Shapley Townhouses // 1815

The Shapley Townhouses in Portsmouth, New Hampshire sit on Court Street and were built around 1814-15, after the Great Portsmouth Fire of 1813 had destroyed the center of town. It was constructed to conform with the new Brick Law that required all new buildings in downtown Portsmouth to be built of “fireproof” brick. The paired townhouses are unusual in the city as a particularly well-preserved example of a Federal period double-house. The house was built by Captain Reuben Shapley, a ship’s captain and merchant. In about 1973, this building was remodeled into a temporary home and counseling center for troubled youth. Suffering from deferred maintenance and the direct proximity to the Strawberry Banke Museum, the Strawberry Banke Foundation purchased the double-house who rent out spaces inside to offices, providing a revenue stream to maintain and further showcase the history of the port town.

2 thoughts on “Shapley Townhouses // 1815

  1. Paul Chandler May 24, 2023 / 2:48 pm

    So many buildings to see there. I’m about forty minutes away. I did find free parking outside of banking hours downtown. I’m mostly concentrating on houses beyond Court Street now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marlin Williams May 24, 2023 / 5:33 pm

    I’ve always associated bricklaying & stone work in New England with Spanish, Greek & Italian immigrants who came here in the late 19th & early 20th centuries; my wife’s own great grandfather came from Spain to work in the quarries of Barre, Vt in 1909. However, it seems native Yankees had some pretty skilled brick manufacturers & bricklayers of their own.

    Liked by 1 person

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