Gore Place preserves an excellent Federalist mansion built in 1806 for Christopher Gore, a Massachusetts governor and United States senator. The mansion was saved from destruction in 1935, and is now open to the public as a house museum.
Backstory and Context
Governor Gore, in 1786, purchases forty acres of land, with a small frame homestead, a summer residence. The original wooden mansion burned in 1799, so the Gores planned a new home while they were traveling in Europe.
Gore place, a Neo-Palladian Villa in Waltham, was built by Christopher and Rebecca Gore in 1805 to serve them as a country house and large farm. Christopher Gore graduated in Harvard’s class of 1776 and later became Governor of Massachusetts and a United States senator. Christopher and Rebecca Gore were in France when they were introduced to the French architect, Jacques Guillaume Legrand who later designed the house. Their residence in England overlapped with Jane Austen, whose novels describe these manor houses in stunning detail. Gore Place, built in 1806, by design and intention greatly resembles those described in Austen’s novels of the same era. The mansion features interplay of geometrical shapes, including carefully laid out oval parlors and restrained neoclassical ornamentation adapted from the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome, and characteristic of those much-admired beautiful manor houses.
Gore Place is considered by many architectural historians to be the most significant Federal period mansion in New England. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 in recognition of its architectural significance as a large-scale Federal style country house, and for its well-preserved domestic staff quarters, which illustrate the changing role of domestic labor over time.