Marcel Breuer’s first binuclear house, Geller I in Lawrence, New York has been demolished in the dead of night. Geller I is largely considered the project that propelled Breuer to private practice in New York and prompted the Museum of Modern Art to commission Breuer to design an exhibition house in the museum’s courtyard entitled The House in the Museum Garden in 1949. The following text was written in the last few days as Docomomo US and our colleagues were working to make this concern public. We are saddened by such an unnecessary loss and will continue to post updates as they are known.
In 1945, Marcel Breuer designed a revolutionary house for Bertram and Phyllis Geller built in Lawrence, New York, a newly developing suburb just outside New York City. Described as a “tour de force”, The Geller house was pivotal from the moment it was completed. It is Marcel Breuer’s first completed “binuclear” house design where living and sleeping areas are separated into two different formal elements.