Photo by Balthazar Korab, Copyright Balthazar Korab/Cranbrook Archives
Saarinen House - A Total Work of Art
Saarinen House is Eliel Saarinen's Art Deco masterwork and the jewel of Cranbrook's architectural treasures. Designed in the late 1920s and located at the heart of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Saarinen House served as the home and studio of the Finnish-American designer Eliel Saarinen (Cranbrook's first resident architect and the Academy's first president and head of the Architecture Department) and Loja Saarinen (the Academy's first head of the Weaving Department) from 1930 through 1950. The extraordinary interior, now impeccably restored, features the Saarinens' original furnishings, including Eliel's delicately-veneered furniture and Loja's sumptuous textiles, as well as early furniture designs by their son Eero Saarinen.
In 2014, Antiques Roadshow visited Saarinen House during their stop in Detroit. In this segment, Mark Wahlberg and Eric Silver discuss two objects in the home as well as the home itself. Click here to view the segment.
Staff-guided Public Tours of Saarinen House depart from the front desk of Cranbrook Art Museum, where tickets also may be purchased on tour days. Public Tours are scheduled May 1 – October 31, 2015, 3:00pm Fridays and Saturdays, and at 1:00pm and 3:00pm on Sundays. Tours are limited to 12 guests. Reservations are strongly recommended to ensure tour availability. Please call 248-645-3320 to make a reservation.
The tours are at least 75 minutes in length and include stairs and two ten-minute walks on Cranbrook's campus. Tours take place rain or shine. To protect the carpeting and flooring in Saarinen House, you will be asked to remove your shoes and wear booties that will be provided.
For the safety and comfort of all visitors, children younger than eight-years-old, including infants and toddlers, are not permitted on this tour. Due to the historical status and intimate nature of the House, many rooms and passageways are very narrow and therefore are not wheelchair accessible.
Only small wallets and handheld cameras are permitted on the tours. Please leave all backpacks, purses, camera bags, camera equipment and other cumbersome items in vehicles. This policy was created for the security and protection of Saarinen House and its collection of fine and decorative art.
All tours are walking tours, guests must be able to walk and stand throughout most of the tour. There are no places to sit down in the house itself. There are no public restroom facilities at the house itself, please use the facilities at the Cranbrook Art Museum before beginning your tour.
Public Tour Fees: ArtMembers and Patrons of the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research free; $10 Adults; $8 Seniors (65+); and $6 full-time students with ID. Saarinen House Tours include admission to Cranbrook Art Museum. Please call 248-645-3320 to make a reservation.
A limited number of Private Tours of Saarinen House are available May through October, with at least three weeks advance notice. Private Tour Fees: $10 ArtMembers; $15 Adults and Seniors; and $10 full-time students with ID (with a minimum Private Tour group fee of $100). To inquire about the availability of a Private Tour, please call 248-645-3319.