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Gedney House
21 High St, Salem, MA 01970
The Gedney House is a national historic landmark whose early portion was built in 1665. It was a single family homeMore until the Gedney family sold it in 1773 to Benjamin Cox, who used it as an investment property for the next 25 years. Around 1800, Cox added two townhouse-style ells to the west elevation of the house, converting it into a multi-family dwelling. During the years that followed, it served as a boarding house and tenement in what was then Salem’s Italian-American neighborhood. In 1967, Historic New England acquired the house as it was being prepared for demolition. The house is significant not only for its framing, but also for its evidence of early decorative finishes in the hall chamber and parlor. Three successive color schemes, the earliest of which is believed to date to the house's construction, were discovered in the hall chamber. This evidence was preserved by the addition of plaster ceilings, beam casings, and paneled walls by the mid-eighteenth century. The location offers tours on the hour and admission is free for Historic New England members and Salem residents; $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2.50 for students.