There are some homes that were made to be stars, to show off their crenellations and sweeping staircases, their wrought iron gates and well-appointed rooms. Thayer Estate was one of those, born out of the mind of a wealthy philanthropist and sportsman, but destined for the big screen. Thanks to Greta Gerwig’s much-anticipated adaptation of Little Women, this mansion has officially become an actor (pompous inflection required), and has shared the stage—and its grounds—with such luminaries as Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, and you if you feel so inclined to shell out a measly $2.5 million for a soon-to-be-famous country manor.
Imagine making a daily grand entrance down this descending red carpet. This estate—there’s no other word for it—in Lancaster, Massachusetts was built in 1903 by architect Guy Lowell, who was also responsible for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, to serve as the summer home of the wealthy New England Thayer family. But things took a more medieval turn starting with its next owner.
Confession, anyone? This room may look more tea-time than repent-your-sins time, but that belies the home’s second act as a retreat for the Catholic Church. In 1985, the Catholics decided to move on, and the new owners turned the mansion’s modest 21,802 square feet into the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center, a meditation destination.