History of Brick Block

1-7 Concord Street

Historic or Common Name: Brick Block

Construction: 1830-31

Description: Block of four attached brick 2 ½ - story houses, late Federal/early Greek Revival; 2 outbuildings C[ontributing]

Notes: Block of four houses, four separate owners. Land from Dr. Follansbee who lived at 1 Pine

Contributing/Non Contributing: C[ontributing]

SOURCE: Driemeyer, Laura; Laprey, Kari; Monroe, Lynn; and Hill, Teresa. New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, Area Form, Peterborough Downtown Historic District, June 2010, page 104

1-7 Concord Street

PET0027 1-7 Concord Street The Brick Block, 1830-1831 Contributing building(s)

The Brick Block (1, 3, 5, and 7 Concord Street) is a well-preserved brick block of four two-and-a-half-story attached houses in the late Federal/early Greek Revival style, with side-hall plans. This block is the only example of a brick row in Peterborough, a building type more commonly erected in urban towns and seaports in New Hampshire and New England in the early nineteenth century. The property is situated on the east side of Concord Street/U.S. Route 202/N.H. Route 123, a heavily trafficked roadway and directly opposite the east end of Main Street and the Main Street Bridge. Each house is three bays wide and was originally two rooms deep with a side-hall plan. The entries are paired in the middle two bays of each set of houses. The main rectangular block is augmented slightly with different types of rear ells on the south (1 Concord Street) and north (7 Concord Street) houses, both added during the period of significance. In typical fashion common to the late Federal/early Greek Revival style, decorative detailing is concentrated around the façade door openings, and to a lesser extent the window openings. Each elliptical entry opening features a wooden elliptical fan above three-quarter sidelights and thin pilasters flanking the side lights. The pilasters at 1 and 3 Concord Street are fluted. A row of brick headers rings each elliptical arch. An asphalt driveway runs along the south side of the block leading to the rear of the lot and a paved parking area and a pair of nineteenth- or early twentieth-century small carriage barns located east of 1 and 7 Concord Street. Both are one-and-a-half-story, side-gable buildings. The better preserved of the pair is behind 1 Concord Street but the barn behind 7 Concord Street may be the original or early outbuilding for this house. Each has a variety of exterior sheathing materials.

The Brick Block was built 1830-1831 by four young men, all Peterborough residents at the time: Solomon Richardson, trader; Franklin Spalding, joiner; Horatio N. Dunbar, yeoman; and Benjamin P. Cushing, clockmaker.* For all of the block's history, each house has been owned individually, though sometimes by the same owner. Since the original owners sold their houses (mostly in the mid-1830s) ownership of the houses has been relatively stable with ownership generally no less than five years. Oftentimes a house was owned by the same family for several decades, often by successive generations. On occasion, related families or different generations owned the houses. Prominent older individuals often owned the houses, especially in the nineteenth century and women frequently owned one or two of the houses. Store owners or shopkeepers with businesses in the village center also owned and occupied the houses. Over its more than 175-year history the houses in the Brick Block have been both owner occupied and rentals and have not been subdivided into apartments but have remained intact as single-family residences. 

* HRD 167/365, 14 October 1830; HRD 167/366, 367, 368, and 370, all dated 1 August 1831.