Newburyport Holiday House Tour: Toppan-Whitney House

I wrote about three of the houses I visited at the 2015 Newburyport Holiday House Tour the other day, but wanted to share the Toppan-Whitney House in its own post because it’s on the market – so we get more insider photos!

Toppan-Whitney House
image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

The Toppan-Whitney House is a brick Federal-era home built in 1804 and is on the corner of Kent and High Streets. It’s actually two doors down from the building where my condo was when I lived there – so I was very excited to see the inside of this house!

240 high st

Above is the High Street view – my house is the yellow on the left, the Toppan-Whitney House is the brick on the far right. (ignore the trash cans – thanks Google!) As an aside – I do wish the current condo owners would replace the green shutters that were on the building when I lived there – it’s sorely missing them!

So, anyway, back to 62 Kent Street… The Kent Street side is the main entrance and just look at the detail of the Corinthian columns, dental work and corbels… so gorgeous!

IMG_5737 Toppan-Whitney House

Enter the front hall…

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

The living room is to the left of the front hall. Notice the amazing shutters on the windows and wainscoting.

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

And dressed up for Christmas! Is that mirror just exquisite?!

IMG_5740 Toppan-Whitney House

Notably, the house was really decked out beautifully for the holidays and the tour. As I noted in my other post, some houses on this tour aren’t as festively decorated as others, which is fine because the architecture is interesting as well. But it’s so nice to have a house that really went for it and turned the visit into an event!

IMG_5741 Toppan-Whitney House

The living room had a wonderful bird theme – I love the little gathering of snowy owls below the tree.

And onto the dining room which also has shuttered windows and window seats.

Toppan-Whitney House
image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

IMG_5744 Toppan-Whitney House


On a side note –  I have those same Parson’s chairs with sandy velvet slips – in my pink dining room. Of course, my little Nook Cottage is not exactly comparable to Toppan-Whitney mansion, but it shows how similar elements can be used in very different homes.

IMG_5746 Toppan-Whitney House

Downstairs powder room:

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

We next stepped into the kitchen:

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

Don’t you love the little back staircase? It is thought that the house was a stop on the underground railroad as initials were found in the attic and Newburyport had a vibrant abolitionist community.

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

The kitchen is in a later brick addition to the house and features a restaurant quality six burner range with double ovens. The cabinets are African mahogany.

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker



Beyond the kitchen is the “keeping room” aka breakfast room. Note the trunks on the right side of the photo. The bottom trunk was originally from the famous whaling ship “Essex” which was built in nearby Amesbury and is famous for having sunk off the coast of Nantucket in 1820, reducing its crew to starvation and cannibalism. This story was immortalized at the end of “Moby Dick” and is the subject of the new movie “The Heart of the Sea” directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth and Brenden Gleesen.

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

The house tour did not include any other downstairs rooms or the upstairs, so here’s quick tour of the highlights:

The little space overlooking the front door on the Kent Street side:

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

An upstairs bedroom is a mirror image of the downstairs living room:

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

The brick walled attic:

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker

Stepping out to the backyard was a real treat. Houses in this neighborhood are quite close together, so there aren’t to many with big yards. Loved the little enclosed patio – I’d certainly want to spend a lot of time out here!

image courtesy of Coldwell Banker


And this is a photo of the addition to the side of the main house.

IMG_5736 Toppan-Whitney House


The Toppan-Whitney House is listed by Coldwell Banker in Newburyport.

All images ©2015 Linda Merrill, except where noted.

6 thoughts on “Newburyport Holiday House Tour: Toppan-Whitney House”

  1. Love Newburyport and Plum Island! Thanks for the great tours and my New England “fix” – after living there for 40+ years and then moving to CA, I miss everything but the brutal winters! The Toppan-Whitney house is a lovely antique home with exquisite millwork, but why did the present owners install the exterior shutters outside the casings when the original hardware is still in place (pet peeve of mine)?

    • Hi Merlyn,
      It’s a good question about the shutters. Probably cost – the one’s there are too small for the windows positioned where they are. People forget they need to actually be able to close to look right! And to keep the brutal winters out! Thanks for visiting and your comment! Happy Holidays! Linda


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