Gropius House, front view
|Location||68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts|
|Area||5.51 acres (22,300 m2)|
|NRHP Reference #||00000709|
|Added to NRHP||May 16, 2000|
|Designated NHL||May 16, 2000|
The Gropius House was the family residence of noted architect Walter Gropius at 68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts. It is now owned by Historic New England and is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday (June 1 – October 15, and weekends (October 16 – May 31). An admission fee is charged.
This house was his first architectural commission in the United States. He designed it in 1937, when he came to teach at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, and it was built in 1938. He chose the area because of its proximity to Concord Academy which his daughter, Ati, was going to attend. It remained Gropius' home from 1938 until his death in 1969. (Gropius had a benefactor. Mrs. James J. Storrow offered him the site and the capital and was so pleased with the result that she allocated house sites to four other professors as well, two of which Gropius helped design.)
The house caused a sensation when built. In keeping with Bauhaus philosophy, every aspect of the house and its surrounding landscape was planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity. Gropius carefully sited the house to complement its New England habitat on a rise within an orchard of 90 apple trees. His screened porch was placed in such a way that it helps to divide the land around the house into multiple zones, comparable to rooms inside a house.
As to my practice, when I built my first house in the U.S.A. – which was my own – I made it a point to absorb into my own conception those features of the New England architectural tradition that I found still alive and adequate. This fusion of the regional spirit with a contemporary approach to design produced a house that I would never have built in Europe with its entirely different climatic, technical and psychological background.—Walter Gropius, Scope of Total Architecture (1956)
Set amid fields, forests, and farmhouses, the Gropius House mixes up the traditional materials of New England architecture (wood, brick, and fieldstone) with industrial materials such as glass block, acoustic plaster, and chrome banisters. The house structure consists of a traditional New England post and beam wooden frame, sheathed with white painted tongue and grove vertical siding. Traditional clapboards are used in the interior foyer, but are applied vertically. Striking as it is, the house was built with economy in mind, and total construction costs were $18,000.
All family possessions are still in place, including a collection of furniture designed by Marcel Breuer and made in the Bauhaus workshops. Artwork includes personal gifts by Josef Albers, Joan Miró, and Henry Moore.
- Ann Grady and Carolyn Pitts (January 13, 2000) National Historic Landmark Nomination: Gropius House, National Park Service and Accompanying nine photos, exterior and interior, from 1988 and 1997
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Gropius House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- Kramer, Eric F. "The Walter Gropius House Landscape: A Collaboration of Modernism and the Vernacular". Journal of Architectural Education 57.3 (2004): 39-47: 42.
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