Monday, June 26, 2006

How to Protect a Phillip Johnson House

The current Forbes magazine explores the financial ramifications of selling your house as a tear-down versus protecting an architecturally significant house so that when you sell it, it can’t be torn down. One of the examples is New Canaan’s Hodgson House, which Phillip Johnson designed and which is across the road from his Glass House.

The Hodgson family protected their house by donating a conservation easement to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Trust owns the Glass House and all its outbuildings, and no doubt was interested in not having a McMansion built across the road from its modernist masterpiece. Author Ashlea Ebeling explains:

The Trust will monitor any proposed changes to the house or landscape. A new owner can update the kitchen, but can't add an attached garage, for example.

The Hodgsons loved the place and were willing to take slightly less than what a broker thinks they could get for it (not peanuts in either case -- $4.3 million compared to $5 million). If that discount holds up in an appraisal, they’ll be able to take a tax deduction on the $700,000 difference.

That’s great for them. What’s great for those of us who are fans of modern houses is that the Hodgson House will be protected, and so will its setting across from the Glass House.


Blogger Tamara said...

That's awesome. Homes like that deserve owners who appreciate them.

1:30 PM  

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