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Lifestyle

October 18, 2012

Ipswich opens its doors

House tour features blend of historic and modern homes

IPSWICH — There may be one Ipswich on local maps, but three versions of the town will appear on the 2012 Open Doors of Ipswich Tour.

That’s because the event, which benefits the Ipswich Visitor Center at the Hall-Haskell House, will showcase houses in each of three distinct areas of town — the downtown, the waterfront and the countryside.

“The committee chose distinctive, historic and interesting homes across the breadth — north, east, south and west — of Ipswich,” said Cathy Bruce, who along with her husband, Al Boynton, is helping organize the tour. “It’s to bring attention to the fact that the town is so large.”

Twelve homes will be featured on the tour.

“The downtown homes are all historic,” Bruce said. In this area are many of the town’s First Period homes, built between 1626 and 1725.

Those on the tour include the Daniel Lummus House on High Street, which was built in 1686 and belonged to the parcel of houses where America’s first poet, Anne Bradstreet, lived and wrote. The house was recently restored and includes many First Period features, including feather-edge panels, beehive ovens and a built-in inglenook seat (a seat in the recessed fireplace area) that may be the last of its kind in the United States.

The Treadwell Hale House, which stands on North Main Street and dates from 1740, is joined in this part of the tour by a house on Town Hill that dates from 1876, along with the Capt. Israel Pulcifer House on Meetinghouse Green, which was built 200 years ago.

In addition to possessing more First Period and Second Period houses than any other town in the country, Ipswich also contains contemporary homes that are cutting-edge in their use of green technology.

“One of the homes, a fairly new home on Heartbreak Road, is all green, with solar energy and green building materials,” Bruce said. “It’s very strategically planned as far as light and heating and its cooling system go. It’s an interesting home, and hopefully will appeal to folks.”

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