Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico

In January 2007, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund assumed stewardship of a house designed by architect Marcel Breuer. The house was deeded to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by the estate of Laurance S. Rockefeller.

In 1948, Marcel Breuer was commissioned to design an exhibition building for the Museum of Modern Art to be displayed in the museum’s garden. The House was Breuer's vision of how the average American family could live in a well-designed, modern, expandable, and affordable home. His design influenced modern residential architecture with its use of glass, wood and natural stone, as well as by its use of distinct activity zones to define the interior and exterior spaces and the motion and flow of space. At the close of the exhibit, the house, which had been slated for demolition, was purchased by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Mr. Rockefeller had it cut into four sections and driven upstate to Pocantico Hills, where it was reassembled as a guest house. From 1950 until 2007 the house was used by various family members.

Since 2007, the RBF has focused on restoring the house to its original intent. The house, as seen in the exhibit, embodied many of the hallmarks of Breuer's International Style design and was an influential piece of modern architectural history. When it was moved, changes were made that did not adhere to Breuer's architectural concept. While the basic design elements remained intact, such changes as enclosing the kitchen, enlarging the garage, removing the stone floor and regularizing the stone fireplace detracted from the architect's design. Restoration projects completed to date include removing the kitchen enclosure, reinstalling Carrara glass tile in the master bathroom, repainting the interior to Breuer’s original color scheme, furnishing the house with historically correct furniture and fabrics, and restoring the entrance façade and garage.

The Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico is administered and maintained by the RBF and used for the Fund's philanthropic and educational programs, which include residencies that support artists in their creative process. Residents stay at the historic Marcel Breuer House and have the opportunity to experience and learn from the remarkable natural, architectural, artistic, and intellectual resources that the setting provides.