You can't swing a dead cat in this country without hitting some architectural relic of a bygone era; in the case of midcentury modernism, it's clean lines, boxy volumes, and ample use of glass that recalls the aesthetic that rose to popularity in the '50s. Take this 1953 New Canaan commission by Philip Johnson. Immediately after completing his renowned Glass House, the architect endeavored to build a home for his friend Alice Ball. The completed product features expanses of glass, a stucco facade, and a pristine white interior. The 1,700-square-foot house was nearly demolished a few years ago, but, thankfully for preservationists, the owner was blocked from pursuing her dreams of building a new, larger home on the site. Today the totally intact and well-preserved Alice Ball House asks $2.795M. Despite the pedigree and the lovely look, it's been listed for more than 1,200 days.
? The Wolfson Trailer House is a 1949 commission by Marcel Brueur. Sited on 10 acres in the hamlet of Salt Point, N.Y., the four-bedroom home was designed around a Royal Mansion Spartan Trailer and includes a separate artist's studio, which was added in 1960. Total square footage, 4,100; list price, just under $1M.
Photos: Todd Eberle/Wright 20
? Located on .75 leafy acres in Philly's pretty Chestnut Hill neighborhood, this Louis Kahn-designed one-bedroom failed to sell at auction in 2008 and is now listed for $1.5M. The 2,700-square-foot Esherick House was built in 1961 for Margaret Esherick, niece of Wharton Esherick, a sculptor and the man who designed the custom kitchen.
? The only celebrity home on this list, the Hollywood Hills mansion that once belonged to Heath Ledger (and before that, Ellen Degeneres) was built in 1951 and has perks such as an outdoor movie lounge and "multiple seating areas perched in the trees." The two-bedrooms, two-bathroom, 1,800-square-foot "Treehouse," as it's known, is now asking $2.795M.
? This 1,700-square-foot ranch home in Lansing, Mich.,was built in 1958 by William Kessler, the architect who designed the nearby Michigan Historical Center and was once called "the dean of Detroit's architectural community" by the Detroit Free Press. It was here where Kessler, who studied under Bauhaus master Walter Gropius at Harvard, lived; the home has three peaked sections (dining room/lounge, living room/kitchen/family room, bedrooms), and was most recently asking $159K—although the listing was removed from Zillow at the tail end of last year.
· Philip Johnson's Follow-up to Glass House Worth More Than Wetlands [Curbed National]
· Marcel Breuer-Designed Midcentury With a Built-In Trailer [Curbed National]
· Louis Kahn's Esherick House Continues to Linger On the Market [Curbed National]
· Inside Heath Ledger's Newly Listed Midcentury "Treehouse" [Curbed National]
· The Other Glass House, Built by a Noted Michigan Architect [Curbed National]