9. Tappan Estate (Tanglewood)
Perhaps the most recognizable of the Gilded Age mansions in modern days is the Tappan estate, which today is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the site of the world renowned music center, Tanglewood.
In 1934 a group of Berkshire summer residence arranged for members of the New York Philharmonic to perform three outdoor concerts. The festival was a success, and was repeated the next year. The year after, in 1936, the festival board invited the Boston Symphony to perform in the Berkshires. In the winter of 1936, Mrs. Gorham Brooks and Miss Mary Aspinwall Tappan offered their family estate as the summer venue for the Boston Symphony. And so, on August 5, 1937 a record crowd of 5,000 convened under the tents of the Tappan estate lawns for the festival. During an intermission Gertrude Robinson Smith, one of the festival founders announced a fundraiser for the erection of a permanent home for the summer concert series. Within minutes more than $30,000 was raised.
After a few designs were deemed too expensive by the committee, an engineer by the name of Joseph Franz erected a structure–dubbed “the shed”–that, with some modifications, to this day has hosted the Boston Symphony Orchestra every summer on the grounds of the Tappan estate.
In 1986 the adjacent Highwood estate was added to Tanglewood’s public grounds, increasing its land by 40 percent, and another venue, the Seiji Ozawa Hall was built in 1994. The Boston University Tanglewood Institute, an acclaimed summer training festival for high school musicians, is located next door at the former Groton Place estate, designed by Carrere and Hastings. Today the festival attracts over 350,000 visitors each summer.