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 9 of the oldest buildings in the U.S.

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GoddessMelody
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PostSubject: 9 of the oldest buildings in the U.S.   Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:37 pm

Quote :
Time-tested
We have a fascination with ancient buildings. The Great Pyramids, the Colosseum, the Parthenon — these places draw visitors from all over the world. It’s a commonly held belief that no such places exist in the United States.

Remnants of pre-Columbian civilization survive in America, but these are few and far between, and the most notable examples, from the Incan and Mayan empires, are outside the U.S. But examples of ancient architecture do exist in America, and plenty of them are habitable — some entering their third or fourth century of life — just waiting for your next road trip. (That's Mesa Verde shown at left.)

Here are nine of the oldest buildings in the U.S.


Longfellow's Wayside Inn, Massachusetts

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Located in Sudbury, Massachusetts, the Wayside Inn has been open since 1716. The building began as a small home in 1706 and was turned into an inn serving local travelers 10 years later. The original owner’s family ran the business until the 1860s.

Many people come here to get a first-hand look at one of New England’s oldest remaining commercial buildings. The Wayside is also a working bed-and-breakfast with 10 guest rooms and daily meal service. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow set one of his books, "Tales of the Wayside Inn," inside the tavern after visiting in the 1860s. Because of this, the inn is often referred to as Longfellow’s Wayside.


Paul Revere House, Massachusetts

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Paul Revere’s house, the oldest building in downtown Boston, is now a museum. When Revere made his famous ride, his home was already nearly a century old. The building was first occupied by a parson and his family, then was bought by a well-to-do Boston merchant who added a second floor.

Revere sold the house in 1800. Interestingly, his great-grandson bought it back a century later to keep it from being demolished. History buffs stepped in and raised money to renovate the property and turn it into a museum. The adjacent Pierce Hichborn House, from the early 18th century, is one of the oldest brick houses in the Americas.


Santa Fe Palace of the Governors, New Mexico

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The Palace of the Governors, one of the oldest colonial structures in the lower 48, is a nondescript adobe building that is part of Santa Fe’s historic district. This single-level construction certainly doesn’t look like a palace, but it has a rich and colorful story. Built in the early 17th century by a Spanish colonial governor, the building has endured a tumultuous history that included wars and frequent changing of hands.

Though it's now one of the oldest buildings in the U.S., the palace was technically not a part of the country until 1848, when it was taken from Mexico. Today, the adobe structure is used to house the New Mexico History Museum.


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Sitting in the center of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, this Roman Catholic cathedral is technically the oldest colonial building still standing in the U.S. It has been renovated over the years, the last time in 1917, and it first opened in 1521. A school was on the site for a decade before work on the church began.

The tomb of famed explorer Ponce de Leon is in the cathedral. Though he died in 1521, the same year the church was built, his remains were placed elsewhere. His body was exhumed and moved to Bautista in the 19th century.


Mesa Verde, Colorado

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One of the most well-preserved pre-Columbian settlements in the U.S. is at Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado. The cliff dwellings here are no longer habitable, but they are still in good condition because they are partially protected by rock overhangs.

There are several clusters of buildings, including the famous Cliff Palace and the Spruce Tree House. The main sites here can be visited only as part of a ranger-guided tour, though a self-guided tour does pass by a few of the structures.


Fairbanks House, Massachusetts

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Built in the 1630s, the Fairbanks House in present-day Dedham, Massachusetts, is the oldest surviving timber-frame dwelling in the United States. The home was originally built by Puritan settlers, though the family name was spelled “Fairebanke” in 17th century English. The house stayed in the family for several centuries and is now a museum run by a nonprofit group headed by descendants of the original settlers.

Fairbanks is open to the public from May through October. The family has retained many artifacts which are on display inside the property.


Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

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Many pre-Columbian homes in the Americas are uninhabited, but people still live in these centuries-old adobe structures in New Mexico. The Taos Pueblo, a mile from the mountain town of Taos, features buildings constructed between the 11th and 15th centuries. Today the pueblo is part of a reservation, which is home to 4,500 people.

Tourism is a part of the local economy on the reservation. At certain times of year, visitors are welcome to tour parts of the settlement where community artists sell paintings, sculptures and handicrafts. Though the locals are known for their secrecy and desire for privacy, some of their celebrations are held on days when visitors are present, though photography is strictly prohibited.


La Fortaleza, Puerto Rico

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Built between 1533 and 1540, this fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the official residence of the territory’s governor. It is the oldest continuously inhabited government house in the Americas. Overall, more than 170 governors have lived or stayed in the castle. In addition, the building has hosted King Juan Carlos of Spain, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and several U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama.

In its early years, the fort was twice captured, by England and the Netherlands. When its walls were breached for a third time — by American forces in 1898 — La Fortaleza officially became part of the U.S.


Wyckoff House, New York

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New York City was thriving long before the brownstones and skyscrapers were built. The oldest remaining house in the Big Apple dates to 1652. Known as the Wyckoff House, it was constructed by early Dutch settlers in the saltbox style that became popular in the 13 colonies.

Tours are offered daily at the site, which lies in the middle of present-day Brooklyn. Interestingly, people in the U.S. today with the name Wyckoff (or some variation of it) can usually trace their ancestry back to the man who built the house.




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KaoticLette
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PostSubject: Re: 9 of the oldest buildings in the U.S.   Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:52 pm

I love this! Thank you for posting it. I love stuff like this.
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GoddessMelody
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PostSubject: Re: 9 of the oldest buildings in the U.S.   Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:37 pm

KaoticLette wrote:
I love this! Thank you for posting it. I love stuff like this.

You're welcome =) Me too!
I will someday make it to chichen itza & go earthing. Thats on my bucket list.
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KaoticLette
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PostSubject: Re: 9 of the oldest buildings in the U.S.   Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:27 am

I would love to be able to visit at least some of these some day too
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Selli
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PostSubject: Re: 9 of the oldest buildings in the U.S.   Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:06 pm

I love this kinda stuff. Thank you so much for posting. I have a book on the haunted places in Cali and I would love to be able to visit them all!!!
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epiod
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PostSubject: Re: 9 of the oldest buildings in the U.S.   Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:53 am

Omg, I love this stuff!
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