The large brick home originally dates back to 1740, with an addition added in 1801 & would have been considered a mansion in its day built in front. The original part that was built in 1740 would later be used as a kitchen. Two sisters lived in the residence at one point.
“They wanted to have their own separate residences, so there were doors that went back and forth on all three floors,” architectural preservationist Gregg Perry said. “They could have locked the door from inside the house, meaning if they didn’t want the other sister coming through or vice versa, they would stop them from coming in. It was a very unique situation.”
This dwelling will be used as an example of the high degree of sympathetic restoration that our group can perform. The house is a fine example of late 18th century high-style Georgian architecture which continued on to the early 19th century. The well-proportioned window placement and lighted fan over the doorway highlight its brick facade exterior.
Unfortunately, the ravages of time, decay and abuse have forced this dwelling into an urgent need of intervention.
The flagship project will begin by clearing the property’s overgrown vegetation, debris and a two-story burned out dwelling at the far rear of the property. The labor will be supplied by local volunteers from various groups. Next, we will be removing the crumbling non-original additions to the house, including the front roof dormer.
At this point, our concentration will move to the dwellings interior; cleaning out the interior, planning for the mechanicals, electric and fabrication of all the missing millwork.
Our effort will be spearheaded by volunteers on the ground and preservation-minded citizens donating machinery and tools to get the project moving forward. Our longer term goals are to create a community center that would provide millwork and expertise for any community homeowners who would wish to work on their own dwellings. Included with this would be the training of young people who desire a potential career in preservation and as a way to instill pride in themselves and their community.
Salem City is one of the most important early towns of our country and this can be best exemplified by John D. Rockefeller Jr’s 1920s study of the purchase of the entire city of Salem to be converted into a living Colonial museum. An expert in the field, he felt Salem comprised sufficient fabric but the plans were later thwarted by the state of NJ citing that there may be potential fatalities on Rt 49 and Rt 45 with a walking museum. So Rockefeller proceeded to Williamsburg, VA and created a Disney-like Colonial reproduction town with virtually no original fabric.
In the early 70’s, several homes on Market Street just days from the bulldozer were saved by a philanthropist passing through town. He assembled the powers that be and donated a large sum of money to save these houses. These restored Colonials were sold to homeowners for little money but, unfortunately, they did not carry on the spirit of Market Street preservation.
Anticipated results after historic preservation efforts.