New England House Styles

Here is a collection of images and information beginning with the earliest “First Period” Houses of the 17th Century, extending forward as you scroll down the New England House Styles list, to contemporary “Mid-Century Modern” houses. Grouped in three’s, this journey will take you through some of the most significant examples of historic houses in New England, all located on Boston’s North Shore. Hover over a photograph, then either click on the “link icon” for more information, or click on the “magnifying glass icon” for a larger image.


First Period – John Balch House, Beverly, MA

With the distinction perhaps of being the oldest wood frame structure in North America, our area is fortunate to be the home of the Balch House. Note the steep gable roof lines, small windows ( early glass was relatively expensive) and large central chimney.


First Period – Parson-Capen House, Topsfield, MA

The Parson-Capen House is another first period treasure. This design has a second and third story overhang. The structure is currently undergoing a partial restoration. Once again; steep roof lines, a massive central chimmney and small windows are typical elements of this period.


First Period – Whipple House, Ipswich, MA c. 1677

Another fine First Period house was moved to this spot near the Ipswich River by the Ipswich Historical Society from a location in central Massachusetts in order to save it from demolition. It has a plank door, small diamond shaped windows and a wooden roof.


Early Colonial – Granite Street, Rockport, MA

Set on a small pond, The Garrison, as it is sometimes called, is the 3rd oldest house in Rockport. With a massive central chimney and a fireplace that one can walk into, this is a fine example of the early colonial style. Wide pine floors, solid wood walls, and a second story overhang, this house [...]


Early Colonial – Dodge Street, Beverly, MA

With two massive central chimneys, imagine how many fireplaces there must have been in this Early Colonial house. The window frames are a little wider in this period, and are being placed in a more symmetrical pattern. The front door is more ornate with two little windows, and some trim around it. Otherwise the house [...]


Early Georgian – Perkins Row, Topsfield, MA

Generally thought of as New England farmhouses, these handsome two and a half story rural dwellings were built in the early 1700's in great numbers. The detailing over the front door has become more decorative during this time, and the positioning of the windows and doors more symmetrical. The chimney, while still central to the [...]