I’m a persistent, one might say compulsive, realestalker: my admiration for my own house doesn’t stop me from checking out others, often. I think that this compulsion is shared by many of my neighbors: nothing stirs up a Salem gathering better than real estate chat. With the down market over the past few years, these discussions have not been as much fun, but I think (hope) that the market is picking up now. I thought I would start featuring a sampling of Salem houses for sale from time to time on the blog, because it’s a nice way to focus on great houses that may or may not have some historical connection or architectural feature that would land them here anyway. Salem is full of great old houses, many of which are overlooked and very worthy of notice, and lots of newer houses too, though I am not interested in those. Sorry–if you haven’t figured it out before now, I am a complete old-house snob, for aesthetic, architectural, environmental and experiential reasons. The houses below are all in the McIntire Historic District with one exception: I’ll focus on other neighborhoods in future posts. I’m linking the listings below to Coldwell Banker‘s site, just because I find it particularly easy to navigate.
The Devereux Hoffman Simpson House at 26 Chestnut was the last of the grand Federal mansions to be built on the street, in 1826. The house has 15 rooms, 7 bathrooms, and a restored carriage house with an apartment on the second floor. It was featured in the New York Times real estate section several weeks ago, and the first photograph below is from there.
I featured the completely-ivy-covered exterior of the Cook-Kimball house on the blog about a year ago and got 4000 clicks in 10 minutes: it is a striking sight. The interior looks more stark–and well-preserved, but I’m only going by the listing, which also attributes the house to Samuel McIntire (while all the sources I consulted–Fiske Kimball, Bryant Tolles, Jr.–attribute it to his son, Samuel Field McIntire). Located on a quiet side street off Salem Common, the property includes six bedroom, an adjacent lot with carriage house, and, as you can see, an amazing staircase.
Adjacent to each other on Beckford Street, a side street that runs between Federal and Essex in the McIntire Historic District, are these two houses built before the Revolutionary War. 22 Beckford is a really interesting house with lots of period details and a great enclosed yard: it was actually moved to this location at some point in the nineteenth century. It has seven fireplaces, parking, and a really cute garden shed out back. 20 Beckford Street, right next door, is actually a multi-family house with two units–there are 12 rooms in all. The situation of this house, with its front facade at right angle to the street and enclosed yard, affords it quite a bit of privacy.
Just down the street from the Beckford street colonials, and almost across from McIntire’s Peirce-Nichols house, is the Albert Goodhue House at 87 Federal Street. The house was built in 1893, and has that combination of architectural detail and enhanced scale characteristic of Colonial Revival houses. It is also a multi-family house, with 3 units, parking, and a private yard.
Addendum: From the Old House Blog, Five Reasons to Invest in an Older House.