NEMA Museums New England

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Cooper-Frost-Austin House

21 Linnaean Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Cooper-Frost-Austin House is clearly documented as the oldest dwelling still standing in the city of Cambridge. The house was owned by one family for more than 250 years.

Built by Samuel Cooper in 1681, the house is one of the earliest examples of an integral lean-to "half house" consisting of a "low room," "little room," "kitchin," "Chamber," "kitchin Chamber," "Garret," and "Cellar." Other original features include a pilaster chimney and a fa├žade gable.

Shortly after Samuel Cooper's death in 1718, his son Walter extended the house to the west, thus completing the main block of the house and presenting the current symmetrical fa├žade. Succeeding generations undertook various alterations to both the interior and exterior. Despite the changes made, the early frame and much original material survives intact.