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News May 2013

Kahn, Eisenman and Venturi up for sale

May 5, 2013

A recent article by Fred Bernstein in Architectural Record highlights three significant Modernist houses in the Northeast region that are up for sale. All of three can be found in any textbook on twentieth-century architecture––Louis Kahn’s 1961 Esherick House in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia; Robert Venturi’s 1964 house for his mother, just a block away from the Esherick House, and an exemplar of Postmodernism; and Peter Eisenman’s 1975 House VI in Cornwall, Connecticut. At present, only the Venturi house will be listed for sale with a restrictive covenant that serves to protect its architectural integrity. Meanwhile the Esherick House is listed with the Philadelphia Historical Commission, which regulates changes to the exterior but not the interior. As Bernstein notes, Eisenman’s House VI has no restrictions and is located on prime real estate, making it a potential candidate for demolition.

“History for Sale” by Fred Bernstein, Architectural Record (April 30, 2013)

Top: the Esherick House by Kahn, completed in 1961. Photo by Ludvík Koutný. Bottom: House VI by Eisenman, completed in 1975.