Travel Tour: Mass Modernism 2021



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Cambridge - Boston - Cape Cod

September 29, 2021 - October 4, 2021

Docomomo US Travel Tours are exclusive modern architecture, art and design travel experiences. While our international tours have been postponed, we are excited to focus our attention on domestic locations. Mass Modernism, our first US travel tour, will feature significant modern sites in Cambridge, Boston, Lincoln, Dartmouth and Cape Cod.

From the 1930s to the 1970s, modernist architecture thrived in New England. Despite economic problems and a conservative culture, the region fostered the practices of Bauhaus refugees and their students. This tour examines the buildings they made for clients and themselves, from monumental buildings for a renewed downtown Boston to their family houses in the suburbs to experimental weekend houses on Cape Cod. Modernism in New England demonstrates how regional and international tendencies could be in dialogue with one another to make a unique landscape which holds many lessons for the 21st century.

The Mass Modernism tour will be led by Timothy M. Rohan, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Art and Architectural History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of The Architecure of Paul Rudolph. Special guides include Peter McMahon, founding director of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, David Fixler, FAIA, architect and past president of Docomomo US/New England and Gary Wolf, FAIA an architect and currently the interim president of Docomomo US/NE.

Update: Registration has been extended until September 25th for just the two-day Cape Cod excursion. Register through the link provided and click here for a description for the Cape portion of the trip.


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Day 1 Wednesday, September 29: Cambridge

  • We start the first day of our tour where the modernists came to teach. This half-day tour begins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at 1pm with a guided tour of Saarinen’s MIT Chapel and Kresge Auditorium and exterior visits of Alvar Aalto’s Baker House and the Frank Gehry designed Stata Center. Later in the afternoon we shift to Harvard University and visit Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center, the Harvard Graduate School of Design and exterior visits to Peabody Terrace and the Holyoke Center both designed by Sert. In the evening we celebrate our opening day with a group dinner.
  • Accomodations: Docomomo US has negotiated a contract with the Boxer Hotel in Boston. Guests are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements.

Day 2 Thursday, September 30: Boston

  • Grab your comfortable walking shoes as we hit the pavement to see Boston’s most important modern sites. We will start at the Paul Rudolph designed Boston Government Services Center, followed by Kallmann, McKinnell, Knowles’ Boston City Hall. Our walk continues as we stroll by the Boston Five Cents Savings Bank, the I.M. Pei designed Christian Science Center, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building and Hugh Stubbins’ Federal Reserve Bank. After our group lunch, we head to the Back Bay to visit First and Second Church, the First Lutheran Church, the former Knoll International among others. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Day 3 Friday, October 1: Lincoln

  • In the morning we carpool to the Boston suburbs and visit the residential community of Lincoln with its many early examples of Modernism including Gropius House and Monks House designed by G. Holmes Perkins, FAIA. We will dine al fresco for lunch on the grounds of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Garden. We wrap our day in the burbs with special interior tours of the Paul Rudolph designed Yanofsky House and the Chamberlain Cottage designed by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer (tentative). We cap the Boston leg of the tour with a group dinner.

Day 4 Saturday, October 2: Provincetown and Truro

  • This morning we wake up bright and early and travel to the Cape where we start our day at the very end of the outer Cape and a special visit to the Murchison House by Walter Gropius (confirmed). After lunch, we will visit the Breuer Cottage (his final resting place) and a number of homes in Provincetown and Truro based on availability. Dinner tonight is on your own.
  • Recommended accomodations: Endless Coast in Wellfleet. Guests are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements.

Day 5 Sunday, October 3: Wellfleet

  • Today guests will have the unique opportunity to explore Wellfleet, one of the most concentrated groupings of modern houses anywhere in the United States. We start our day at the Chapel of St. James the Fisherman and then head to the Lachay House designed by Hayden Walling and the Hatch Cottage by Jack Hall where we will be treated to a picnic by the shore. In the afternoon we head to the Weidlinger House, the Kugel/Kips House by Charlie Zehnder and the Chermayeff House and Studio (tentative). We celebrate our fantastic week with a group sunset dinner.

Day 6 Monday, October 4: Dartmouth and Portsmouth

  • Before we say goodbye to the Cape, the group will visit a Breuer designed House in Dennis (tentative) before visiting the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth campus. Lunch is on the harbor in Portsmouth, Rhode Island as we head to the Portsmouth Abbey Chapel and Campus, by Pietro Belluschi.


Program rate: $1,895 per person
Single Supplement: none

Rate includes

  • Comprehensive educational land program as detailed
  • Entrance to all locations and sites as detailed
  • Eight (8) meals: 5 lunches and 3 dinners
  • 40 AIA Continuing Education Credits will be submitted.

Rate does not include

  • Three (3) nights’ accommodations in Boston
  • Two (2) nights’ accommodations in Cape Cod
  • Transportation to and from Boston or Cape Cod
  • Ground transportation from airport
  • Drinks and meals other than those specifically included


Guests will be required to drive and carpool on this tour. Guests attending thr full tour who are willing to accommodate other guests in their car will be credited $100 for each guest (up to a maximum of three additional guests per driver per car) to offset driving, parking and gas costs. Credit is only available to guests participating in the full tour and not the Cape portion. Drivers will be given parking locations and driving instructions before the start of the tour. Guests must make their own arrangements for getting to and from Boston. Ten cars maximum total.


All guests participating in this tour must have proof of COVID-19 vaccination. No guests will be permitted to participate without proof of vaccination. Guests will be required to exercise any and all COVID-19 safety precautions mandated by local, state or federal government or by property owners.

Passenger deposits

Guest deposits are $500.00 per person. Passenger deposits are non-refundable, and cancellation and interruption coverage is strongly recommended in order to protect passengers against cancellation fees.

Deadline for deposits has been extended through August 31, 2021.

View full brochure (PDF)