Want a Historic Home? Here’s Where You Should Live
Historic Homes Are Time Capsules of American History
There’s just something special about owning a historic home. For starters, a lot of these homes were built back before mass manufacturing took over the country so they typically feature a lot of hand-honed work and this alone sets this type of home apart from others. Then there’s the pride in knowing that you’re salvaging an important example of early American architecture.
If you have always dreamed of owning a large, sprawling historic home that was built before 1900, then your search is going to be limited to the east coast of the United States and a limited portion of the Midwest. Luckily, a lot of these homes still exist and they can be found in abundance in some cities more than others.
Here are the top five cities in the U.S. for historic homes.
Founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England, Boston is one of the country’s oldest cities. It was one of the original manufacturing hubs in America and along with its port, Boston became a popular city for everything from jobs to tourism. After playing an essential role in the Revolutionary War, Boston’s population grew rapidly as European immigrants, a large number of whom were Irish, flooded the city.
Today, the city remains home to the largest number of historic homes in the country with most being sold for around $799,000. This two-bedroom Greek Revival is a good example of the historic homes you’ll find in Boston. This is one of the oldest homes in the city’s Eagle Hill neighborhood and it originally belonged to ship-joiner William McKay.
Newark, New Jersey
Newark was founded in 1666 by Puritans from the New Haven Colony in Connecticut. Its position along the waterfront helped turn the city into the home of one of the most important ports in colonial America. In the 19th century, the city experienced tremendous growth thanks to the industrial revolution.
As one of the oldest cities in the United States, it naturally has a large number of historic homes among its neighborhoods. The average price for such homes in Newark is $144,500. This colonial-era townhome is located in the highly desirable Forest Hills neighborhood, and features three bedrooms and two baths — it’s currently being sold for $299k.
In 1735, a wealthy shipping merchant and former mayor of Philadelphia, William Allen, purchased the land that was to settled and named Allentown in 1751. The city wouldn’t be officially founded until eleven years later. In 1770, Allen’s son, James Allen, built Trout Hall, currently the oldest standing home in the city.
The original town plans, which consisted of 756 lots, currently resides in the Historic Society of Pennsylvania’s archives, so there are a lot of historic homes to be found here, with many for sale at affordable prices. Currently, the average price for a pre-1900 home in Allentown is just $75,000. This beautiful 1893 Victorian home is the perfect example of what your money can get you in Allentown. It boasts four bedrooms, three floors of spacious rooms, and a lush fenced-in backyard.
Hartford, Connecticut was founded in 1635 and it is home to the country’s oldest continuously published newspaper, the Hartford Courant; the oldest public art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum; and the oldest publicly funded park in Bushnell Park. It is also where Mark Twain spent much of his adult life, and it’s where many of his most famous works were written.
As one of the country’s oldest cities, it has a large selection of houses built prior to 1900 with the average selling price for such historic homes currently at around $141,500. This classic Victorian home is just one of the many timeless homes located in historic Old Wethersfield neighborhood and it features cathedral ceilings, five spacious bedrooms, two porches, and two baths. It is a stunning example of colonial-era architecture that has been beautifully restored to its original stateliness.
Providence, Rhode Island
Founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Providence, Rhode Island was one of the original thirteen Colonies in America. It was also one of the first cities in the country to become industrialized. Providence played significant roles in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and it was one of the first places where Patriots spilled British blood during the Gaspée Affair of 1772, and during the Civil War the city’s manufacturing industry proved to be essential for the Union Army.
Today, historic homes in Providence are being sold for an average of $275,000, but you can expect some expertly restored homes to go for double that amount. This Colonial/Victorian home is located in the heart of Providence’s Northern Elmwood Local Historic District. It features five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a modern kitchen, vinyl siding, original hardwood floors, a stained glass window, and a center hall grand staircase. This large and airy home has a selling price of just $269,000.
The above five cities are certainly not your only chances for finding a charming historic home. Other cities that have a large number of historic homes for sale include Manchester, New Hampshire; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.