The Oldest Buildings in 50 U.S. Cities
America may be a young country, but it still has a fascinating history. While you won't find buildings that date back thousands of years, as in other parts of the world, you can gain insight into the country's foundation through its architecture. After all, these buildings have quite the story to tell — including ones that were used in the Underground Railroad or as soldiers quarters during the Civil War.
NetCredit, based in Chicago, took a look at the oldest standing buildings in America's largest cities. Only buildings that still resembled their original look were considered, and some were even relocated to save them. Want to know what the oldest building is in a U.S. city near you? Read on to learn exactly why they've stood the test of time and how you can (maybe) go visit them.
Find It: 5125 Woodbine Avenue
As the birthplace of the nation's Independence, Philadelphia is known for its buildings that date back to the Founding Fathers. Still, the oldest building dates nearly 100 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Dr. Thomas Wynne, the doctor of Philadelphia-founder William Penn, built his dream home in 1689. The home remained in the family for two centuries and is still a private residence.
Find It: 735 Columbia Road
Boston's part in the Revolution is well documented, and the city also houses many historical sites and buildings. The oldest, the James Blake House, was the home of a Deacon.
Originally located on Massachusetts Avenue, the home was relocated to its current location when it was saved by the Dorchester Historical Society in 1895.
Find It: 6900 Grady Niblo Road
Although the oldest building in Texas doesn't have the years of Boston and Philadelphia, it does offer a glimpse at life in Texas when it began as a state.
This log cabin, saved by preservationists in 2012, was built by the Everard Sharrock for his family's new 640-acre homestead.
Find It: 104 Fifth Avenue
The original, smaller structure is a home that stands significantly in the quiet history of America. Believed to be an Underground Railroad stop for slave escapes, the home is now Pancho & Lefty's Cantina.
The addition beside it was added in the 1840s.
Find It: 1500 Washington Boulevard
This sprawling plantation home was originally a summer retreat for lawyer Charles Carroll. During the Civil War, the home became Union soldier quarters.
Now a museum, you can tour the interior to see period furnishings, attire and decor.
Find It: 4136 Wallace Street
A traditional adobe home of the American Southwest, the Casa de Carillo is now the pro shop for the Presidio Hills Golf Course.
No one knows when the house was really built. Some say 1810, another organization says 1816, and the historical landmark bestowed upon it suggests 1821.
Find It: 553 King Street
People lived on Hawaii long before it became a state. It's oldest remaining structure, the Frame House, arrived from Boston after the wood frame was shipped around Cape Horn.
Used as a home for missionaries in the 1800s, it is part of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and may be visited.
Find It: 8413 Southpark Circle
Orlando, Florida, existed a century before Walt Disney ever imagined a dream world. In the heart of the city, Gordon Rogers built his green Victorian home after arriving from England.
The home has been donated to the city and will be transformed into an arts and culture scene under the management of the Downtown Arts District.
Find It: 5624 North Newark Avenue
In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed much of the Windy City, but there is evidence of its earlier beginnings still sprinkled about. When the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House was constructed in 1833 for Mark Noble Sr., an English immigrant, it lay outside the city's limits.
After massive city growth enveloped the structure within its new confines, it became the oldest building in Chicago. Then, Thomas Hartley Seymour of the Chicago Board of Trade purchased it and added new wings to the original structure, making it the gorgeous structure it is today.
Find It: 1571 Willis Mill Road SW
Joseph Willis was one of the earliest settlers to Atlanta's Dekalb County, constructing his home in 1840. It became Major General Jacob D. Cox's headquarters during the Civil War.
The home remains a private residence and may not be visited. (Unless you know the homeowners, of course.)
Find It: Point State Park
Thank the Daughters of the American Revolution for saving this structure that began as part of Fort Pitt.
Although the fort was eventually demolished, the Block House was converted in 1785 to be used as a home, which kept the building standing before the Daughters rescued it once again in 1894.
