Historic Alice Ball House at risk of demolition

NEW CANAAN - The historic ?Alice Ball House,? designed by the famed architect Philip Johnson in 1953, is at risk of being demolished if the owner doesn?t find a buyer for the property.

Alice Ball House owner Cristina Ross says she has been trying to sell the 1,773-square-foot place at 523 Oekenoke Ridge for nearly a year. However, she says, ?The asking price is below market value.?

The house is currently listed for $3.1 million.

Ross says she doesn't want to tear it down, but would like to build a new residence behind the original house, which is allowed under zoning rules. But, she says one of her neighbors is against the idea because the addition would be too close to his swimming pool.

Ross says neighbors prefer the house?s demolition as an alternative.

New Canaan Historical Society Executive Director Janet Lindstrom says tearing the house down will be a loss to the town, even though the Alice Ball House is considered to be the lesser known of the Philip Johnson projects.

"I think that some people would be very upset,? Lindstrom says. ?And some would probably think ?I don't even remember what was there.??

Some preservationists refer to the home as the "livable version of the Glass House."

The Alice Ball House is what's called a ?modernist home,? and is one of about 90 built in New Canaan by Johnson, who for decades was one of the most influential architects in the United States.

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