Property of the Week: The Tiffany Ayer Mansion, Boston

Words by
Sphere Editors

2nd February 2023

The Tiffany Ayer Mansion in Boston is the sole surviving home designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of the founder of Tiffany & Co America's first luxury institution, complete with the only Tiffany-designed exterior in situ in the world. 

As the sole surviving home designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the Ayer Mansion is a truly spectacular building replete with mosaics, elaborate plasterwork and masterful stained glass windows.  More magical still, it currently awaits a new chapter in its storied history.  

Exterior of the Tiffany Ayer Mansion
The Tiffany Ayer Mansion is the only surviving house in the world with a Tiffany exterior in situ

Standing five stories on both Commonwealth Avenue and Marlborough Street, the sleek, pale facade with bright mosaic detail challenges the Boston streetscape as much now as it did at its unveiling in 1902.

Detail of the fireplace
Tiffany’s renowned mosaics can be found throughout the home

Originally commissioned by businessman and art collector Frederick Ayer the five story masterpiece hasn’t been used as a home since its original owners sold the property, but that may change thanks to re-imaginings of the property by Neoscape/Hacin + Associates.

The hallway of the Tiffany Ayer Mansion
A striking marble staircase adorned with mosaics leads the way to a beautifully decorated proscenium arch—the perfect spot for theatrical performances.

Decades of preservation work have, thankfully, kept the integrity of its initial premise, and the house was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2005.

The double doors to the property open to an entrance hall like no other— a marble semi-circular staircase with Tiffany designed glass-mosaic risers leads to an arch on the stair landing featuring a glass-mosaic trompe l’oeil of a Greek temple.

Kitchen at Tiffany Mayer
Original handcrafted details from the present incarnation of the home are both preserved and enhanced in the reimagined room designs by Neoscape/Hacin + Associates

Light floods into the house through an oval void that stretches up five flights, all the way to the roof, in which an original, complex “glass jewel” lamp hangs.  Rumour has it, this hallway was also once home to a seven-foot stuffed jaguar.

Lounge at Tiffany Ayer Mansion
Original cornicing and stained glass windows enhance the reimagined lounge room designs by Neoscape/Hacin + Associates

The fascination here is the buildings status as a landmark example of the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Charles Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co. Louis, was once the design director of Tiffany & Co. but to his father’s dismay, he decided to go his own way, and became a leading designer of interiors, as well as decorative objects, lamps, and furniture. He is perhaps best known for his leaded-glass lamps which sold for $3 million each at public auction in the last two years.

The five level staircase at the Tiffany Ayer Mansion
A Tiffany “glass jewel” lamp, suspended five stories up, combines with a coronet of lights to create the sense of the sun rising

For collectors and lovers of Louis Comfort Tiffany, owning a built example of his work would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Maybe even Tiffany's new owners, LVMH, may snap it up.

Currently on sale with Christie's International for £12.2 million, the Ayer Mansion in Boston will be sold with plans and approved permits to restore it as a single-family home with six bedrooms.

Neoscape/Hacin + Associates
The primary bedroom at the Tiffany Meyer Mansion
Photograph by Halsey Fulton
Tiffany’s renowned stained glass designs are incorporated into the mansion on every floor