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, from 1930 through 1950 Saarinen House served as the home and studio of the Finnish-American designer Eliel Saarinen—Cranbrook’s first resident architect and the Art Academy’s first president and the head of the Architecture Department—and Loja Saarinen—the Academy’s first head of the Weaving Department. The extraordinary interior, now impeccably restored, features Saarinen’s original furnishings, including Eliel’s delicately veneered furniture and Loja’s sumptuous textiles, as well as early furniture designs by their son, Eero Saarinen.
The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, in partnership with Cranbrook Art Museum, is responsible for stewarding the collections of Saarinen House and opening its doors to visitors from around the world.
During the 2018 Tour Season, all Saarinen House tours will include the temporary exhibition Saarinen House: Presidents/Residents, 1946 – 1994. The fourth in a series of interventions in the historic house, Presidents/Residents examines the artistic work and legacies of the four presidents of Cranbrook Academy of Art that followed Eliel Saarinen: Zoltan Sepeshy, Glen Paulsen, Wallace Mitchell, and Roy Slade.
Staff-guided public tours of Saarinen House depart from the front desk of Cranbrook Art Museum, where tickets may be purchased on tour days. Public tours are scheduled May 11 through November 25, 2018, at 2:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 1:00pm and 3:00pm on Sundays. Tours are limited to 12 guests.
As tours frequently sell out, visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase Saarinen House tickets in advance through the Center for Collections and Research website (beginning in April) or by calling the Center at 248.645.3307. Advance ticket sales for each weekend close Friday at noon. After Friday at noon, tickets may be purchased at the front desk of the Art Museum—based on availability. To inquire about tour availability after the advance ticket deadline, please call the Art Museum front desk at 248.645.3320 (11:00am to 5:00pm).
The tours are approximately 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, which will be provided.
For the safety and comfort of all visitors, children younger than eight years old, including infants and toddlers, are discouraged from joining the tour. Due to the historical status and intimate nature of the house, many rooms and passageways are very narrow, and therefore the house is 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 and 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 in the house; please use the facilities at the Cranbrook Art Museum before beginning your tour.
PUBLIC TOUR FEES (INCLUDES ADMISSION TO CRANBROOK ART MUSEUM)
ArtMembers (join now) Free
Seniors (65 and older) $13
Students with ID $11
Saarinen House tours are led by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and include admission to the Cranbrook Art Museum.
The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research offers a limited number of private tours of Saarinen House from May through November, with at least three weeks of advance notice. The Center’s staff will be glad to include a visit through Saarinen House as part of a longer custom-designed campus tour. To inquire about private tours, please call the Center at 248.645.3307.
ArtMembers (join now) $15
Adults and Seniors $20
Students with ID $15 Minimum Private Tour Group Fee $100
Haefner, James. Main room of Saarinen House. 2015. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills.
Graub, Colton. Dining room of Saarinen House. 2012. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills.
Haefner, James. Living room of Saarinen House. 2015. Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills.