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A Connecticut Woody in King Bloomberg's Court, Brad Pitt's Affordable Starchitecture, More!

1) The suburban is downright alien in NYC, which is way old wood-framed houses are such a curiosity in the land of high-rises and brownstones. Why are they so rare? Well, other than a developer-driven desire to build up on a property, wooden construction was gradually banned across the city due to fire concerns. One surviving wood-frame house, at 314 East 53rd Street, is on the market for $3.54 million. Says the broker, "It looks like it could be in Connecticut, doesn't it?" Guess that's a selling point? ['Forgotten by Time and Termites']

2) Frustrated with the stagnant pace of rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Brad Pitt set up a foundation that hired a group of starchitects to design 150 affordable, green houses. Only 15 are up, but the question is already being asked: Are the "Brad Pitt Houses" good for New Orleans? Tourists drive through gawking, the colorful Thom Mayne- and GRAFT-designed homes stick out like an under-friedd beignet and some feel that if Pitt just funded, you know, normal-lookin' New Orleans houses, his work would be done. But still, nice dude. ['Brad Pitt's Gifts to New Orleans']

3) Gov. Paterson is expected to sign legislation that extends last year's law affording some protections to subprime mortgage borrowers to prime borrowers. Lenders would have to give all borrowers (including co-o owners) 90 days' warning before kicking off foreclosure proceedings. Lenders would also have to take part in settlement talks with the borrowers. [Mortgages/'Foreclosure Protections for All']

4) A dozen of the 36 new "eco-indulgent" condos at the East Village's Village Green are in contract, according to the developer, and it's not hard to see why, with incentives such as free compact fluorescent light bulbs to all buyers! But seriously, the Times quotes prices in the East 11th Street building at "around $700 a square foot," which is a heck of a lot cheaper than the currently advertised listing prices. Typo or is there some serious PriceChop action in the cards? [Posting/'Selling Serenity and Sustainability']