Historic Emerson-Franklin-Poole House off the market

credit: Laurie Hunt
The murals will remain intact. Credit: Laurie Hunt

Like many historic homes in the Boston area, the Emerson-Franklin Poole House (named for some notable former owners), which came on the market this spring, is marked by beautiful, period design features. This Federal style home, however, comes with a feature even more striking than the usual historic details: a stunning, three-wall mural painted by Rufus Porter, an artist who made a living painting murals and decorative work in New England homes in the early 1800s.

Located on Salem Street in Wakefield, the house was built around 1795 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. When it appeared on the market this spring, buyers’ reactions to the mural ranged from awe and appreciation to, well, “I suppose I can paint over it.”

“It isn’t for everyone,” says the home’s listing agent Laurie Hunt of Angie’s Home Team RE/MAX Leading Edge in Wakefield. “Some wanted the house for the space — it’s huge — but they didn’t want to live with the mural. Some viewers came just to see the mural. We actually had a descendant of the painter come and ask if he could take his picture standing in front if it.”

Porter is said to have started painting in homes around 1810. He was an original “faux” painter, adding grained and marbleized effects to his work. His murals started a mini trend — particularly in Wakefield, where some homes have maintained them, intact, though still more are thought to have been painted over.

“We don’t know how many there are in Wakefield, unfortunately there are no restrictions on this house and someone could have bought it and painted over it,” says Hunt. But they didn’t.

The unique piece of real estate was just recently taken off the market, purchased by Jordan Belknap, who says he has no plans to remove his new home’s most special feature.

“My wife and I appreciate the historical significance of the house and plan on doing what we can to preserve the mural,” says Belknap. “The mural enhances the charm of the home and makes a great conversation piece.”

Historical Note

Rufus Porter was born in Massachusetts in 1792. His family dates back to the early settlement of Salem in the 1600s, when John and Mary Porter became the wealthiest landowners on the North Shore. Porter’s parents moved to Maine when he was young and eventually he developed his skills as a painter, inventor, musician, and writer. In 2005, the Rufus Porter Museum and Cultural Heritage Center opened in Bridgton, Maine, to help preserve his work, and advise homeowners on restoring murals.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Local

Reports: Dead man pulled from water at Boston's…

A dead man was reportedly pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Local

Primark to make US debut in Boston

Dublin retailer Primark will make its U.S. debut with a store at the former Filene's site in Boston.

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

MLB

Statistics show plate approach for Red Sox has…

Statistics show plate approach for Red Sox has been off so far in 2014

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."