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Rotten news: Charles Ives house has been sold. Demolition may follow.

Slipped Disc raised a worldwide outcry some weeks ago at news that the house built by a great composer was being sold off for demolition to ravenous developers. The report awoke the Charles Ives Society, which made valiant efforts to buy the house from the composer’s grandson, Charles Ives Tyler, for preservation as a museum.

We’ve just had word that they failed. Mr Tyler accepted ‘a substantial offer’ from another buyer. ┬áThe Society has posted the following notice:

“The Ives Society is disappointed to have been notified by the seller that he has acccepted a cash offer for the Ives Homestead.
We will update information on ongoing preservation efforts as it comes in. Contributions to the Ives Society for its efforts to preserve the legacy of Charles Ives can be sent to The Charles Ives Society, Granoff Music Center, Tufts University, 20 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA 02155″

Damn, damn, damn.


UPDATE: Sign a petition to persuade Mr Tyler to think again.

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  1. sad news to be sure.

    from what i’ve read here & elsewhere over recent times, i believe that mr. tyler is a disgrace to the ives name.

    how ’bout some well-endowed ives fan like MTT kickin’ in a few million bucks to counter this unfolding tragedy?

    just a thought . . .

    • there we’re two groups trying to make this happen. Me being on of them. But frankly there was not enough people interesting in saving it. Or rather to say that not many willing to donate but thought it was a good cause. Now I can’t say how well the Ives Society did on raising funds, but on my side of things I worked long, long hours to crowdsource to buy this house via indigogo for a few weeks. Its sad to see the online world not knowing that much about Ives, but would give amanda palmer a millions dollars. Frankly its sad but at least we tried to save this house and do something very cool with it. I thank the people who made an effort to bring awareness on the house! Cheers!

      • Paul D. Sullivan, Arlington/Boston US says:


        I applaud yours and others effort to save the Ives Homestead. Ives is one of the many, many great composers who’s music is never played anymore and they have all but been forgotten. If major orchestras continue to repeat the same few standard big names, like Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, etc. things will only get worse. I finding surprising that amongst all the multi-millionare conductors and performers they didn’t get together to donate the money themselves to save the house.

    • PS

      another possible candidate to save the Ives house is Elliott Carter. after all, he knew Ives & drew considerable inspiration from Ives’ work @ one time. furthermore, Mr. Carter is VERY wealthy.

      Elliott, Elliott, Elliot . . .

  2. Pierre Audi says:

    This story beggars belief. Its a total disgrace and a tragedy that this vast and supposedly great country cant manage to stop a greedy owner and save for the Nation the house of its greatest composer – pioneer. Very sad indeed.

  3. Appalling but not surprising.

  4. This must not happen! Ives was far too unique and original to allow his home and legacy to disappear so stupidly. PLEASE reconsider this thoughtless decision…..his music demands he be remember for eternity.

  5. In 2005 Charles Tyler accepted an Award on behalf of his grandfather:

  6. Sound like this is about the almighty dollar and nothing else. The grandson could not care less about his Grandfather’s legacy. As he holds the deed, that’s his choice as they City appears not to care. Best the object in the House be saved now, but, you will probably see them at auction some time soon.

  7. Lets hope in the time remaining that all the contents be preserved in a museum-quality archive AND archaeological-quality photographic records be made of where everything came from, as well as virtual-reality recordings of the views from every window and of the building from every angle.

  8. Mr. Tyler is the grandson of Charles Ives’ adopted daughter.
    They’ve kept the property intact for decades with out any outside support for free advice.
    Mr. Tyler owns the proerty and can do with it whatever he likes.
    Agreed: the home and property should be kept for artistic and histocial significance.
    Find a buyer who will preserve the home and property.
    Maybe a corporate grant, maybe from an insurance company, like Ives & Myrick founded and ran with such success?

    FYI – the Greshwin family home in Brooklyn perished under the wrecking ball years ago.

    Another American treasure lost.

    • The town could have put the property in landmark status and did not. So it is now the almighty dollar talking and what appears a desperation for it. A mistake was made with the Gershwin home as well.

  9. kickstarter it, guys

    • They already tried indigogo for a few weeks – similar ‘crowdsourcing’ tool – some years ago the Bloch Society failed to get the Bloch Family House at Agate Beach, Newport, Oregon, but only lost out to a church that uses it for retreats – still intact, though there’s a new effort to get control of it – Lew Harrison’s Aptos, CA house, known and loved by many of his Gamelan students was bulldozed about 6-7 years ago, giving way to a McMansion – a different mentality dominates in the US – one can still visit Copernicus’ birth home in Torun, Poland.

      • well, “crowdsourcing” works well if you’re amanda palmer. however, here we are in a situation where SOMEONE with big bucks NEEDS to step into the ring PRONTO.

        so, lemme call MTT & Elliott Carter out again on this. come on, guys, pony up the quick cash for one of your heroes – you CAN afford it & the entire music world will add this beneficent gesture to the many wonderful things you’ve already done for Charles Ives.

  10. Let’s lower the altitude of all the high dudgeon. It’s just a house. Ive’s legacy resides in the one place that truly matters: his music.

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