The Christmas in Salem house tour, Historic Salem, Inc.’s major fundraiser, has been an annual tradition in Salem for over 30 years. It alternates between neighborhoods from year to year, and this year’s tour–Ports of Call–is centered on Derby and Essex Streets in the eastern end of the city. I’m always impressed with the effort that goes into this tour, as well as the generosity of the owners (and I speak from experience here–it’s quite a commitment), but of course it’s all about the architecture. Ports of Call suggests a maritime theme, but for me, this year’s tour was all about architectural diversity–as I walked through a succession of houses that included McIntire’s perfect Gardner-Pingree House and a stunning modernized house on Salem Harbor filled with the “souvenirs” of a global life well-lived with a bunch of super-insightful friends, I was, once again, blown away by Salem’s architecture. The tour is on today, so if you’re in our area you should go.
Starting out at Gardner-Pingree (1805):
Some amazing floors at 91 Essex Street (1868):
The very creative owners of Two Curtis Street (c. 1731), short on space but quite attached to their piano, turned their dining room into a “lounge” situated in its quadrilateral addition!:
Various vignettes and views of the Captain John Hodges House (c. 1750):
Captain Hodges himself, and exterior decorations of the house:
26 Hardy Street (built 1851): a Christmas display with Lenin bust, and the dining room overlooking Salem Harbor. So much to see I was overwhelmed!
Purple glass doorknob leading into the Sarah Silsbee House (c. 1807); “Three lobstermen” in a Derby Street shop window).