Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Gdula, Sara (2018). The New Hope Experiment: An Investigation and Conservation Plan for the Antonin and Noémi Raymond Farm (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


This thesis is the first investigation of the material fabric of the Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts and Design, a 1730s Quaker fieldstone farm house located in New Hope, PA that was synthesized with Japanese and Modernist elements by the architect/designer couple Antonin and Noémi Raymond in 1939. After nearly two decades of successful practice in Japan becoming some of the main proponents for modern architecture, the Raymonds returned to America in 1938 and purchased the 150-acre farm. In their renovations, they synthesized the Quaker architectural elements with cedar panels, sliding fusuma doors and shoji screens among other Japanese features. In this building the Raymonds took on apprentices and functioned as a design atelier in which the apprentices would tackle real-world design in the drafting room as well as assist with work on the farm, which was later titled “The New Hope Experiment”. It was here that the Raymonds first experimented with the combination of vernacular architecture and Japanese-inspired modernism. The initial investigation in this work was conducted with the goal of analyzing and understanding the site through a survey of the extant building fabric by utilizing archival sources, building archaeology, and conservation science to create a comprehensive building chronology and condition assessment with prioritized treatment recommendations. The recommendations presented are in line with modern conservation values as well as the non-profit organization’s mission to create a physical and mental environment that promotes creativity in the spirit of Antonin and Noémi Raymond.


Antonin and Noémi Raymond, regional modernism, vernacular architecture, conservation plan, building chronology



Date Posted: 11 June 2018