Historic Houses & Gardens
Salem has a uniquely rich architectural heritage. Every major American architectural style is represented within its borders. PEM’s physical campus of historic houses and other buildings encompasses three city blocks.
Our properties include a unique collection of buildings and architectural fragments spanning three centuries. PEM also has two gardens located on its campus: the 5,000-square-foot Museum Garden and the historic Ropes Mansion Garden.
Currently, Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home is open year-round for self-guided tours and PEM's Ropes Mansion is open seasonally on weekends for self-guided tours. Timed reservations for historic house tours are required and entry is included in general admission.
McIntire Historic District
Located a short walk from PEM, this district is rich with Georgian- and Federal-style houses designed or influenced by renowned architect Samuel McIntire (1757–1811).
Essex Block Neighborhood
This is the center of the museum’s architectural collection. Three centuries of extraordinary New England architecture, set in Federal-style gardens, may be found within this one square city block. As a rule, the buildings whose exteriors are wood-clad have been moved to the site from elsewhere; those clad in brick or stone are original to the site.
Located at the corner of Essex Street and New Liberty Street, this is the site of most of the museum’s gallery and office space, housed in buildings of various periods. Several historic structures comprise this part of the campus.
Explore PEM Walks, an audio series that takes you into remarkable historic structures in Salem with PEM’s Content Producer Dinah Cardin and Manager of Historic Structures Steven Mallory.
Become a Garden Volunteer
PEM periodically recruits community volunteers to help maintain its gardens. We are currently accepting applications.
Peeling back the layers
4 min read
PEMcast 8 | Part 1: Historic House Crush
15 min listen