Graphic Title for Victor Christ-Janer
Graphic for Victor Christ-Janer




Victor Frederick Christ-Janer (3/1915-3/2008) was an architect, inventor and humanitarian with varied training in liberal arts, painting, and sculpture. Born in Elysian, Minnesota; raised in Waterville, Minnesota, Christ-Janer studied at St. Olaf College (1933-1935) in Northfield, Minnesota, and later received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a focus in sculpture from Yale in 1940. He served as the Chief Graphic Designer for the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs under Nelson Rockefeller (1941-1942). He was drafted into the Army in November 1941 but, as a pacifist, found a non-combatant role as a camouflage artist before an honorable discharge as a Corporal in 1946, after which he returned to Yale for a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 1947. His professional path would also lead him to an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Lake Erie College, where he designed several campus structures.

Christ-Janer worked in the offices of G. Nemeny & A.W. Geller (1946-1948), I.B.E.C. Housing, New York (1948-1949), and as a Principal in Fairfield Architects Associated before establishing his eponymous firm, Victor Christ-Janer and Associates, in New Canaan, Connecticut in 1951. Christ-Janer lectured widely on religious architecture, taught at Columbia University (NY), Stephens College (MO), and Yale University (CT), and served for seven years as the Danforth lecturer, bringing him to at least twenty campuses a year.

The firm’s architecture varied from residential to commercial, educational, institutional, and religious projects. He was known for his experimental work with concrete, some of which informed his patent filings that were focused on preventing natural disasters by designing shore protection systems. He specialized in campus plans and re-imagining religious spaces and their meanings for modern times.

Selected Project List

1952       Christ-Janer House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1953       Roles House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1953      Gratwick House

New Canaan, Connecticut

1954       Irwin House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1954      Lake Erie College Planning

Painesville, Ohio


1954       Daine House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1955       Stewart’s Market

New Canaan, Connecticut


1955       Lake Erie College Dormitory

Painesville, Ohio


1956       Center School

New Canaan, Connecticut


1956       Vista Shopping Center Planning

Vista, New York


1957       West Norwalk Congregational Church

West Norwalk, Connecticut


1958       Rotterdam Consulate



1958       Trench House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1959       Lake Erie College Commons

Painesville, Ohio


1959       Lake Erie College Library

Painesville, Ohio


1959       St. Vincent College and Archabbey

Latrobe, Pennsylvania


1959       Christ-Janer Speculative House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1961       St. Mary’s Abbey

Morristown, New Jersey


1961       Westport Medical Center

Westport, Connecticut


1962       Unitarian-Universalist Church

Stamford, Connecticut


1962       Birkenstock House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1963       Tenth Church of Christ-Scientist

New York, New York


1964       Prentice-Hall

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey


1964       Trade Union Plaza

New Haven, Connecticut


1964       Downstate Medical Center

Student Activities Building

Brooklyn, New York


1964       H. Robert Samstag Residence

Pound Ridge, New York


1964       Church of the Master

New York, New York


1964       Fair Haven School

New Haven, Connecticut


1964       Young Women’s Christian Association

Greenwich, Connecticut


1965       Unitarian Universalist Church

Rochester, Minnesota


1965       Arnold House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1965       St. Meinrad Archabbey

St. Meinrad, Indiana


1965       Carthusian Foundation

Arlington, Vermont


1966       Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy

New York, New York


1967       Delbarton School

Morristown, New Jersey


1967       College of St. Rose

Albany, New York


1967       Lake Erie College Theatre Arts Building

Painesville, Ohio


1967       St. Meinrad Church

St. Meinrad, Indiana


1967       Westwood Apartments

Rye, New York


1967       Unitarian Fellowship of Northern Westchester

Mt. Kisco, New York


1968       McGaw Chapel, College of Wooster

Wooster, Ohio


1968       Cedar Crest College

Allentown, Pennsylvania


1969       Central New York Psychiatric Center

Syracuse, New York


1969       State University Construction Fund

Complex “A” and “B”

State University of New York


1969       Carnegie-Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


1969       R. Franco – Forest Street Development

New Canaan, Connecticut


1969      Victor Christ-Janer Office

New Canaan, Connecticut


1969      Atlantic Richfield Company

New York, New York


1970       Brien McMahon High School

Norwalk, Connecticut


1970       Bridgeport Housing

Bridgeport, Connecticut


1970       Norwalk Housing

Norwalk, Connecticut


1970       Drew University

Madison, New Jersey


1970       Dormitory Housing Study


1971       Holt Building


1975       Ackerman House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1977       Brandon House

New Canaan, Connecticut


1979       Branch House

New Canaan, Connecticut


Building Conservation Associates Inc.. “New Canaan Mid-Century Modern Houses.” 2008.

Liebenson, Bess. “When New Canaan Was Home To Six Prominent Architects.” The New York Times. 21 June, 1992. CN21

Pogrebin, Robin. “Victor Christ-Janer, Modernist Architect, Dies at 92.” The New York Times. 8 May, 2008.

Victor Christ-Janer Papers (MS 2010). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

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