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April 8, 2024

Architect Serge Chermayeff’s Midcentury Masterpiece Near Yale Hits the Market for $1M

Attention, midcentury modern fans!

Here’s a chance to purchase the home designed in 1962 by architect Serge Chermayeff as his personal residence. The New Haven, CT, home—just steps from Yale University—is available for $1,050,000.

The Russian-born, British architect created many modern buildings over his career, notably England’s De La Warr Pavilion with architect Erich Mendelsohn.

He also co-founded several American architecture societies, such as the American Society of Planners and Architects.

“An interesting fact is that Serge Chermayeff was an architect who built the home while he was working at the Yale School of Architecture,” says listing agent Jill Nathanson, of Press/Cuozzo Realtors.

Respectful renovation

The modernist design shows almost like a fortress with its cinderblock exterior walls. Since its completion over 60 years ago, the three-bedroom home has been carefully modernized for the 21st century. Still, its period style is well preserved.

The home last changed hands in 2009 for $610,000, according to Realtor.com®. The sellers are the property’s third owners.

“When my clients bought it, they took such care to do the renovations they did in 2011, in keeping with Chermayeff’s vision,” Nathanson says. “For example, the exterior and interior walls are essentially one cinderblock, so it’s basically a house within a house. They wanted the interior and exterior to look exactly the same as it did when it was built, and it does.”

Exterior cinderblock wall construction


Living space with the restored, built-in couch


Nathanson notes that the sellers took great care in restoring original details.

“They imagined what the house was like when it was built—but better,” she says. “When Chermayeff lived here, there was a built-in couch in the living room, but the previous owners had it removed. The sellers had the couch rebuilt according to Chermayeff’s original sketches. That’s the kind of care they took in restoring his vision.”

Updated kitchen with breakfast bar and quartz countertops


Bright and airy bedroom with access to a private garden 


The 2,305-square-foot, open floor plan boasts 9-foot wood ceilings, exposed concrete walls, many built-ins, and sliding-glass doors that offer a seamless transition to the outdoor courtyards.

An expanded kitchen is now outfitted with a breakfast bar, quartz countertops, and an induction cooktop. Meanwhile, the primary suite boasts an office and access to a private garden.

In addition to its trademark midcentury modern elements, the home also has an interesting design quirk.

“Chermayeff liked light switches very low, at walking height, so they kept that,” Nathanson explains.

The sellers also made the home “super efficient,” she adds.

Some of those optimizations include five-zone heating and cooling, radiant-heat bathroom floors, and a tankless hot water heater.

Private garden found in the fenced yard


A spacious courtyard and custom, red-cedar fencing surround the home.


Convenient locale

Nathanson believes the home’s easy access to New Haven will certainly be a draw for the next owner.

“It’s as close to downtown but still as residential as you can get,” she notes. “It’s truly a little treasure, but the fact that it’s a ranch makes it unusual, yet very artsy.”

She adds that she can envision a Yale profession buying the place, because it’s an easy walk from many of the university’s departments.

“I hope we find someone who loves it as much as the sellers do,” she says.

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