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Gibson House Museum, Boston

(4.5/5 based on 40+ reviews on the web)
The Gibson House Museum is an historic house museum located at 137 Beacon Street in the Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. It preserves the 1860 Victorian rowhouse occupied by three generations of the Gibson family. The house was one of the first to be built in Back Bay, and has an unparalleled state of preservation that includes wallpaper, textiles, furnishings, and family artifacts and collections. Both the public and service areas of the house exhibit a high degree of preservation, and are viewable on tours. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.HistoryThe widowed Catherine Hammond Gibson purchased the newly filled in land for $3,696 in 1859 in order to move away from Beacon Hill. Edward Clarke Cabot designed the building which was finished by 1860 in the Italian Renaissance style with an exterior of brownstone and red brick. She passed it on to her son Charles Hammond Gibson.Charles married Rosamond Warren in 1871 and brought her to live at number 137. Rosamond was from a very distinguished Boston family and after Catherine's death in 1888 redecorated the house with Japanese wallpapers.After Charles Hammond Gibson, Jr., Catherine Hammond Gibson's grandson died in 1954, the house became a museum in 1957, and in 2001 was declared a National Historic Landmark. The Gibson House's landmark status is due to its claim that it is the only Victorian era row house in Boston's Back Bay to maintain the integral relationship between the exterior architectural shell and the original interior plan, with its accompanying decorative schemes. Its interior is a composite of family furnishings and pieces added to make it more complete.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It's an absolutely stunning house. I know the neighborhood well, so it was great to have an opportunity to finally enter one of the homes. Even more special is the it is preserved just as Catherine Gi...  more »
  • We were guided by Kelsey, who was in her first day of guiding. She did an excellent job. Clearly, she was well-prepared and was able to answer intelligently our questions. The house was as it was when...  more »
  • Doesn't look like much on the outside but is beautiful and original on the inside! Its pretty neat to see how much detail they put into these houses, wish they would still put effort into our homes be...  more »
Google
  • They put together a really good tour here, the guides are very knowledgable and if they don't know something they take your email address, do reserach, then email you with notes.
  • Fantastic tour of this absolute gem...unchanged since the Gibson's turned it into a museum...is like they have just stepped out the house. Informative guide and a rare opportunity to see what home life was like in Boston for the well to do families of Back Bay. Well worth a visit and the $9 entrance fee for adults.
  • Fascinating time-capsule museum, a perfectly preserved window into life in Boston's Back Bay at the turn of the last century. Guided tours take about an hour and cost $9 which goes towards upkeep of this stately old mansion, but because of the way everything has been left undisturbed over the years, it literally feels like the inhabitants have just stepped out for a bit and could return at any moment.
  • Very good