Introduction

Welcome to the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House. The original section of this building was built in the late 17th century, making it the second oldest house in Cambridge and one of the oldest houses in New England. From its location on Brattle Street, it has witnessed the beginning of the American Revolution, the birth of the abolitionist movement, the formation of America as an industrial powerhouse, and the counter culture revolution of the 1960s.

Like any building that has been lived in for over 300 years, has been changed by its residents over the years and modified repeatedly to meet the style of the day. The house is primarily reflects the Georgian Style of the 18th century, although parts of the original First Period construction remain and one can see Victorian and Colonial Revival  alterations from later generations.

The building was donated to the Cambridge Historical Society in 1957 by Francis Emerson and it has been our headquarters ever since. Today the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House serves as offices, an archive, and as a museum on Cambridge history. The displays change regularly and we encourage you to visit in person.

This virtual tour will take you through the history of our building. We hope you find it interesting and please feel free to ask us any questions you have.