Buffalo, New York
Find It: 414 Virginia Street
Buffalo, New York, suffered its own devastating fire in 1813 when the British, along with Native Americans, attacked the Niagara area at the end of the year. Completely destroyed, rebuilding began immediately, including the Colt House on Pearl Street.
The home was moved to its current location in the 1860s and was restored during the 1960s. It currently serves as a private residence.
Find It: 416 Clark Street
This former farmhouse dates back to 1804 when the city of Cincinnati was just being settled. Originally set on 111 acres, the home housed four generations of Betts family members and was later restored by a descendant of the original owners, William and Phebe Betts.
It's now located in the Betts-Longworth Historic District and serves as a museum that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Find It: 3045 64th Avenue SW
The Maynard House was built by notable David "Doc" Maynard, the influential man touted as "the Man Who Invented Seattle."
Originally located at First and Main streets, it was moved by another notable resident, Ivar Haglund, a renowned restauranteur known as "King of the Waterfront." Today, it remains a private residence.
Find It: 1344 W. 10th Avenue
Alaska was a pioneering territory where men and women sought gold. One such pioneer eventually became Anchorage, Alaska's mayor.
His home, built in Knik just across the Cook Inlet, was moved to Delaney Park by its modern-day owners, who have made it a popular bed and breakfast.
Find It: 1380 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit's oldest building is home to a former mayor, Charles Christopher Trowbridge, who helped Michigan become a state. Located on Mullett Farm, the Victorian house was reduced in size by the end of the decade to make space for another property.
Briefly becoming a rooming house, the home was restored to single-family use. Today, under the National Register of Historic Places, it serves as an office space.
Find It: 3051 M Street NW
The British had a lovely way of burning down cities to try to win back the United States. Old Stone House is one of the few that survived the fire of 1814.
Rumor had it George Washington stayed here, but that myth was debunked. The property is now a part of the National Park Service and is open to visitors.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Find It: 2005 North Plaza NW
The San Felipe de Neri Church started at its current location in 1706. A building collapse in 1792 resulted in the construction of a new church that opened its doors in 1793.
The original name for the Franciscan church (a group of religious orders within the Catholic Church) was San Francisco Xavier, but it was changed by the Duke of Albuquerque to honor the King of Spain.
Find It: 3321 16th Street
The missions of California were created by Franciscans and were built up the coastline of the state. San Francisco's original mission remains intact, even surviving the earthquake of 1906.
Although it goes by the name Mission Dolores, after the Arroyo de los Dolores creek, its official name is Mission San Francisco de Asis.
Find It: 500 East Washington Avenue
While Bugsy Siegel may get credited with developing Las Vegas, it was a settlement in its own right a century before the casinos arrived.
This fort was the area's first-settled by non-natives and was erected by Mormon missionaries.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Find It: 1636 Parish Road
Before Virginia Beach, Virginia, became a popular summer destination it was home to some of the earliest American settlers. While the Broad Bay Manor dates back to 1640, it has seen too many numerous additions to be authentic.
Instead, the Adam Thoroughgood House, built in 1719, is the more original of elder homes. Designated in 1960 as a National Historic Landmark, the building was restored and open to the public to explore the pre-Georgian/post-medieval home.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Find It: 2375 Como Avenue
Minnesota's oldest home actually comes by way of Wisconsin. The Old Muskego Church was built by Norwegian settlers in Wind Lake, Wisconsin, but was relocated to St. Paul in 1904.
It was taken apart piece by piece and then reconstructed on the campus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which maintains and restores the building to use it for special functions and weddings.
Find It: 198 Adams Avenue
Many Irish immigrants found their way to Tennessee, where they introduced their music and dance into the culture that is continued across the South to this day.
Originally the home of Eugene Magevney, who was a teacher and civic leader, the house eventually became a church to host the city's first Catholic mass. Original furnishings and possessions of Magevney are now on display in what is a free museum.
Find It: 10 Olvera Street
Before Los Angeles became home to Hollywood and an entertainment mecca, it was farm and ranch land. This traditional adobe home was owned by ranchero Francisco Jose Avila. More than 100 years after its construction, the vacant house was condemned.
