George Kaplan House // 1946

The George Kaplan House, erected in 1946, is an excellent and exceptionally well preserved example of the International Style in the Boston area. The home is located on a suburban road in Oak Hill, Newton, and displays characteristics such as strong geometric forms, a flat roof, banded windows interspersed with expanses of blank walls and absence of ornament. The Kaplan House was designed by Walter Gropius‘ firm ‘The Architect’s Collaborative’ (TAC) of Cambridge, which was founded just one year prior, and this home was their first completed project. The home was built for George and Ethel Kaplan, a young couple who moved here from Brookline. Kaplan worked in design himself and manufactured shoe fabrics.

Fiduciary Trust Building // 1976

One of the most perplexing and hated buildings in Downtown Boston is the former Fiduciary Trust Building at 175 Federal Street. The building exudes 1970s Corporate Modern design, focusing on large floor plates with minimal intrigue at the exterior. Sadly, Boston has quite a bit in the Financial District, but many are getting facelifts! This 17-story tower was designed by The Architects Collaborative (TAC) which was founded by Walter Gropius, one of the pioneers of Modernist architecture. The building is hexagonal with all six sides being of different lengths. TAC had to construct a tower that avoided large utility lines, the MBTA tunnel, and street patterns, which resulted in an “urban flower” which cantilevers over the narrow base. As of 2020, plans have been unveiled that show the building will be updated and a glass-enclosed lobby installed.