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So, happy endings all around as New Canaan reemerges as the heart of Modernist residential architecture, harkening back to a time when architects—and not hedge-fund managers—were its glittering, glorified demigods. "Oh, the parties we had!" New Canaan architect John Black Lee recently reminisced about that era for the press. "The women were all gorgeous and the guys were all heroic. And it was all terrific."
What may not be terrific is the fate of the Philip Johnson-designed Alice Ball house, located just a few doors down from the Celanese House. The place changed hands in 2005, with much fanfare in the local media about how it was to be saved from the wrecking ball. But then came reports—all unconfirmed—that its new owner planned to "save" the diminutive dwelling as a pool house while building a larger main house on the property. Such a project would run afoul of regulations restricting lot coverage, and for whatever reason there has been no big machinery on the Alice Ball site, either for construction or demolition. "Keep your eye on it," advised a broker, declining to specify whether a wrecking ball or for-sale sign would crop up soon. "Something is going to happen."
Big Deal Estates
Weathering both hurricanes and fashion's fickle winds, here are three of the best grand old homes currently on the market.
Fenwick, Old Saybrook
The longtime home of Kate the Great (Hepburn, that is), Fenwick is the quintessential coastal-Connecticut enclave best summed up in two words: old money. This stretch of waterfront embodies the romance of summer by the Sound with its "cottage"-lined lanes, sailing club and nine-hole, links-style golf course. Apart from Hepburn's home, which has been beautifully renovated since it sold in 2004, Hurricane House is one of Fenwick's most significant cottages, a 6,000-square-foot, shingle-style estate with nine bedrooms and six bathrooms on a half-acre lot.