Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I read the news today, oh boy: The Paper House of Rockport, Massachusetts

The Paper House was built in 1922 (with a wooden frame, floor and roof) and it still stands today!

The piano is the only piece of furniture inside that wasn't made of little newspaper logs. It's a real piano that was decorated with newspaper logs.

This is a detail of what the walls look like. The newspapers are from the 1920s and 30s and have been varnished over the years.

This desk is made up of the Christian Science Monitor...

...and this one is made up of accounts of Charles Lindbergh's flight.

This grandfather clock has newspapers from the capital cities of the 48 continental states.

And here's the sun porch. These pictures come from The Paper House website.

Lots of people like to do unusual things with their homes to make a statement, but it takes a true eccentric to build a house out of newspapers. That's what a Mr. Elis F. Stenman, an engineer who designed paper clip-making machines, decided to do with his Rockport, Massachusetts summer home, back in 1922. The framework, roof and floor are wood, like any other house, but Mr. Stenman wanted to see what would happen if he filled the spaces in-between with an inch-thick layer of newspapers glued together and varnished. Almost 90 years later the house still stands, so I think you could say, yes, it could work. But wait, there's more! Inside, he made furniture out of little newspaper logs. Chairs, lamps, tables, a fireplace mantle...you name it. There's even a grandfather clock with newspapers representing the 48 continental states. And the furniture is actually heavy and fully functional. The house has been a museum since the 1940s, and Mr. Stenman's grand niece lovingly maintains the place today, according to their website.

And as a fellow who works in the old-fashioned newspaper industry myself, I'd like to say, oh sure, your fancy shmancy internet is good for lots of other things but can you make a house out of it or line a bird cage? Didn't think so.


Rick Kilby said...

That is super cool!

Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com said...

As a Massachusetts native I can't believe I haven't been there- adding it on to a trip home soon! (and as somone who works in a Yellow Book related industry, I wonder if someone could make a house out of old phone books!)

wendyvee said...

Beer can houses, houses made of coal ... houses made of paper. You gotta' love it. :)

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Rick: and I bet it's literally cool in the winter!

Betty: A phone book house...yeah! And maybe a zip code directory garage.

Wendy: I think there should be a rock house and a scissors house on the same property as the paper house!

Bill said...

LIne a bird cage with YOUR paper? My thoughts exactly.

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Bill: I hear more canaries prefer "my" paper than any other leading brand.