83 votes

The Paper House

52 Pigeon Hill Street, Rockport, Massachusetts 01966 USA

Open Now
Fri 10a-5p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    not Accepted
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
  • No Wifi
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“made entirely of paper”

We've all heard the story of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs. It's a story that, above all else, taught us to build houses out of bricks. Well, Elis F. Stenman never listened to that story, and it's a good thing, because if he had paid attention, we might not have one of the world's weirdest monuments: The Paper House, a house made almost entirely out of newspapers. Back in 1922, Ellis F. Stenman, an electrical engineer, started building a home in Cape Ann, Massachusetts. In the beginning, it looked no different than any other normal home under construction, but when it came time to put up the walls, things went a little off the rails. Rather than go with the usual selection of wood, he figured, what the heck - let's try newspaper instead. Over the next twenty years, Stenman and his friends and family collected around 100,000 newspapers to complete the two-room home. Each wall is 215 layers thick, each layer individually pasted with a homemade mixture of flour, water, and apple peel glue.  But the pasting didn't end there. After successfully building walls out of paper, Stenman wondered what else he could create out of discarded newspapers, and wound up building everything from paper tables and chairs, to bookshelves, and even lamps. One writing desk is even covered with articles dedicated to Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight, one headline declaring "LINDBERGH HOPS OFF FOR OCEAN FLIGHT TO PARIS." In fact, most of the old headlines covering the home are still legible. In 1930, Stenman moved out of the odd little house, and it's been one of Massachusetts neatest little tourist attractions ever since. Today, Stenman's grandniece is in charge of the newspaper house, and for just $1.50 (or $1.00 for kids), you can step inside and marvel at it for yourself. -Roadtrippers It was built by Mr. Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer who designed the machines that make paper clips, began building his Rockport summer home out of paper as a hobby. That was in 1922. The paper was meant to be good insulation. Eventually, not only was the house made of paper, but furniture as well, including some intricate and beautiful pieces.

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  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 29, 2015
Rated 3.0

Was here a few years ago, a bit tough to find. Kind of small, but completely made out of paper, so we'll let it slide. Most impressive pieces are a grandfather clock and upright piano. Stop by if you're in the area.

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The Paper House

52 Pigeon Hill Street
Rockport, Massachusetts
01966 USA


Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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Parking, Dining

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