Ayer Mansion Study Report (interior)

The Boston Landmarks Commission has released a study report on the proposed designation of the interior of the Ayer Mansion in Back Bay as a landmark under Chapter 772 of the Statutes of 1975, as amended.

The Frederick Ayer Mansion is architecturally significant locally, stately, regionally and nationally as the last surviving example of a complete and on the spot residential commission of the famous American artist, designer and craftsman Louis Comfort Tiffany. It is one of only three remaining examples of a Tiffany-designed interior and the only known example of Tiffany’s exterior stone mosaics on a residential building in the United States. Visitors to the Ayer Mansion are surrounded by what Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum, described as “a visual feast of color, light and texture.” New York architect Alfred J. Manning worked with Tiffany to design the building and its decorative scheme with a masterful integration of exterior and interior artwork and architecture. It has additional local significance as a unique example of Moorish and Byzantine eclectic architecture in Boston.

The Frederick Ayer Mansion is also locally significant historically for its connection to the successful entrepreneur and art collector, Frederick Ayer, and his wife, Ellen Banning Ayer, and as a component of the major residential development in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston in the last decades of the 19th century.

The Boston Landmark Petition for Ayer Mansion’s Tiffany-Designed Interior Spaces was started by Jeanne Pelletier, who served as the Campaign’s Preservation Advisor for the Ayer Mansion, and Scott Steward, an Ayer descendant and Campaign Chair for the Mansion. Ayer. , who since 1998 has led efforts to fund and undertake restoration, education and programming. While the exterior of the mansion is protected by the guidelines of the Back Bay Architectural District, the interior remains vulnerable to change. Although a Massachusetts Historical Commission preservation restriction exists for the property covering both exterior and interior features, monument designation would provide additional protection and guidance and recognize the significance of this interior and the importance exceptional historical, architectural and artistic features of this singular property.


There are two ways to provide feedback on this potential landmark designation:

  1. Written comments can be provided by visiting this link: feedback form.
  2. The study report will be discussed at a public hearing on September 13, 2022. Members of the public are invited to attend this hearing and also provide their comments. Please see the Notice of Meeting in the Public Notices section of our website.

Betty K. Park