First Church in Salem

Salem, MA

First Church of Salem Salem, MA

Built in the 1830s, this is the sixth meetinghouse of the First Church in Salem, the oldest continuous Protestant congregation in North America. Inspired by English Gothic churches, this building has been described as “one of the most outstanding stone masonry Gothic Revival ecclesiastical structures in the United States.” Its stone is reputed to have come from the same quarry as that of the United States Capitol.

In 2008, SSV prepared a conditions assessment and master plan to address the changing requirements of the congregation, whose needs had outgrown its facility. Critical envelope repairs identified in the assessment were executed in 2009 with support from a grant from Massachusetts Historical commission.

Work commenced in 2010 for a new accessible entry. Other renovations included additional classrooms, an accessible rest room, new HVAC systems, life safety improvements, and exterior stucco repair. The addition included a three-stop elevator, staircase, welcoming entrance lobby, offices and a meeting room. The church received a 2013 Preservation Award from Historic Salem for the “far-sighted and architecturally appropriate” elevator addition and renovations.