There was a public campaign to save the house that gives the city its oldest building, now a museum on the National Register of Historic Places.
New York City
Find It: 5816 Clarendon Road
Think New York is nothing but skyscrapers, erected after long demolishing signs of the city's beginnings as New Netherland? Think again.
Hidden in Brooklyn is a home that dates back more than 300 years. Once upon a time, Pieter and Grietje Wyckoff raised 11 children in a one-bedroom farmhouse. It's received an expansion but is relatively the same as it was. Now, it serves as a museum.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Find It: 160 South St. Mary's Street
Joel Lane is considered the "Father of Raleigh" because the land that began as the North Carolina capital once belonged to Lane. Selling 1,000 acres to the state in 1792, his plantation remained.
Today, the home is a museum that showcases life in the late 1700s, from the slaves that Lane owned to the birth of a new capital.
Find It: 6709 Euclid Avenue
Traveling by horseback to get from city to city led to openings of a number of taverns that provided food, drink and accommodation back in the day.
The Dunhams, Rufus and Jane, built and operated their tavern while managing their surrounding farm. More than 100 years, later it was turned into a museum.
Find It: 715 South Forest Street
Mile-High City is home to Four Mile Historic Park, named for the Four Mile House that has rested here for more than 150 years. When the Gold Rush sent wagon trails through the state, Samuel and Jonas Brantner built a two-story log cabin for lodging. Soon, an inn was added to provide food and refuge for travelers along the Cherokee Trail. In fact, the home gets its name from the original land provided for campgrounds to Natives forced to relocate.
Once rail travel began, the brothers returned to farming. But the land and its buildings became a Historical Monument in 1941, and in the 1970s, it became a park and museum dedicated to the citizens of Denver.
Find It: 100 Chartres Street
Ursuline nuns from France were presented with a convent first constructed in 1734 in New Orleans. A newer and bigger structure, which continues to stand today, is now the city's oldest building.
One of the few buildings to survive city fires of the 1800s — a miracle, perhaps? — the former convent is now a museum.
Find It: 404 NW 3rd Street
Miami existed long before the pastel-hued Art Deco days of the early 20th century. You'll find evidence of this at the Barracks, which were originally used to house Colonel and Florida Senator William F. English's slaves.
Transformed into military barracks as Fort Dallas, the building has been used as a post office, a gambling club and a headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Newark, New Jersey
Find It: 29 Old Road to Bloomfield
The oldest private residence found in the entire metropolitan New York area is in Newark, where a two-room saltbox was built over a root cellar. In 1826, the room was expanded into the larger building that remains today.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970, the home has been modernized and refurbished.
Find It: 11676 Palmetto Avenue
Nearby St. Augustine, Florida, may be the oldest city in the United States, but it's Jacksonville, Florida, that's large enough in population to land on the list of cities with the oldest properties.
Slaves constructed this plantation home for John McQueen on Ft. George Island, although the house took on the name of the English-born family who moved into the home in 1814.
Find It: 9101 Graf Road
Originally the East Texas mission of San Jose de los Nazonis, the Mission San Juan Capistrano took its new name in 1731. The name was bestowed upon it along with its new location and included a farm cultivated by Native farmers.
A National Historical Park, the farm and mission is preserved for visitors to explore.
Find It: 405 NW 15th Street
For the "Father of Oklahoma City," nothing would do but a grand Victorian mansion — the first mansion in the city. Henry Overholser's home was constructed in 1903.
The property was sold to the city's Historical Society in 1972, and the property is available for touring.
Find It: 1310 North Hayden Road
Another Victorian property was constructed in Scottsdale, Arizona, for railroad investor Frank Titus.
Designed and built by architect James Miller Creighton, the home has remained a private residence since 1892.
Find It: 5608 Apache Road
The oldest property in the state of Kentucky happens to be the childhood home of Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States. Taylor lived here from 1790 to 1808, returned to be married here and was eventually buried here.
Still, the house is not a part of the National Park System and remains a private residence.
