On the Market: Midcentury modern built buy noted architect

WESTON — It’s said that “curiosity killed the cat,” an idiom meaning that “inquisitiveness can lead one into dangerous situations,” according to www.phrases.org.

Prospective homebuyers, especially those with an interest in midcentury modern construction, should not be intimidated by the phrase. They should inquire about the house at 18 Curiosity Lane, a private roadway in Lower Weston.

The only danger they are likely to face is the loss of the house to another bidder if they don’t act in a timely manner. The same website says the phrase is often followed by “satisfaction brought it back.” The next buyer of this house will be satisfied with this home’s unique design and provenance, and its location.

The house, comprising an exterior and interior of natural cypress, was designed in 1949 by prominent midcentury architect Joseph Salerno (1915-1981). The noted local architect, who was renowned throughout the world, built this home for his own family and as his studio, according to the listing agent.

Salerno received an award from the American Institute of Architects for his work on the Curacao Inter-Continental Hotel in the Netherlands Antilles. He also gained respect locally for his residential and other designs, notably the Weston Public Library, which is within easy walking distance of this house.

Additionally, Salerno designed the New Canaan house of popular 1950s-era photographer Pedro E. Guerrero, who worked with iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for about 20 years. Guerrero photographed a Westport house that was designed by Salerno. Those photos and a brief narrative about it appears in “A Treasury of Contemporary Houses,” published by F.W. Dodge Corp. in 1954.

This contemporary house at the end of the Curiosity Lane cul-de-sac is the epitome of “less is more,” according to the listing agent.

Salerno was well ahead of the tiny house trend, which only began about a decade ago. There are four rooms and 864 square feet of living space in this house, which can be enjoyed as it was built or the next owner can bring to fruition the hand-drawn addition designed by the architect himself.


STYLE: Mid-Century Modern

ADDRESS: 18 Curiosity Lane, Weston

PRICE: $465,000


FEATURES: 2.08-acre level and sloping property, Zen garden, located on a cul-de-sac, passive solar energy, extra insulation, programmable thermostat, dual pane windows, new roof, new heating system, new hot water heater, new water filtration system, flagstone patio, wood deck, newly renovated kitchen, open floor plan, instant hot water tap, one stone fireplace, bath grab bars; easy walk to the center of Weston, public schools, Weston Public Library, and Peter's Weston Market; central air conditioning, oil heat, private well, partial basement, ample off-street parking, Westport beach rights, two bedrooms, one full baths

SCHOOLS: Hurlbutt Elementary, Weston Middle, Weston High

ASSESSMENT: $260,180

MILL RATE: 32.37 mills

TAXES: $8,422

The house sits on a 2.08-acre level and sloping wooded property containing a peaceful Zen garden and flagstone paths. It contains energy efficient features including passive solar energy, extra insulation, instant hot water tap, and a programmable thermostat, as well as insulated duet drapes in the living room.

The house was meticulously maintained and imbued with tasteful updates throughout while many of its authentic features remain. Among its improvements are the newly renovated kitchen, new roof, new heating system, new hot water heater, new water filtration system and refinished bath tub surface including safety features.

There is a flagstone patio with a fieldstone sitting wall and a wood deck for relaxing views of the surrounding woodlands. The patio and deck can be accessed from two sets of French doors in the living room, which also features a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. There is an enclosed courtyard accessed via French doors in the office.

Walls of windows provide attractive views from every room including the kitchen and laundry room. In fact, the agent said, this home was designed to draw the outside in through the abundant use of glass. Even the two bedrooms encourage indoor-outdoor living. One has a door to a private deck and the other to its own patio.

The agent called Curiosity Lane a quiet enclave of eight homes. She said this house is ideal for weekend getaways, year-round living or just a day in the country, only 60 miles from midtown Manhattan.

For information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Susan Leone of Higgins Group Real Estate at 203-209-2075 or susan@susanleone.com.