It was due to Helen Storrow’s (1864 – 1944) philanthropic and independent spirit that Walter and Ise Gropius were able to build their new home. The Gropiuses had been invited to a dinner party at the Storrow mansion shortly after their arrival in the U.S. Prompted by a mutual friend, Mrs. Storrow offered Gropius the chance to design and build a house on her land. She offered him $20,000 and the opportunity to demonstrate his type of architecture. She was not convinced it would be good, but she felt it had to be tried out and was pleased to encourage the ideas of a new arrival to the United States. When the house was completed, the Gropiuses rented it from Mrs. Storrow for 10% of the construction cost. When Mrs. Storrow died in 1944, the Gropiuses purchased the house and land from her estate.