It’s a good time to be in the market for midcentury modern homes in Princeton. The Lauck House on Lawrenceville Road, designed by famous architect Marcel Breuer and built in 1950, is available for $1,470,000. (U.S. 1, May 18, 2016.)
Now another gem of postwar domestic architecture is on the market: 511 Lake Drive, designed by Robert Venturi and William Short and built on a one-acre lot facing Lake Carnegie in 1960.
The current owners of the home are asking $2 million and are marketing the property through Robin L. Wallack of Berkshire Hathaway (www.robinwallack.com). One of the selling points of the house is its custom-made mahogany bookshelves in the living room, family room, and study that once held the original owner’s collection of 7,000 books. Robert H. Taylor, a bibliophile, eventually donated his library of rare books and manuscripts to Princeton University.
Taylor graduated from Princeton University in 1930 with a degree in architecture, and Venturi and Short were later classmates there, Class of 1947. Taylor knew of the young architects through the university and asked them to work together to design the three-bedroom home.
Venturi, who is now 90, was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century who led a counter-revolution against modernism and coined the phrase “less is a bore.” In 1972 he co-authored the book “Learning from Las Vegas.” He designed many prominent buildings including both Wu Hall and the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University.
Short, who died at 66 in 1991, supervised the construction of the Guggenheim Museum and the restoration of Drumthwacket, the New Jersey governor’s mansion. He was a founding partner of Short and Ford and Partners, a historic preservation architectural firm. He is best known for promoting historic preservation and throughout his career restored and preserved many historic buildings for modern use.