Cooper-Frost-Austin House

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Cooper-Frost-Austin House in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cooper-Frost-Austin House is clearly documented as the oldest dwelling still standing in the city of Cambridge. The house was owned by one family for more than 250 years.

Built by Samuel Cooper in 1681, the house is one of the earliest examples of an integral lean-to "half house" consisting of a "low room," "little room," "kitchin," "Chamber," "kitchin Chamber," "Garret," and "Cellar." Other original features include a pilaster chimney and a façade gable.

Hall Chamber of Cooper-Frost-Austin House in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Shortly after Samuel Cooper's death in 1718, his son Walter extended the house to the west, thus completing the main block of the house and presenting the current symmetrical façade. Succeeding generations undertook various alterations to both the interior and exterior.  Despite the changes made, the early frame and much original material survives intact.

Open

2013 Schedule
June 1, free admission
June 2, member-only admission
August 11
Tours at noon, 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

The Cooper-Frost-Austin House is a Historic New England property.

 


Top photo: Cooper-Frost-Austin House - Built by Samuel Cooper in 1681-82, the Cooper-Frost-Austin House is clearly documented as the oldest dwelling still standing in the city of Cambridge. Recent dendrochronlogy proves that the Cooper-Frost-Austin House is the oldest known integral lean-to house in the area.

Bottom photo: Hall chamber - Despite many changes by the generations who inhabited the Cooper-Frost-Austin House, much of the original finish detail survives intact. Two original interior finishes, for example, remain in the hall chamber. Vertical board sheathing on the fireplace wall co-exists in the same chamber with plaster walls on the end and front walls. Exterior wall plaster was probably directly applied to the frame and nogging.