35 Historic New England Properties Are Open for Free This Weekend

The organization's annual open house day returns on Saturday.

historic new england open house

Quincy House photo provided by Historic New England. Gropius House photo by Madeline Bilis

Every year on the first Saturday in June, Historic New England opens its properties for free tours.

This year, 35 of the organization’s estates will once again flaunt their majestic gardens, impressive architecture, and storied pasts on Saturday, June 4.

The historic collections showcased on the tours paint a picture of daily life in New England over the past four centuries. Homes like the Gedney House in Salem date back to 1655, while the more modern Gropius House from 1938 offers a glimpse into the life of the founder of the Bauhaus movement, Walter Gropius.

Other highlights include Beauport, the grand Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester that was the summer home of one of America’s first professional interior designers, as well as the Lyman Estate, Waltham’s premier example of 18th-century English naturalistic design. While the Lyman Estate only has three tours on Saturday (at 10, 11, and 12 p.m.), there will be an all-day plant sale in the historic greenhouses on the property.

Founded in 1910, Historic New England is the oldest and largest regional heritage organization in the country, with properties spanning from Rhode Island to Maine. On Saturday, most of the houses will open at 11 a.m., with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m. Hours and tour times vary, so see the complete open house list at historicnewengland.org.

If free admission to 35 historic homes doesn’t cut it, this weekend is also Common Boston 2016, a completely free architecture festival happening Saturday and Sunday. So much architecture to admire, so little time.


Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester / Photo provided by Historic New England