Monthly Archives: March 2011

Assembly House, Salem (1782)

In 1782, Salem Federalists erected the Assembly House, also known as the Cotting-Smith Assembly House, at 138 Federal Street to serve as a gathering place for social and cultural events. Lafayette and Washington were both entertained there in the 1780s. The original building was most likely quite plain, but it was significantly altered around 1798 by Samuel McIntire, who added elaborate Federal style ornamentation to the front facade. By that time, the building had ceased to be used as an assembly place and was converted into a residence. Jonathan Waldo, an original funder of the Assembly House, had become sole owner in 1796 and sold it to Samuel Putnam, a local judge, two years later. Around that time, Waldo and his partners, William Stearns and Col. William Pickering, built the Stearns Block on Washington Street, which included their own new assembly space called Washington Hall, intended to supercede the Assembly House. In 1919, the Old Assembly House was acquired by Joseph Newton Smith, whose daughter, Mary Silver Smith, gave the house to the Essex Institute, now the Peabody Essex Museum, in 1965. (more…)

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Greenleaf House (1859)

A Federal-style house, built in 1823, once stood at 76 Brattle Street, but was moved in 1858 to 19 Ash Street to make way for a new mansard-roofed mansion, completed in 1859. The new house was home to Mary Longfellow Greenleaf, sister of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and was purchased by Radcliffe College in 1905. At first used for music classes, after 1913 it became the residence of the president of Radcliffe College, and more recently of the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

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53 Dunster Street, Cambridge (1841)

At 53 Dunster Street in Cambridge is a former house, built in 1841 and now owned by Harvard University. The builders, William Saunders and Stephen S. Bunker, interestingly made the house three stories, unusual for Greek Revival-style houses of the period.

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54 Dunster Street, Cambridge (1900)

At 54 Dunster Street in Cambridge is a former Harvard clubhouse, built in 1900 and designed by A.J. Russell. It now houses the Harvard Office of Career Services.

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The Z. Augustus Gallup House (1890)

The ornately detailed Colonial Revival style house at 357 Essex Street in Salem, which features architectural references to Salem’s past as a Federal-era China Trade seaport, was built in 1889-1890 for Z. Augustus Gallup. He was the manager of the Naumkeag Clothing Company.

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The John Jenkins House (1799)

According to the plaque on the house at 2 River Street in Salem, it was built in 1799 for John Jenkins, a tailor.

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The Glover-Cook-Chapman House (1799)

The Glover-Cook-Chapman House, at 101-103 Federal Street in Salem, had many owners over the years. It was built in 1799 or earlier and its first owner was Ichabod Glover. This could be the same Ichabod Glover and house referred to in the following entry, dated April 29, 1802, from the Diary of William Bentley,

Curious incident happened yesterday. As a Company were attending a vendue of the goods of Ichabod Glover, lately deceased, in the chamber of the dwelling house of the deceased which was partly new, but not finished, the floor gave way, & the whole company of forty persons with the furniture & articles for sale fell down together. No person was killed, several were wounded, many bruised & all frightened. The House is in Federal street.

The house was later owned by merchant Samuel Cook, cabinetmaker John Jewett, and next by schoolteacher Rebecca Thayer and printer John Chapman, a publisher of the Salem Register. From 1874, it was home to Benjamin Shreve and his heirs.

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