8 Oldest Buildings in America

  
Via:  Nerm_L  •  2 months ago  •  7 comments

By:   Richard Sparrow (Oldest. org)

8 Oldest Buildings in America
Discover the 8 Oldest Buildings in America here. Prepare to be transported into a rich & fascinating history on these buildings.

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S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The first successful European colonies in America were established in the early 1600s and these early colonists built some of the oldest buildings in what would later become the United States of America. However, humans first arrived in America around 13,000 years ago, and their descendants built and still inhabit the oldest buildings in this country.

This list contains eight of the oldest buildings still standing in America, most of which date back to early colonial times, with a few going back thousands of years. All of them are still in use today, mostly as historical house museums.

8. Richard Sparrow House


Date: 1640
Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts
Original Purpose: Residential home
Still in use: Yes

photo source:Wikimedia Commons

The Richard Sparrow House is a historical house that dates back to around 1640 and is the oldest surviving house in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The house was built by Richard Sparrow as a home for his family after he was granted a house tract of six acres in 1636, which required him to build a home within four years.

Sparrow was a surveyor and by 1642, he added seven more tracts to the home's original six acres. The house was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is currently operated as a museum and art gallery.

7. Henry Whitfield House


Date: 1639
Location: Guilford, Connecticut
Original Purpose: Residential home
Still in use: Yes

photo source:Wikimedia Commons

The Henry Whitfield House was built in 1639 for Henry Whitfield, a Puritan minister who had come to the New World to flee religious persecution and was one of the founders of the town of Guilford. It is the oldest stone house in New England and the oldest surviving house in Connecticut. The house was used as a home for Henry and his wife and children and also served as a place of worship before an official church was built in Guilford.

The Henry Whitfield House was remodeled in 1868 and since 1899, its been open to the public as the Henry Whitfield State Museum, which is owned and operated by the State of Connecticut. The house was restored again in the early 1900s and today teaches the history of the English settlement of Connecticut and the coming together of the European and Native American cultures.

6. C. A. Nothnagle Log House


Date: c. 1638 - 1643
Location: Gibbstown, New Jersey
Original Purpose: Residential home
Still in use: Yes

photo source:Wikimedia Commons

C. A. Nothnagle Log House, also known as Braman-Nothnagle Log House, is one of the oldest surviving log cabins in the U.S. The house was built by Finnish settlers in the New Sweden colony of what is now New Jersey, sometime between 1638 - 1643. During the 18th century a large addition was added to the house and a wooden floor was added in around 1730.

The log house is privately owned by Doris and Harry Rink and open for tours by private appointment only. The Rinks have owned the cabin since 1968 and have restored it to near-original condition. Recently (June 2017), the house, which is a registered National Historic Site, was put up for sale for $2.9 million. The Rinks say that even after the house is sold, they will continue to take care of the house and give tours.

5. Fairbanks House


Date: c. 1637 - 1641
Location: Dedham, Massachusetts
Original Purpose: Residential home
Still in use: Yes

photo source:Wikimedia Commons

The Fairbanks House is the oldest surviving timber-frame house in the U.S., which was built by Puritan settler Jonathan Fairbanks sometime between 1637 - 1641. Jonathan built the house for his wife Grace and their family and when he died in 1668, he left the house to his eldest son, John.

After that, the house was passed down through eight generations of the Fairbanks family until 1904 when Rebecca Fairbanks was the last person to live in the house. Upon Rebecca's departure, the Fairbanks family members established the Fairbanks Family in America, Inc. to purchase the house and preserve it for future generations.

Today, the Fairbanks House is a historic house museum that is open to the public.

4. San Miguel Mission


Date: c. 1610 - 1626
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Original Purpose: Church
Still in use: Yes

photo source:Wikimedia Commons

The San Miguel Mission, also called the San Miguel Chapel, is believed to be the oldest church structure built in the U.S. Although it is hard to pinpoint the exact date when the church was built, the earliest documentation mentioning the church dates back to 1628 - this means that the San Miguel Mission was built prior to that time.

