I suppose it is time to stop obsessing about a now-roofless historic Salem house and redirect my attention to those with lovingly preserved roofs, in these cases, gambrel: all around me it seems as if Georgians are for sale. Here are three, two just around the corner from our house and one two streets over. The Salem real estate market seems very hot; I don’t expect them to last long. 40 Summer Street, which abuts our property in the back, was built in 1762 for one proverbial Salem ship captain, Thomas Eden. There are lots of great photographs of its interior in the listing, but if you want to see more, it is very prominently featured in one of my very favorite books, Samuel Chamberlain’s Salem Interiors (1950). When searching for photographs of the long-lost McIntire South Church which was situated across the street from my house, I found one which also included the Captain Eden House (then owned and occupied by the Browne family) in the Schlesinger Library at Harvard: this black and white photograph of Summer Street dates from the 1890s.
Just a few doors down is 12 Broad Street, one of my very favorite houses in Salem. If I didn’t have a husband who wanted to go newer rather than older (why do architects always like boring bungalows?) then I would snap this house up myself. Its official plaque date is 1767 but I think that reflects a significant addition built on to a much older 17th century structure. The Neal House has seen a lot: World Wars, Civil War, Revolutionary War, French and Indian War, maybe even Witch Trials.
105 Federal Street, on the other side of the McIntire Historic District, was built a bit after the Georgian colonial era but it certainly looks the part with its gambrel roof. It’s a charming little house, situated with its side to the street and with a sheltered courtyard garden out back. This house is now painted a very nice gray-green color, but for much of the nineteenth century it was known as the “red house”.
August 18th, 2014 at 7:58 am
The Jonathan Neal house is very nice, having gone through something of a renewal (at least on the exterior) in the 15 years I have lived in Salem. However, although I may be imagining things and/or letting years converge together, it seems as though that house has been for sale off and on many times over the same period. Is that your impression as well?
August 18th, 2014 at 8:01 am
I think just once, Matt–the couple who live in it now bought it about 11 years ago. But before then, my memory is a bit foggy.
August 18th, 2014 at 9:07 am
Fuel is expensive to heat the huge dwellings..
August 18th, 2014 at 3:57 pm
It certainly is, Lorraine–but 105 is pretty snug!
August 18th, 2014 at 3:43 pm
I always love looking at real estate listings so these are a treat to see. The details in the Thomas Eden house are fantastic but that’s quite a lot of house. I’m actually the most charmed by the 1801 house.
August 18th, 2014 at 3:50 pm
I just went to look at everything for sale in Salem (on Zillow) just to dream a little bit and there’s pretty slim pickings in Salem right now. I’m pretty much in love with 33 Washington Square.
August 18th, 2014 at 3:56 pm
I know–it’s actually tough to find a well-priced single family home in Salem because so many BIG houses were built and have been turned into condos. I often dream about #33 and I know the couple who originally restored #105–they did a great job.