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Architectural Monographs: Early Wooden Architecture of Massachusetts

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Since they were founded in 1646, the towns of Andover and North Andover in Essex County, Massachusetts have served as an example of typical New England tradition and civilization, and that includes their architecture. These towns may have changed, like the rest of America, since this issue of the White Pine Architectural Monographs was written in 1917, but many of the homes featured here as illustrations of early wooden architecture still stand.

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Of particular note is Andover Hill, where a group of about fifty houses sprung up after the establishment of the Phillips Academy  in 1778. The author of this monograph, Addison B. LeBoutillier, notes that the occupants of these houses “left names well known in history, literature and theology.” Among notable early Andover residents are New England’s first published poet, Anne Bradstreet, and her husband, Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet. When this monograph was written, the house labeled ‘Governor Bradstreet House’ was believed to have truly been that of the Bradstreets, built in 1667, but historians have since realized that it was misidentified. It’s now known as the Parson Barnard House, believed to have been built in 1715.

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Other interesting wooden buildings in Andover and what is now West Andover include a number of gambrel houses, and spacious three-story houses “of a courtly period when the aristocratic ideas of old-country traditions still held in the style of living and social customs of the Colonies.”

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Learn more about the history of America’s earliest architecture in Volume III, Issue II of the historic White Pine Architectural Monographs.


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