The fourth meetinghouse of Salem’s First Church was built in 1826 on the same site as its three predecessors (now 121 Washington Street at Essex Street). Originally designed by Solomon Willard and Peter Banner of Boston, retail stores were on the ground floor with the church using the spaces above. The building was significantly altered in the Victorian Gothic style and much enlarged around 1874. When First Church merged with North Church in 1923, the former church was acquired by Daniel Low & Company, a company that sold fine gifts and jewelry. The store was in business from 1874 to 1995.
The building at 4-10 Central Street in Salem was built in 1805 as block of stores for William S. Gray and Benjamin H. Hathorne. It was built by John Chandler and Joseph McIntire and possibly designed by Joseph’s brother Samuel. Originally called the Central Building, it now known as the Old Custom House because it was used by the U.S. Custom Service in 1805-1807 and 1813-1819. The arched windows on the first floor were added during a 1970s restoration.
The building at 217 Essex Street in Salem was built in 1900 to house the retail store of W.E. Hoyt Company. A decade later, the Hoyt Block was acquired by the Naumkeag Trust Company, which hired Boston architects Franklin H. Hutchins and Arthur W. Rice to remodel the interior to become a bank building. The history of the Naumkeag Trust Company is related in Vol. II of the Municipal History of Essex County in Massachusetts (1922):
The Naumkeag Bank was incorporated March 17, 1831, with $200,000 capital, subsequently increased to $500,000. It commenced business in the Benjamin Dodge store building, on Essex street, opposite the Essex House, then was moved to the Manning building, and in 1872 to the second floor of the Asiatic building, Washington street. David Pingree was its first president. In 1864 this institution was changed to the Naumkeag National Bank.
Erected circa 1833-1834 is a triple house at 5-9 Summer Street in Salem. It was built as an investment by Capt. Nathaniel West, who lived in one of the three units. The house is now part of The Salem Inn. Capt. West had been involved in an infamous scandal when he was divorced from his wife, Elizabeth Derby West, in 1806. In the trial he had lost to her his estate in Danvers, Oak Hill, but later reacquired part of it after her death. He moved it to Salem where it became the front section of the Philips House on Chestnut Street.
The building that today houses the Salem Public Library (370 Essex Street in Salem) was originally built in 1855 as a house for Capt. John Bertram (1795-1882), designed in the Renaissance Revival style by Salem architects William H. Emmerton and Joseph C. Foster. Known as the Bertram-Waters House, in 1887 it was donated by Capt. Bertram’s heirs to the city to become a library. The building was remodeled inside for that purpose in 1888-1889 and additional wings were constructed in 1911-1912.
The three-story brick double house at 21-23 Chestnut Street in Salem was built in 1814-1815 by master builder Jabez Smith for the brothers John Pickering VI (1777-1846), the linguist and polymath who lived in the western half of the house, and Henry Pickering VI, who lived in the eastern half of the house. Judge Elisha Mack and his son Dr. William Mack owned the eastern half from 1837 to 1896. Dr. Mack bequeathed his later home, a house built in the 1850s, with a 25 acre property to the City of Salem as a park. Pickering Dodge lived in the western half while his house at 29 Chestnut Street was being constructed, selling it to the Stone family in 1822. President Andrew Jackson was entertained in the house in 1833. Read More