Ayer Mansion and Gallery 360

Phew! I just hopped off the hamster wheel that is my life to do a quick check-in. Last weekend, I visited the Ayer Mansion. Its claim to fame is that it’s the sole surviving residence that was originally designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

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Yes, famed stained glass artist Louis Tiffany started his career as an interior designer! I also learned during the guided tour that he was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, who founded Tiffany & Co.

Frederick and Ellen Ayer hired Tiffany to design this residence in 1899. Frederick was a wealthy businessman and he and his second wife, Ellen, were avid art collectors. The building changed hands a few times after they both died in 1918. An insurance company owned it in the late ’50s and destroyed much of the interior.

A nonprofit is the current owner and has been instrumental in allowing a dedicated group of folks to restore the building’s exterior and interior. If you’re a fan of historic homes, the Ayer Mansion is worth a visit.

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Gallery 360 is Northeastern University’s art gallery. I’ve spent the last few years visiting the art galleries on local college campuses. Gallery 360 is one of the smaller galleries I’ve visited, but I enjoyed the exhibit and the physical space.

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The main exhibit was a study of a number of city park systems across the country: how the cities are adding to and re-purposing open park space in their downtown areas. I was heartened to read about this important work being undertaken. I feel so lucky to live in a city that values park space!

There were two smaller exhibits as well. One consisted of beautiful close-up photographs of flowers and the other featured objects that had been created by a 3-D printer. I still can’t comprehend this technology, but the exhibit helped a bit.

All for now…I’ll save my salt room story for another day.

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