Portsmouth Housing Authority – MS080

Portsmouth Housing Authority – MS080

Provenance: See accession record

Citation: Portsmouth Housing Authority (MS080), Portsmouth Athenaeum

Size: 1/2 Hollinger box

Access: No restrictions

Processed by: Susan Stowe Kindstedt in June 2005; updated by James Smith in 2022.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of an inspection report and appraisal of the Puddle Dock neighborhood performed by the Portsmouth Housing Authority in 1955. The report concludes that the buildings in the area are beyond repair and recommends demolition of many in the area. The report includes detailed descriptions of each house in the area including condition of the exterior, plumbing and electrical systems, structure, roof, etc. The report begins with comparison properties in other areas of Portsmouth, which serve as a basis for appraisal of values.

Historical Note

The area covered in this collection was known earliest in New Hampshire’s history as Strawbery Banke and was first settled in the 1630s. Portsmouth’s seaport trade and shipbuilding flourished during the eighteenth century resulting in the construction of many houses in what was later called the Puddle Dock neighborhood. In 1907 the wharf area from which the neighborhood received its name, was filled in. During the beginning of the twentieth century many structures in the neighborhood, then being used as inexpensive rentals, fell into disrepair. The 1955 Urban Renewal Project (for which this appraisal was prepared) was proposed to remove all of the ”substandard” buildings from the area. In 1958 local residents, concerned about the loss of some of the city’s earliest structures, formed Strawbery Banke, Inc. and successfully saved the area from the demolition. In 1965 the area was opened as a museum.

Separated Materials

This report originally contained black and white photographs documenting the structures in the appraisal area. During processing the photographs were photocopies in the report and then removed. Photocopied pages were inserted into this manuscript collection and the photographs were cataloged as P0010 South End Urban Redevelopment Survey.

Processing Note

All the individual property owners and street addresses have been cataloged with the individual photographs in P0010 South End Urban Redevelopment Survey photograph collection; therefore, a search of Past Perfect will allow specific properties within the study to be located.

Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1 Portsmouth Housing Authority Appraisal Report of Project No. NH R-1. Report includes introduction & summary of Portsmouth in the 1950s.

Folder 2 Comparative Properties

Folder 3 Parcel A, Block 1, Parcels 1 to 3

Folder 4 Parcel A, Block 2, Parcels 1 to 8

Folder 5 Parcel A, Block 3, Parcels 1 to 4

Folder 6 Parcel A, Block 4, Parcels 1 to 10

Folder 7 Parcel A, Block 5, Parcels 1 to 4

Folder 8 Parcel A, Block 6, Parcels 1 to 7

Folder 9 Parcel A, Block 7, Parcels 1 to 4

Folder 10 Parcel A, Block 8, Parcels 1 to 7

Folder 11 Parcel A, Block 9, Parcels 1 to 6

Folder 12 Parcel A, Block 10, Parcels 1 to 2

Folder 13 Parcel A, Block 11, 1 to 4

Folder 14 Parcel A, Block 12, Parcels 1 to 3

Folder 15 Parcel A, Block 13, Parcels 1 to 8

Folder 16 Parcel A, Block 14, Parcels 1 to 3

See also: P0010 photographs and M0317 and M0325 maps.