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 and director of Studio Loja Saarinen. 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 decorative designs by their daughter Pipsan Saarinen Swanson and 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.
The tour season begins the first weekend in May, with public tours Friday, Saturday, and Sundays at 3:00pm Eastern Time. Final tours for the season occur the last weekend in November, then the House is closed for the winter. Private tours and group tours are available per staff availability; please call the Center at 248.645.3307 for more information.
Visitors are required to purchase Saarinen House tickets in advance through the Center for Collections and Research website or by calling the Center at 248.645.3307. Advance ticket sales for each weekend close Friday at 10:00am. After 10:00am on Friday and on Saturday and Sunday, if a tour is not sold out, tickets may be purchased at Cranbrook Art Museum from 11:00am - 3:00pm.
The tours are approximately 75 minutes in length. Tours begin with a brief history of the Cranbrook project. The walk to Saarinen House includes an exterior-only, architectural tour of the main Cranbrook Academy of Art buildings designed by Eliel Saarinen between 1925 and 1942. The interior tour of Saarinen House visits all restored rooms of the home. To protect the carpeting and flooring in Saarinen House, you will be asked to remove your shoes and wear slippers, 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
Students with ID $10
ArtMembers (join now) Free
Tickets are non-refundable. However, with at least three days advance notice, your ticket may be transferred to another tour date during the same tour season. Your ticket also may be transferred to another participant for the tour on the same day and time as the original ticket.
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.
Adults and Seniors: $30
Students with ID: $15 Minimum Private Tour Group Fee: $150
CRANBROOK VIRTUAL TOURS
Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is offering Cranbrook Virtual Tours. Working directly with our resident curator, Kevin Adkisson, these tours allow you to enjoy the wonders of Cranbrook’s architecture and grounds—from the comfort of your home or business. Contact us to craft your own custom Cranbrook experience for your family, friends, colleagues, or organization.