Open Doors of Ipswich, Saturday September 23: 10 am to 4 pm

The Open Doors of Ipswich house tour showcases a large range of architectural styles, from First Period to modern. Proceeds from the tour benefit projects throughout Ipswich related to beautification and tourism. Purchase 2017 House Tour Tickets

Foster Grant house sits on a visible remnant of one of Ipswich’s oldest thoroughfares – Annable’s Lane, nestled alongside modern Summer Street.  When the house changed hands in the 1960’s, it had most recently been a 2-family, with two front doors and separate kitchens.  But how far back into its 3 centuries does the 2-family floor-plan go?  Was the original 1717 structure a “half-house,” soon to be doubled for a branching family tree?  Or did an original central chimney come down (a casualty, perhaps, of the Cape Ann earthquake of 1755) to make way for a central stair?  Today, celebrating its 300th birthday, Foster Grant house features 7 working hearths (3 with bake-ovens), original summer beams, hand-planed panels, extensive gardens and separate hand-hewn timber frame studio (a recent North Bennett Street School project), and a just-completed renovation that creates fresh kitchen and family space in the midst of preserved 18th-century features

Situated on the corner of County Road and Summer Street, the Dennis-Dodge House is a stunning example of the 2nd period in American building. Built in 1740, it has been preserved and restored through the efforts of the Ipswich Heritage Trust and previous owners. The delightful stair-rail was carved by descendants of the celebrated joiner, Thomas Dennis who lived further down County Street. Paneling in the front hall was left unfinished due to a “family squabble”. Original Georgian paneling remains in two front rooms.

The John Kendrick House, built in 1665, spans Hovey street from County Street down to Water. The home was renovated by prior owners with the assistance of Ipswich architect, Chris Doctor. The priority during the renovation was to preserve the historic elements while providing modern amenities and a spacious gourmet kitchen. The current owners recently renovated the antique living, dining and pub room. The house features many historic details, including original fireplaces, Indian shutters, exposed beams and posts.

Luna Sea! Reinventing a 1910 Arts and Crafts farmhouse, this property is a marriage of creativity and whimsy. Visitors have compared it to a spa, with its gardens and waters, a fine European boutique hotel with its mix of Shaker, antique and modern styled furnishings, and a museum with its many collections. Inventive painterly techniques embellish the warm palettes throughout the home. Featured are two installed cedar trees, one in the living room and a 28-foot-tall tree in the kitchen.

Built in 2009, just steps from the ocean on Great Neck, this custom-built Gambrel offers quintessential oceanfront living. The west-facing home enjoys outstanding views of Grape Island and Plum Island Sound. The rise and fall of the tides provide an ever changing coastal view. The home incorporates an open-concept living area with stone fireplace and custom built-ins, a gourmet kitchen with 3-sided brick fireplace and ocean vista. Beautiful woodwork and custom details throughout provide the finishing touches to a truly unique home.

En route to the marsh on Jeffrey’s Neck Road, the property was deeded by King Charles II. Thomas Treadwell owned and operated the farm for the latter part of the 17th century. The farm “was above the ordinary” and remained unchanged through several Treadwell generations for nearly 200 years. The stewardship of the property passed through several families to the current owners, who have maintained and restored the residence with original fireplaces, ovens, beams, moldings, flooring and perfections for today.

Purchased in 2016, this mid-century cottage sat idle and empty for years until the present owners restored it to its former charm. Sitting in the curved embrace of Argilla Road, the home appears small from the front, but be enchanted upon entering this 3-level space. Gardens, gourmet kitchen, open concept living space

The Upland Road Horse Farm is an acorn style home built in the 1980’s on an 18-acre parcel of land. The current owners purchased the home in 2013 and did extensive renovations, including a new kitchen, wine closet, new office space, an expanded master suite and enlarged front porch. Also added was a horse barn with paddock and fencing and a garden shed. This lovely and expansive property was completely re-landscaped with gardens, koi pond and a large patio.

Occupying 14+ acres on Castle Neck River and The Great Marsh, this large contemporary home was re-built on the original foot print in 2008 after being struck by lightning in 2007. The home features a lengthy boardwalk and stunning views. Built for modern sensibilities with open concept living, it features low water plumbing, high efficiency heating, passive solar, reclaimed wood and natural materials. The adjacent barn was also constructed of reclaimed wood.