Falmouth Field Guide

11 Queen Street

11 Queen Street is a compound of four buildings, organized around a central courtyard. Although most of the buildings date to the early 20th century, they retain the overall grammar and construction of earlier buildings and continue the tradition of carefully crafted small houses in Falmouth.1 An 1844 plat suggests that 11 Queen Street was a subdivision of an original Falmouth lot, a common practice throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century. The buildings are identified as Building A (house) at the front of the lot and south (left) of the main gate; Building B (toilet and kitchen) in the back of the lot; Building C (house) to the north (right) of Building B; and Building D (shop) in the front of the lot and north (right) of the main gate.

Building A (house)

Building A opens onto the courtyard and contains a side gabled roof over the house and shed roof over the porch. X-latticed rails and chamfered posts define the porch, with two doorways and attached casement windows centered on the façade, a symmetrical, refined small house. Building A is likely the oldest of the four buildings and was in the worst condition when the entire courtyard was rehabilitated. The sills and floor were on the ground and suffered considerable termite damage. The house was taken apart and reassembled using any intact framing and trim and is now elevated on concrete blocks. Walls were nogged using salvaged materials from the original building.

Building B (kitchen and bath)

Building B is a small concrete block building built during the third quarter of the twentieth-century with two doors that open onto the courtyard. This building houses a small cooking space while an adjacent concrete block building contains a shower/bath.

Building C (house)

The second house, located towards the rear of the lot, has the same roofline and the same two-chambered plan with a central partition as Building A; its porch shares the same decorative features as the porch on Building A. Two centered doors punctuate the main façade while four windows, one on each side and two on the rear, illuminate the interior. The house is clad in hand paned, straight-sawn, bevel-edged horizontal boards and is raised on concrete blocks like the other two wood framed buildings. The studs and down braces (and possibly corner posts) are butted and toe-nailed rather than joined, suggesting a construction date between 1890-1910.

Building D (shop)

To the north (right) of the main gate, Building D contains a front gabled room and adjoining shed roofed side room. This building was most likely a shop built sometime during the early twentieth century. Both rooms open onto the courtyard, lit from the sides and the rear by casement windows; a doorway centered on the partition provides internal access between the spaces. Unlike the houses, mill-planed lumber frames the interiors; posts are butted and nailed to the sill and board plate on four sides, indicating a later construction date. The building is clad in a variety of hand-planed, likely recycled, bevel-edged siding. As the lower portion of the frame was termite ridden, the entire building was taken apart and reassembled with salvageable frame and finish.

1 This site report was completed using a variety of source material, including photographs, field notes, finished drawings, and an on site building description by Edward Chappell dated July 28, 2006.