Gropius House

Graffiti in the Attic


When this painted message was found hidden between two rafters in the attic, it gave us a significant clue as to who likely painted the interiors of the Eustis house. L. Haberstroh & Son was a Boston decorative firm established by German-born artisan Lucas Haberstroh (1822-1883) in 1870. His son Albert (1855-1912) joined him in 1877.



In 1905 the firm purchased a building at 647 Boylston Street in Copley Square, where the firm continued operating until 1912. To this day the building’s facade bears the firm’s name.

In 1889 the Haberstroh firm produced a promotional booklet titled Art in Decoration. It contained many paint techniques that the firm offered as their specialties. One description of a clouded paint technique bears a similarity to the paint seen on the walls of this room:


“…on the walls and overhead there is an interesting effect of rolling clouds, moist and agreeable in color. This room is a pleasant surprise to the visitor, and is one of the chief points of interest to the ladies.”