Andover Historic Preservation

9-11 ESSEX ST9-11 essex st (click to enlarge)


architectural description

Classical Revival, altered so that original building scarcely discernible

historical narrative

Present use - office space; Andover Haven;Eastern Regional Book Mobile; library storage. Present owner Town of Andover
Subsequent uses, furniture store of Henry Barnard after 1845; tin shop 1850's, plumbing store; move theatre 1918-. Themes - Architectural, The Arts, Community development, recreation and Transportation.
The theatre building has been so altered for its different uses through its existence that its original form and style is hardly discernible anymore. Poore, writing in 1863, claims that Jacob Chickering did the carpentry work and lists under "buildings erected by Chickering before 1852 -cottage which was the depot about 1845." First train of cars on Andover and Wilmington Railroad, now Boston and Maine, arrived at this depot, August 6, 1836. Used as railroad station until 1847. "Location removed as track relaid for better connections to Boston after founding the city of Lawrence, 1845-47. Bessie Goldsmith says the building served as Andover's first railroad depot in the 1830's. After its years as a railroad station, it later became "old plumbing shop" (Waldo's Plumbing Shop). In 1850: Walsh's Tin Shop to 1900 under M. Walsh. In 1918, it was considerably altered for its use as a moving picture theater. It was named Colonial Theatre and remodeled and reopened in 1918, the charge was 15 cents plus 2 cents for the War Tax.
In 1950, Samuel Resnick was owner. 1960's - it was Andover Playhouse, bought by William Barnett, June 31, 1958. In June 1968 it was bought by Dunton Reality Trust and used for office rentals. 1975: reopened after remodelling, it is now owned by Town of Andover and houses the Andover Haven, library storage for Memorial hall Library and the Eastern Regional Bookmobile. Also used for town meetings before town hall was built.


Goldsmith, Bessie; Townsman's Andover, 1964
Andover; What It Was and What It Is: 300th Anniversary Memorial Volumn. Andover Press. 1947
Poore, Dr. Arnold; "A Genealogical-Historical Visitation of Andover in Year 1863" Essex Institute Historical Collection, vol. XLIX, 1913, July p. 239-252
Catalogue of Loan Collection at Punchard Hall; 250th Anniversary Celebration, Town of Andover, 1896
Andover Townsman; Oct. 23, 1914, Dec. 11, 1914, April 19, 1956

inventory data

Table: Inventory Data for 9-11 ESSEX ST
Place: Andover Center
Historic District: Not Applicable
Address: 9-11 essex st
Historic Name: Theater Building - Colonial Theater
Present Use: Office space; Andover Haven
Original Use: railroad station
Date of Construction: ca. 1830 original cottage
Source: Dr. Alfred Poore
Style/Form: Other
Architect/Builder: Jacob Chickering renovated
Wall/Trim: Brick and wood trim
Outbuildings / Secondary Structures
Major Alterations: 1845 renovated from cottage Converted from RR station 1918
Demolished: yes, 1987
Acreage: less than one acre, 19,420 sq. ft. With 123' approximate frontage
MHC inventory number: ANV.189
Recorded by: Stack/Mofford
Organization: Andover Historical Commission
Date: 1975-77

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