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Cristina Ross Back on the Philip Johnson ‘Demolition!’ War Path

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Well here’s a good way to start getting even more nasty looks around the neighborhood. First: buy Philip Johnson‘s “other Glass House,” the one just down the street that he built for people to actually be able to live in, called The Alice Ball House. Then, start thinking about demolishing it because you’d like to build something new and the town won’t let you, nor have you had any luck selling it. Lastly, talk enough about it and make threats for months so that you eventually get a story printed about it in the New York Times. Such is the case with architect Cristina Ross, who owns the $3+ million dollar house and desperately wants out. We have sympathies for her, as we do with anyone in these days of housing woes, but she and her people sure continue to come very well in the article:

“It’s basically an option,” said Ms. Ross, who has the demolition permit to prove it. “Investment in property is only worth what you can get out of it.”

…The fact that such an architectural trophy has gone unbought for a year speaks less about any ambivalence for modernism, or even a softness in local property values, than about the domestic expectations of the superprivileged. “No one builds with less than five bedrooms now,” said Prudy Parris, Ms. Ross’s real estate agent. “People with no kids or one kid want five bedrooms.”

Luckily, the good people at the main Glass House, the ones everyone visits, are trying to save it. Which, sadly, the longer it stays on the market, the more Ross will probably up the ante in yelling “demolition!” We guess that’s one way to entice buyers.

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