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“If you are a fan of design or architecture put this to your "to do" list”
Review of Gropius House

Gropius House
Ranked #4 of 10 things to do in Lincoln
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Owner description: This minimalist masterpiece was built by the founder of the Bauhaus movement. Walter Gropius, founder of the German design school known as the Bauhaus, was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. Modest in scale, the 1938 Gropius home was revolutionary in impact. It combined the traditional elements of New England architecture -- wood, brick, and fieldstone -- with innovative materials rarely used in domestic settings at that time -- glass block, acoustical plaster, and chrome banisters, along with the latest technology in fixtures.In keeping with Bauhaus philosophy, every aspect of the house and its surrounding landscape was planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity of design. The house contains an important collection of furniture designed by Marcel Breuer made in the Bauhaus workshops.With all the family possessions still in place, the house has an immediacy rarely found in house museums.
Reviewed April 27, 2012

This was the personal residence of Walter Gropius and his family, built after the former Bauhaus founder came to the United States to head the Harvard School of Design.
It's worth the visit just to study the furnishings and artwork designed by (now) well known friends/designers/artists/architects and see the the objects in their intended environment... Breuer, Henri Moore and others readily come to mind.
One of the more interesting aspects of the house is that Gropius was 50 when it was built and lived in it for the rest of his life. With the current buzz about aging in place, universal design and adaptability it is fascinating to see this executed over a half century ago. Also the house is not large, but "lives large" with well planned zones, niches, sight lines...fans of Susan Susanka's "Not So Big House" will appreciate this architectural delight.

Thank LaurieBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"new england"
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"nazi germany"
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"from room to room"
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"visitors' center"
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"a small gift shop"
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"excellent tour"
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Reviewed April 15, 2012

Nice just to drive by and look; nice to see. A small nice place

1  Thank DeaverB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

I visited the Walter Gropius House yesterday and was surprised to find this hidden gem in the rual setting of Lincoln, MA. The garage of the house has been turned into a small gift shop and ticket office for the house. After purchasing my $10.00 tour ticket the guide walked us up the driveway to the entrance of the hours. Tours are give on the hour with the last tour at 4 pm. Check the website for Historic New England at www.HistoricNewEngland.org for complete details and times. They also have a number of other properties you can tour. The house is set on a small hill in the middle of an apple orchard. The square white box of a house, with glass block an exterior spiral staircase apprears out of place in this quaint New England neighborhood. After further inspection you can also see a couple of other similar modern homes nearby that belonged to Mr. Gropius's friends and co-workers. The black covered entrance roof juts out to invite you up to the front door. There is an interesting contrast between the field stone path leading to this modern entrance. The guide showed us historic pictures of the house being build and when completed in 1938. From the entrance hall we visited Mr. Gropius's office, living room, dining area, kitchen and up the staircase with it's industrial railing to the second floor bedrooms. The guide pointed out the use of industrial materials such as glass block, bare light bulbs, metal piping, and other materials not usually used in home construction at that time. There is an extensive collection of original family owned Bauhaus furniture. The guide was very informative and was happy to answer any questions. While modest in size the house was compact, functional and comfortable feeling. It is an interesting step back in history to see the home of an innovator of his time. The home combines industrial materials with New England elements like the field stone walk, a fire place and stone foundation. A very interesting and informative tour.

3  Thank TravelingMarf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2011

The Gropius House was designed and built by Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus School of Design and a pioneer in Modern Architecture, in 1938. Tours of the house give you the feeling that the Gropiuses have stepped out for the day or just disappeared, leaving the house just as it was when they left. Coats hang in the entry. Ise has left a dress out on the bed and a second hangs on the back of the bedroom door. Her jewelry and make-up sits on her dressing room table. The dining room table is set for dinner. An unfinished letter is in the typewriter in the office, along side Walter's glasses. Their books and favorite objects line the shelves.

Most of the furniture was designed by Marcel Breuer, built in the Bauhaus workshops and brought from Germany by the Gropiuses when the emigrated. A bent-wood lounge chair designed by Breuer in 1936 and a Eero Saarinen "Womb Chair" (as a gift on Walter's seventieth birthday) join the Bauhaus furniture in the living room. Art work of their friends (now copies), Josef Albers, Joan Miro, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Henry Moore, fill the house.

Construction of the house uses some traditional New England materials like field stone (foundation, and garden walls), wood (framing and siding), flag stone (patio), and brick (chimney), and combines them with new materials like masonite (for counter tops), formica (table surfaces), cork flooring, acoustic plaster, glass blocks, plate glass, and metal medical cabinets (kitchen). All of the fixtures and materials were readily available (except the bent metal banister) from catalogs and at the time were inexpensive. The wall sconces were theater lights and a theater spot light is collimated to illuminate just to the edge of the circular dining room table - very dramatic. Many traditional materials are used in nontraditional ways - Clapboards are used in the interior and run vertically, casting interesting shadows that change with the lighting.

The house is a modern white cube and rectangular structure with long expanses of glass. The structure is small, but very cosy and functional. Spaces are divided by large expanses of glass, glass blocks or curtains with tiny tracks recessed in the ceilings. Expanses of glass and mirrors open up rooms and makes the house feel larger than it is. Curtains divide the spaces making them cozier and warmer, and allowing for a theatrical effect when pulled back to revile the spot lit dinning room table from the living room. Glass blocks used as for a wall allow light and shadows to move from room to room.

The tour lasts an hour and is very interesting and informative. The groups are of ten or less and first come first severed, The fee is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $5 for students and children. Interior photography is not allowed without prior approval. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour, and the interesting people accompanying us. The house attracts a very international audience, Just down the hill is a house Marcel Breuer designed and lived in, and a third house designed by Gropius and Breuer together (these are private and do not offer tours, but you can walk by them on the road).

There is a wonderful small gift shop with great offerings of books on modern architecture and art, gifts, and potted cuttings from the Gropiuses's Jade plant. A copy of the house's guest book is on display with wonderful comments and drawings by many of the Gropiuses's famous guests. These include many friends and colleagues from the Bauhaus, professors, writers, artists and architects of renown. Signers include Alexander Calder (he designed earrings for Ise), Joan Miro, Igor Stravinsky, Henry Moore, Dimitri Hadzi, Marcel Breuer, Lewis Mumford, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

1  Thank RatherBSkiin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 24, 2017 via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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