A prominent Midcentury Modern home designed by Philip Johnson has sold for $2.3 million, according to a property transfer recorded Monday in the Town Clerk’s office.
The 1953-built ‘Alice Ball House’ at 523 Oenoke Ridge Road—built just after the Glass House—includes three bedrooms, 2,500 square feet of living space and sits on 2.2 acres, its assessor field card says. It had been listed on the market last summer at $2.8 million, according to Architectural Digest.
Its owner since she bought the house for $1.5 million in 2005, Cristina Ross, sold it to ‘Main Liberty LLC,’ according to the transfer. It isn’t clear who owns that company—no entity by that name is listed with the Connecticut Secretary of the State, according to the agency’s online database.
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Alice Ball purchased the property from John Mulliken for $7,000 in 1952.
“It appears that Mulliken subdivided a larger parcel and sold the portion fronting the street to Alice Ball, retaining the adjacent land to the north and east. By early 1953, Ball commissioned Philip Johnson to design a small house for the site. Johnson’s drawings for a ‘Residence for Mrs. Alice Ball’ are dated February 1953, and were revised in June and July 1953 (Johnson, ‘Residence for Mrs. Alice Ball,’ February 1953). A 1951 article about Johnson’s Hodgson House (1951), mentions that his next project would be a ‘pink palace with a hanging fireplace,’ most certainly referring to the Ball House (New York Times, 6 May 1951).”
A 1956 directory lists ‘Mary C. Ball’ as residing at the house and running a clothing store called “The Wharf” at 75 Elm St, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“In the 1957 directory, ‘Mrs. Hougen Ball’ is listed as living at the house with two grown children: Mary T. Ball, who still owned ‘The Wharf,’ and James, who was in the U.S. Air Force. Mrs. Hougen Ball was presumably Alice Ball. She is not listed as a widow in the directories, so it is unclear if she was divorced or widowed.”