I believe that I am running out of architectural styles manifest in Salem: I’ve featured First Period houses several times, also Georgians, it’s always about Federals in this city, and I have also posted on both Greek and Gothic Revival houses. There are so many variations of Victorians: but certainly I have featured Italianate and Queen Anne houses. Like the Federal style, the Colonial Revival is very predominate in Salem so I could never really “cover” its breadth of expression, but every time I go off on an “Olde Salem” tangent I’m in that realm. I’m not sure I could find enough bungalows in Salem for a post (perhaps) and I’m just not interested in anything built after World War II. One conspicuous omission from this laundry list is Dutch Colonial, one of the most popular residential styles of the era between the wars. Salem certainly has some Dutch Colonials, so I set off on foot to see as many as I could. For the most part, this meant leaving the downtown for North and South Salem, as this was chiefly a “suburban” style in its heyday—when it was featured very prominently in all the architectural periodicals and popular texts like Richardson Little Wright’s Low Cost Suburban Homes. A Book of Suggestions for the Man with the Moderate Purse (1916). I love the caption under a rendering by architect Norman Baird Baker: “the Dutch Colonial gambrel roof type of house stands preeminent for suburban life. Its roof provides ample room and the general lines are attractive and comfortable”.
The Dutch Colonials of North Salem do not seem like “starter homes” at all: more like homes which one would aspire to live in throughout one’s life! And one is for sale—or, rather, under contract. I’m also including this charming little house on Walter Street which strikes me as more Dutch than Dutch Colonial: it’s clearly earlier but I just think it belongs in this company.
The Dutch Colonials of South Salem were all built after the Great Salem Fire of 1914: while their counterparts in the northern section of the city were constructed in a pastoral setting, these houses sprung from a wasteland! And that is why we have a more unusual example of a stucco Dutch Colonial: as fire prevention was at least as important as design.
The Fire took out many buildings on the western end of the McIntire District in central Salem as well; a few Dutch Colonials arose in their place, adding to the very diverse streetscapes of the twentieth-century city. Those built-in benches above and below were definitely the must-have feature of 1919, or 1923.
June 21st, 2018 at 8:13 am
Gorgeous pictures–makes me miss living there!
June 21st, 2018 at 8:34 am
Thanks! When did you live here? Look forward to exploring your blog—love fairy tales!
June 21st, 2018 at 8:50 am
Not for very long, sadly. Back in early 2000s for about 3 years. It was a great walking area and I loved being that close to the water. The scenery inspired by book series.
June 21st, 2018 at 8:55 am
Nice post, Donna. We actually lived in the Walter Street house for a few years in the mid-80s. You’re right that it’s an earlier house. I believe it was built about 1804 for a member of the Felt family. I don’t remember more than that–it’s been a long time… We never quite figured out what was going on with that gambrel. It may have been a later alteration.
When we bought the house, the real estate broker gave us an article from the 1970s in which the writer of a local history column declared that the house was built in the 17th century. He backed up the claim by tracing the deed back to a 17th century transaction. I was, umm, skeptical. He was actually correct in his chain of title–the land had been bought and sold, but no house that early!
June 21st, 2018 at 12:15 pm
Thanks Kim–so great to hear from you and I had no idea this was your former house. I love it and have always been curious about it–I knew it didn’t really belong in this “Dutch” category, but I’m glad I put it in because now I know more!
June 21st, 2018 at 9:44 am
Hi Donna: Did you realize that two of the most beautiful homes in Northfields were built from mail-order kits? The Blier home on Felt St, formerly the Austin Ropes condemned house, and the Opoloski-Hoben home, formerly the Cate home which where both built from catalog mail order kits according to Dick Opolski – who knew everything worth knowing about Northfields. I have some funny stories about the Misses Cate of Dearborn St. who were related to all the Salem sea captains if you want a chuckle over a glass of wine.
June 21st, 2018 at 12:12 pm
I did not know that the Blier’s house was built from a kit, Anne! Would love to hear more.
June 21st, 2018 at 1:16 pm
The Willows has at least a few Dutch Colonials. The Martin House (my humble abode) was built around 1915 and is odd Dutch Colonial in a set of Colonial Revival houses built at about the same time by the same family and judging from the details, possibly by the same builder. My understanding is that the diminutive Dutch Colonial was built next door by the parents for their children. These houses were among the earliest year-round residences in what was then a summer cottage neighborhood. We purchased 1 Lowell Street from Stuart Martin who grew up in the house.
June 23rd, 2018 at 2:46 pm
Of course you are correct! Lovely houses. The minute I posted that I thought to myself, shoot I forgot the Willows! I’ll add an appendix!
June 21st, 2018 at 1:29 pm
One common style you’ve yet to cover is the Gablefront, found throughout Salem, even in the McIntire District, but ubiquitous in the Gallows Hill neighborhood. Not to worry, 😉 I’ve explored the Gablefront in my blog https://gallowshillsite.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/the-gablefront-house-gets-no-respect/
in four posts so far with a fifth coming. Started as one post, but as always happens learned too much to fit into a single post.
June 23rd, 2018 at 2:47 pm
These are great, thanks.