John Whipple House
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Architect unknown
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Location Ipswich, Massachusetts   map
Date 1677 to 1720   timeline
Building Type town house
 Construction System wood timber frame and siding
Climate temperate
Context originally urban village, now rural
Style Charming Early American




Contributions appreciated

Discussion John Whipple House Commentary

“…the Whipple House (is) one of the finest early wooden dwellings in the United States, a hoary gem which underwent several expansions and many vicissitudes before being rescued late in the last century. The oldest part of the house consists of a ‘hall’, i.e., family room-kitchen, facing an enormous fireplace. Two bedrooms fill the second floor, with another bedroom under the eaves. Construction is based on heavy oak framing, mortised and tenoned together, then enclosed by clapboards left unpainted. The interior is plastered for looks and against drafts. Casement windows with tiny diamond panes provide reasonable daylight.”

“About thirty years after the first section was built, a large addition was attached at the right, making the house approximately 45 feet long by 16 feet deep. Then, some fifty years later, a lean-to ell, containing a proper kitchen and another bedroom, was attached at the rear. Note the house’s stretched-out front, prominent triangular gables high-pitched against snow, the enormous central chimney for both cooking and heating, the thin clapboards, and the small medieval windows (using the largest panes then available)—all are indices of the earliest domestic architecture in New England.”

— G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p84.

"It was 2 ½ stories high, and featured a façade gable. The house’s interior included a first-floor multi-purpose room, or hall, with a full-sized chamber on the second floor and a garret above. The hall’s fine crease-molded boards, painted in bright colors, attested to Captain Whipple’ s wealth. Other features included casement windows, tamarack summer beams molded with quarter-round chamfers with flat collars and lamb’s tongue stops, and a walk-in cooking hearth.

"Captain Whipple built his home as a townhouse, located near the center of Ipswich at the corner of today’s Saltonstall and Market Streets. It was not placed in a rural setting, as it is today"

— from the Ipswich Museum web site

Sources on John Whipple House

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion, p84. exterior photo, p85.  Find books about John Whipple House


Web Resources
Links on John Whipple House

Ipswich Museumsite of the museum that now owns the house

John Whipple House at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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