Shearer House 600 x 800

On Sunday, October 26th, eight cars carried eight FoMA board members and seventeen special guests up a winding mile-long driveway to an extraordinary event - a tour of the Shearer House in New Hampshire. Designed by Lincoln modern architect Henry B. Hoover for Paine Furniture President William L. Shearer III in 1955, the house is on a spectacular mountain-top site, claiming a dazzling 360-degree panoramic view of 3 states while sitting atop 150 acres of ledge, forest and meadows. Guests assembled in the living room for an introduction to Henry Hoover's work from FoMA Board Member and Hoover daughter Lucretia Hoover Giese. Lucretia shared that the Shearer House was Hoover's largest and most ambitious design among nearly 100 projects in a career spanning half a century (1937-1988). Harry Hoover, also a FoMA Board Member and son of the architect, then gave some background on the house, telling the tale of the phone call he received eight years ago from the house's previous owner. The caller turned out to be Harry's freshman college roommate, who promptly invited Harry and family to see the house. The house's caretaker led an informative, detailed journey through the house's three floors, explaining the six years of restoration work. Guests marveled at mountain ranges viewed from dizzying top-tier terraces, then moved down through the house to the 35-foot living/dining room sheathed in white terrazzo and indigenous marble and granite. Entering a state-of-the-art kitchen, they saw a view of Mt. Monadnock perfectly framed by glass sliders opening to a balcony. Guests at last emerged from the expansive lower-level game room through glass doors to a sun-warmed terrace surrounding a large gunite swimming pool. Once outside, they enjoyed a sumptuous gourmet picnic lunch, prepared by FoMA Board Member Katherine Mierzwa, in ideal weather. In the bright sun, the New Hampshire grey granite steps were so comfortable that all the folding chairs that were brought up stayed packed in the cars. To cap the day, guests then wandered through a landscape of native fern and birch, juniper and blueberry to gaze and take photographs to remember the extraordinary place. This event celebrated a spectacular modern house in a jaw-dropping setting that is cared for by an appreciative owner who has restored the house to its original stone-and-glass armature and who wants to preserve it. It was truly a memorable day for modernism and we are glad to be able to share some photographs with you.