The city of Santa Fe was established in 1610 and according to oral history, the church was built around the same time. Since then, the church has been rebuilt and restored several times as it was destroyed during the mid to late 1600s, however, the building still retains its original adobe walls.

The San Miguel Mission is still open during the week for prayers and visitors and mass is held on Sundays.

3. Palace of the Governors


Date: 1610
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Original Purpose: Government building
Still in use: Yes

photo source: Wikimedia Commonsphoto source:Wikimedia Commons The Palace of the Governors is the oldest seat of colonial government (Spanish) and is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the U.S. The Palace was built for Pedro de Peralta, who founded the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico and was the governor of the Spanish territory in what is now the American Southwest.

Throughout Spain's control over the region, the Palace served as the Spanish seat of government and when New Mexico was annexed as a U.S. territory, the Palace became New Mexico's first territorial capital. The Palace was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1960 and today serves as New Mexico's state history museum.

2. Acoma Pueblo


Date: c. 1000 AD - 1200 AD
Location: Cibola County (west of Albuquerque), New Mexico
Original Purpose: Residential
Still in use: Yes

photo source:Wikimedia Commons

The Acoma Pueblo is made up of three villages: Sky City (Old Acoma), Acomita, and Mcartys. Although no one knows for sure how old the Acoma community is, archaeologists agree that the Pueblo has been continuously occupied since at least 1200 AD. At one point, the land that the Acoma Pueblo was on totaled about 5,000,000 acres, but the today, the Acoma tribe only retains about 10% percent of this land, forming the Acoma Indian Reservation.

There are around 5,000 Acoma tribal members living in the Pueblo today, which is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

1. Taos Pueblo


Date: c.1000 AD - 1450 AD
Location: North of the modern city of Taos, New Mexico
Original Purpose: Residential
Still in use: Yes

photo source:Wikimedia Commons

The Taos Pueblo isn't a singular building, but a group of ancient homes and ceremonial buildings that were built by a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people. According to the people who still inhabit the Taos Pueblo, the main part of the existing structures was built between 1000 AD and 1450 AD. The Pueblo is made entirely of adobe (earth mixed with water and straw, then either poured into forms or made into sun-dried bricks) and remains mostly unchanged since it was first built.

The Taos Pueblo, officially called Pueblo de Taos, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1960. The Pueblo is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.


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Nerm_L
Senior Principal
1  seeder  Nerm_L    2 months ago

Some of these buildings are pretty cool.  Follow the seed link to view the photos.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2  Ender    2 months ago

Pretty cool. I hate when they demolish old buildings.

Here Katrina wiped out a lot of old homes from the 18th and 19th century.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
2.1  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Ender @2    2 months ago
Here Katrina wiped out a lot of old homes from the 18th and 19th century.

Yep, that's a loss that can't be replaced, too.  I was surprised there weren't any examples from French settlement on the list.  Maybe you've explained why.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1    2 months ago

We have an old cemetery with above ground tombs, like the famous one in New Orleans. After the storm they found caskets washed out onto the highway.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
3  Hallux    2 months ago

The Taos Pueblo knocks the rest out of the park.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     2 months ago

Acoma and Taos Pueblo are in a class by themselves. I've been to both and they are spectacular, especially when you know the history and how they were built.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
5  Split Personality    2 months ago

My personal favorite is not on the list.

The oldest lumberyard in the USA still operating and still owned by the original family.

They also mill replacement colonial siding and flooring to match the products found throughout Bucks County pre-Revolution homes.

I spent a small fortune there in my day and was proud to call Bill Tinsman a friend.

Tinsman Brothers ., a lumberyard based in the oh-so-appropriate town of Lumberville, Pa., is still owned by two brothers of the Tinsman family, Tom and Bill, and traces its history back to a sawmill built in 1755. One reader even told us that, during the Revolutionary War, the business sat in the middle of Tory country.

 
 
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