Does America need another historic house museum?

This was the question the town of Boylston, Massachusetts, asked when faced with what to do with Hillside, the home of John B. Gough.

William O. Dupuis, vice chair of the Hillside Restoration Project board, provides a case study for turning a historic home into a usable, community space instead of creating another traditional house museum.

A summit in Tarrytown, New York, about the state of house museums in America influenced the board of Hillside as they began to consider what to do with the home.

They restored the house and converted many of the rooms into meeting and rental spaces for the community, in addition to giving tours of the home.

Dupuis’s case study shows how historic houses can be more than warehouses for material culture and guides professionals in thinking outside of the house museum box.