Pickering House (Salem, Massachusetts)
|Part of||Chestnut Street District|
The Pickering House (circa 1651) is a First Period Colonial house located on Broad Street, Salem in the McIntire District . The house was owned and occupied by ten successive generations of the Pickering family including Colonel Timothy Pickering. This house is believed to have been the oldest house in the United States continuously occupied by one family, although another family moved into the house in 1998. It is located at 18 Broad Street, Salem, Massachusetts and is open to the public under the auspices of the nonprofit Pickering Foundation. Across the street is the Broad Street Cemetery, one of the three oldest in Salem.
Although the core house is first period, it has evolved considerably over the years. Architectural historian Abbott Lowell Cummings, in his Architecture in Colonial Massachusetts, concludes that the right-hand side of today's house was built for John Pickering, Sr., a carpenter, before his death in 1657 upon land granted to him in 1637. This original house was two stories tall, with a single room on each floor, and an entry bay. The left side was then added circa 1671 by his son, John Pickering II. In 1751, Deacon Timothy Pickering raised a rear lean-to up to a full two stories, which is how the house exists today.
In 1841 the front facade was reworked in the Gothic Revival style, with the facade gables probably dating from this time. Many of the house's external features date from this alteration, including the roof finials, round windows in the gables, cornice brackets, and exterior entry porch. Family records also suggest that a passageway was cut through the chimney stack at this time, and that the exterior chimney was remodeled to today's columnar style at this time. The Gothic-style fence with its cut-outs and obelisk finials was also added in this renovation. In 1904 a two-story ell was added to the rear. In 1948, Boston architect Gordon Robb carried out interior restoration work to reintroduce more Colonial Revival features.
- List of historic houses in Massachusetts
- Timothy Pickering
- List of the oldest buildings in Massachusetts
- List of the oldest buildings in the United States
- Bryant F. Tolles, Jr., Architecture in Salem: An Illustrated Guide, University Press of New England, Hanover and London, reissued 2004.
- Pickering House - official site