieve environments of astonishing complexity. He had no peer in his deft and dramatic articulation of the flow of space, and to visit any of his beautiful works is to embark on a rich and revealing architectural journey." In the Micheels House, this complexity of architectural scenery was achieved with white wallboard on the interior, and stucco studded with arctic quartz gravel on the exterior, combining the roughness of Rudolph's Brutalist designs with the all-white floating qualities of later works. Sited so that every room would share panoramic views to Long Island Sound, the house sat atop Compo Hill, firmly anchored to the earth at one end but cantilevered at the other, where the Master Bedroom, supported only by the slender piers, seemed to float above the ground. The result, again according to Sorkin, "shows Rudolph's characteristic orientation and climate, and his unshakable dedication to joyful living."
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N1548
Survey number: HABS CT-475
Building/structure dates: 1972 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 2007 Demolished