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Michael Graves's Home Bought by a University for $20

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Princeton University rejected the gifted home, so it went to Kean University instead

The prolific American postmodernist architect Michael Graves, who died at age 80 last March, was known for his colorful architecture and whimsical design objects, the best known of which is the Alessi teakettle.

Though his legacy will continue to live on in the more than 350 buildings he designed around the world, a group of students will get to study in the Warehouse, Graves’s 7,000 square foot private home and studio in Princeton, New Jersey, thanks to a $20 purchase, the New York Times reported.

Through his will, Graves offered the Warehouse and two other properties as a donation to Princeton University, where he was a longtime professor of architecture. But the university had to turn down the gift because it could not meet its terms and conditions, which stipulated that the houses be preserved and used for educational purposes. The annual maintenance and retrofitting costs would have been prohibitive.

Instead, following instructions as stated in the will, Graves’s firm offered the properties to another nonprofit—this time to Kean University in nearby Union, where the Michael Graves College for architecture was recently established. The Warehouse is expected to remain largely in tact and act as a resource center, lecture hall, and studio space for students. It would also be open to Princeton students.