Design New England

Is Alan Dershowitz selling a smart house?


Alan Dershowitz is selling this modern house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to move to his native New York.

We don’t know if there will be any star residue left in the rooms where celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz (defense attorney for the likes of Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson, Michael Milken and Claus von Bulow) once mused, but if there is, it won’t be just from the Harvard Law professor. The house he is listing for just under $4 million has quite an illustrious legacy that predates Dershowitz’s stewardship, starting with its architect.


The house has a sleek dining room with bold red accents.


The 1955 modern house at 26 Reservoir Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a stone’s throw from Huron Village and Brattle Street, was designed by Harvard Graduate School of Design alum Frederic Shurtleff Coolidge (1918-1994) for his parents. The low-pitched roof, expansive use of glass, and strong connection with the landscape indicate that Coolidge fully embraced the contemporary style, probably reflecting the influence of the noted modernist Carl Koch, with whom he worked briefly. Coolidge went on to a successful career designing homes, shopping malls and hospitals in New England and on the West Coast and he was the architect for the Alpine Meadows ski resort in Lake Tahoe, California.



An indoor swimming pool delights with its playful decoration.

Only the fourth owner of the house, Dershowitz, who joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 28 making him the youngest professor in the school’s history, is moving back to his native New York. The Coolidges sold the house to the Wassermans, who sold it to the Baltimores, who sold it to Dershowitz. David Baltimore, a biologist, is a Nobel prizewinner and former president of both Rockefeller University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

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A vintage photograph of exterior of the house.

Reservoir Street is so named because Cambridge’s water supply was once perched on the hill that the neighborhood now occupies. Perhaps fittingly, the 5,000-plus square-foot house on .37-acre features an indoor pool.
Deborah Barry of Hammond Real Estate has the listing. The next owner could be making a smart move.

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