Find It: 4426 Randall Place
Overlooking the Mississippi River, this Greek Revival home was built for Captain Lewis Bissell and his family in 1831. The family lived in the mansion until 1882. Although the house fell into disrepair, it became a city landmark that was saved.
To visit the house, you'll need to like dinner theater — it's now home to the Bissell Mansion Restaurant & Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.
Find It: 28 University Avenue SE
Ard Godfrey was one of the first people to settle in Minneapolis. His small home, built in 1849, was restored and preserved when it was relocated to Chute Square at the turn of the 20th century.
The home is available for a tour during the summer months.
Find It: 4504 SW Shattuck Road
Pioneer Andrew Tigard built this home in Portland while his brother, Wilson, founded the city of Tigard nearby.
There is some debate as to when the house was built, with earliest sources claiming 1855.
Find It: 212 Dallas Street
Nathaniel Kellum's former home was constructed out of his own brickyard bricks and is now the oldest-standing building in Houston. When it transferred to the Noble family, it briefly became a school. In 1899, it became the park keeper's home when it was incorporated into the city's first municipal park — now known as Sam Houston Park — in 1899.
The building was saved in 1954 by the Heritage Society.
Find It: 8502 North 330th Street
The oldest bank in Nebraska is also the oldest building standing in the city of Omaha. The Bank of Florence eventually closed until 1904 when it was reopened as the Second Bank of Florence.
Visitors are welcome and are able to see the upstairs living quarters of the bank's managers.
Kansas City, Kansas
Find It: 500 Westport Road
Before Kansas City annexed it, Westport was home to the Albert G. Boone Store, which served wagon trains making their way to the west. It morphed into a grocery store and then became an inn, all before becoming a fixture of Kansas City in 1899.
It still operates as retail space, where the popular Kelly's bar resides, and the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Find It: 560 North Maybelle Avenue
Reverend Sylvester Morris constructed Tulsa's oldest structure in 1885 as a Methodist missionary. At that time, it was located on North Cheyenne Avenue.
But after a fire in 1976, it was relocated to Owen Park.
Find It: 844 North Broadway
The Old Saint Mary Parish was built the same year Milwaukee was established.
Designed by architect Victor Schulte, the church continues to operate as a parish, making it the longest continually operating church in the city.
Find It: 118 South Westland Avenue
Originally located at the corner of Florida Avenue and Jackson Street, the oldest building in Tampa, Florida, was relocated in 2018 to its current location, a preservation district.
This wasn't the first time the single-family home was moved. In 1914, it was relocated to make way for a new city hall. The building serves as office space today.
Find It: 302 North Park Avenue
In the capital of Indiana, former governor James B. Ray resided in this stately home, constructed in 1835.
Originally located on South Alabama Street, where the Marion County Jail now stands, the house was relocated to Lockerbie Square Historic District in 1977 to join other notable buildings of the city's past.
Find It: 115 West Sherman
The homestead of Phillip Darrell Duppa, the founder and name bestower of Phoenix, this adobe-style home is a registered historic landmark. An English "Lord," Duppa is also noted for naming Tempe, Arizona.
The two-bedroom building is falling apart and is kept secure from visitors by a surrounding fence.
Find It: 450 West Fort Street
The log cabin of the first family in Boise, John and Mary Ann Chapman Lambert O'Farrell, has occupied its current location since 1910 when it was relocated.
Restored and preserved in 2002, the building was also the city's first house of worship. It may be visited and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Find It: 201 St. Paul's Blvd.
When the British lay fire to Norfolk in 1776, the only building to survive was St. Paul's, built in 1739.
The church didn't escape undamaged — a cannonball, fired by Lord Dunmore, remains lodged in one of its walls. But it remains a church to this day.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Find It: 423 North Cascade Avenue
Born on the East Coast, Major Henry McAllister eventually moved to Colorado with his wife, Elizabeth Couper, building the first home of bricks in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Following his death, the home was converted into a candy shop in 1921 before a preservation group purchased it in the 1960s. It is now a museum.