The Kelo House (1890)

March 20th, 2009 Posted in Folk Victorian, Houses, New London, Vernacular


The Kelo House, also known as the Little Pink House, was built in 1890 in a residential area of New London by John Bishop, a prominent local carpenter. It had various owners after Carpenter’s death in 1893 and few years later was moved to the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London. In the late 1980s, the Little Pink House and the house next to it were restored by the preservationist, Avner Gregory. On the market for many years, the house was not occupied until Susette Kelo moved in in 1997. When the City of New London sought to use the right of eminent domain to acquire the neighborhood for private development (which would bring in more tax money) it started a legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2005. Although Kelo lost in Kelo vs. City of New London, the public reaction to the abuse of eminent domain laws led to citizen activism and new reform legislation in favor of property owners. Three years after the decision, in 2008, the house was rededicated on a new site on Franklin Street in New London. The house had been reacquired and moved by Avner Gregory and stands as a monument, with an explanatory plaque out front, to the battle over eminent domain. A new book about the case, Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage, by Jeff Benedict, has just been published.

  1. 6 Responses to “The Kelo House (1890)”

  2. By Ella Moyer on Sep 19, 2010

    I am very disappointed that there is no address for the Little Pink House. I was in New London today, and the information booth did not know what I was talking about.. Is New London trying to make it invisible?? I am very disgusted.

  3. By Kate Ruff on Feb 20, 2011

    If you google “pink house new location” quite a few sites pop up with the address of 36 Franklin Street, or at least Franklin Street. Also in the photo above, you can see a large “36” posted as the number of the street.

  4. By Debra Eddy on Jul 16, 2011

    Why isn’t The Kelo House on this list of best house museums to visit in CT? It is just as much a part of CT history (if not more so) than the others!

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  6. By Kristina S. on Mar 16, 2014

    36 Franklin St New London, CT 06320 – is the address of the Kelo House. If you are coming from the Bridgeport ferry terminal its address is: Bridgeport, CT – 1 Ferry Access Rd .

  7. By Oonly Bonly on Mar 20, 2014

    36 Franklin Street is the NEW location of the Kelo House.
    Regarding the original location:
    It appears from Google Earth to be the property between Walbach St. and Trumbull St. fronting on East St.
    Determined by comparing the site plan of the proposed new development with Google Earth.
    Search GE for Walbach St and East St, New London, CT.

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