The building at the corner of Ploutarchou and Karneadou St, at the foot of Mount Lycabettus, was built in 1895-96 for Nikolaos Sardis on land which belonged initially to the Petrakis Monastery. Three years after its completion it was sold by the original owner to army officer Richardos Karamalikis, and in 1917 it was bought by the merchant brothers Gerasimos and Georgios Raftopoulos, who sold it in turn to Elizabeth Blegen in 1929. Since then, and until recently, the neoclassical building formed part of the lives of two prominent American archaeologists, Carl Blegen and Bert Hill, and their wives Elizabeth Blegen and Ida Hill, also archaeologists. Carl Blegen (1887-1971), whose scientific eminence and radiant personality are internationally recognised, systematically excavated numerous prehistoric sites until 1927, initially as a member of the American School of Classical Studies and later as its Secretary and Director. These sites include Korakou, Gonia, Zygouries, Nemea, Prosymna in northeastern Peloponnese and Colophon in Asia Minor. After 1927, and for thirty years, he taught as Professor Titular of the Chair of Classical THE CARL BLEGEN RESIDENCE Archaeology at the University of Cincinnati. During that time, he carried out his major excavations, on the Hissarlik Hill in Troy and the palace of Nestor in Pylos. The study of the Linear-B tablets found in Pylos became the scientific basis for the research into the origins of the Greek language. The famous residents’ stay at the villa and their contribution to the world of Greek archaeology culminated in 1963, when Elizabeth Blegen donated the house and its furniture to the American School. In 1973, after the Blegens had died and as the School faced financial problems, the property was sold to Basil and Elise Goulandris. In 1988, it was bought by Markos Lemos, who erected in the plot the shop and office building known as the Lemos International Center (LIC). Already by that time, following the State’s intervention, the Blegen residence had been declared a listed building in 1983 as “a work of art in need of special protection”, according to the final opinion by the Central Council for Modern Monuments. Alpha Bank purchased the building in 1991. Following the refurbishment of the interior under the supervision of architect Konstantinos Manouilidis and the restoration of the ceiling paintings revealed during the process, the building housed the Private Banking Division of Alpha Bank until 2007. Meanwhile, in 2004 it had become the property of the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation, which moved into it in 2008.