The Gibson House Museum (Boston, USA)

This 1860 middle class house (now a museum) in Boston, USA, seeks to tell the history of the Back Bay, when the marshlands of Boston were reclaimed and a select view purchased the new houses.

For me, the most interesting part of the visit was in discovering that the small backyard of the house itself is worth a small fortune, land in Boston being precious and private parking a valuable commodity (not unlike London then, especially if you live around Kensington & Chelsea).

The story is one of the division between the middle and the upper (?) classes in Boston: those who had the real deal and those who wanted to appear that they had the real deal.

This is the ventilation system.

The only thing I liked was the fake leather wallpaper (but then I don’t like anything late 19th C as a rule, so don’t hold that against the house).  Bonus points though that there were no ropes to keep the visitors away from the furniture.

The interiors contain period furniture and the sparse kitchen is particularly illuminating.

The last owner of the house was a bachelor and he left the house as a museum (which opened in 1957), preserving of course what he felt were his life’s contributions.

When visited: September 2013

House * out of 5: **


Theme tune

One thought on “The Gibson House Museum (Boston, USA)

  1. I love house museums, assuming that the furniture, wall paper, fire places etc were exactly how one of the resident families left them. There is nothing quite like exploring an over crowded, over decorated set of rooms to see how our grandparents or great grandparents lived.

    The rooms look a bit dark. Is that because the house was in a terrace and there is no natural light coming from the sides? Or is Boston too far north to enjoy strong light streaming in? Or perhaps the colours on the walls don’t reflect light well.

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