The house was built in 1949 on the territory of the personal estate of the architect in New Kaneen, and until now only his guests could see it: Johnson's estate is fenced off by a high wall. This has always caused great regret both for specialists and the general public, who dream of seeing one of the most original buildings of the 20th century.
Back in 1986, Philip Johnson transferred his estate to the National Trust for the Preservation of Historical Heritage, but this organization for the protection of monuments became entitled to manage his property only after the death of the architect and his friend David Whitney in 2005.
It has now been decided that starting from April 2007 there will be guided tours for groups of no more than nine people, upon prior request. They will be able to visit not only the "Glass House" itself, but also two more buildings on the estate, where works of art from the unique collection of Philip Johnson are kept.
The National Trust plans to open an architecture school on the estate, as well as hold exhibitions and supplement the architect's collection with new exhibits acquired with public funds. Thus, says the director of the new museum, Christy McLear, he will be able to avoid stagnation and keep up with the times, constantly attracting visitors.
But the "Glass House" itself will remain the same as it was under Johnson: on the wall of the central brick block hangs the only non-avant-garde painting from the architect's collection, "The Burial of Phocion" by Nicolas Poussin, there are samples of furniture designed by Mies van der Rohe, a lamp in in a Bauhaus design style, the New York Times early 2005 is in the wastebasket. About this early construction, the architect said: “Good or bad, big or small, this thing is the purest of all that I have created in my life in architecture. Everything else is spoiled by three issues: customers, functionality, and money. There was none of this here."