Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shapley Townhouse

The Shapley Townhouse is located at 454 Court Street, on the southwest corner of Court Street and Horse Lane and is owned by Strawbery Banke Museum.

The Shapley Townhouse was built around 1814, after the Great Portsmouth Fire of 1813 had destroyed the center of town. It was constructed to conform with the new Brick Law that required all new buildings in downtown Portsmouth to be built of “fireproof” brick. 

The builder was wealthy mariner and merchant Reuben Shapley, who lived nearby on Court Street. A workshop or store he built that used to adjoin his house is now known as the Reuben Shapley House. His brother, John Shapley, also lived close by at the Shapley-Drisco House.

These photographs were taken in 1961 for the National Park Service’s Historic American Building Survey (HABS). The HABS report refers to the building as the Kelly Property, the owner at that time.

Today, the Shapley Townhouse has been completely renovated as a business condo. One of the first tenants is Euchlora, “the private aesthetics studios and skincare line of aesthetician and artist Jane Balshaw.” Ameriprise Financial and Opus Advisors, LLC also have offices here.

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