Philip Johnson's Right-Sized Booth House on Market for $2 Million

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The first residence designed by famed American architect Philip Johnson, known as the Booth House, is on the market for $2 million. The humble home in Bedford, in New York's Westchester County, is a welcome change from the neighboring ones, which resemble each other in their mansion-like mass, manicured lawns, cathedral ceilings and intimidating size.

The Booth House is a simple looking abode that's the model of efficiency. After all, this style was Johnson's claim to fame. It's no wonder that two architects ended up as its occupants. And there are plenty of others in the design and architecture community interested in the property and surrounding piece of land, which is protected by the Westchester Land Trust.

The house, built in 1946, is being sold by former architect Sirkka Damora who bought it 54 years ago with her now deceased husband, fellow architect Robert. The place is a marvel of modern architecture, exemplifying the style that Johnson and his contemporaries popularized following the war, with the intent of creating homes that emphasized function over form.
"At the recent open house, the place was packed with people from the area that I recognized and have a vested interest in this architectural style," said Tom Andersen, acting executive director of the Westchester Land Trust. "We can guarantee that nothing will be built next to this house because of its status as a nature preserve and that is definitely an unsual feature in this area."

At a mere 3,120 square feet and $641 a square foot, it's pricier per-square-foot than similarly priced homes in the area, which average 3,464 to 6,400 square feet. In the long run, though, the Booth House will cost less to heat, cool and operate.

"The Booth House is purposely built to a human family scale. Basically, you walk in the front door and you're in the kitchen and the large-scale windows throughout make you feel welcomed, both indoors and out," said Andersen.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom house has an additional half-bath and an 800-square-foot studio building. The home's massive basement features a large family room, which can also be used as a bedroom, and two bathrooms.

Simple and informal, the Booth House's rectilinear design allows for minimal interruption of space from the its interior to the exterior landscape.

The home features hardwood floors throughout, but its the living room, with 28 feet of floor-to-ceiling glass, is the place for the best view of the 36-acre preserve's woodland. The home's centerpiece is a brick-layered fireplace in the living room, which acts as a room divider -- but with enough walking space around it to maintain the endless flow. Most impressive of all is how the home was built among the towering trees of the existing topography and sitting on a wooded slope.

Located at 319 Pound Ridge Road, this is worth a look. In these shaky economic times: A house built with such energy-efficient, ecological and simplistic sense is truly a welcome sight.

Find other homes for sale in the Bedford, N.Y., area and elsewhere at AOL Real Estate.
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