Listen now to the PEM Walks episode about this property! Behind-the-scenes audio storytelling that unlocks PEM’s historic houses.
An antebellum jewel of PEM’s collection, Plummer Hall was designed by Enoch Fuller in 1856.
The Italianate-style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built to house the Salem Athenaeum, a private library. It was purchased by the museum in 1906 and joined by a connector to the John Tucker Daland House in 1907.
The Daland House was built in 1851 for a wealthy Salem merchant. It is one of the finest cube-type, single-family Italianate houses in New England and was among the last great brick townhouses built in Salem. Boston architect Gridley F. Bryant chose the Romano-Tuscan palazzo variation of the Italianate style for this impressive structure.
Plummer Hall houses the Saltonstall Reading Room and three period rooms assembled by George Francis Dow. Note the arched second-story windows and now-closed central arched door. The hall also contains three spaces encased behind glass known as the Dow rooms.
These spaces represent the 17th and 18th century rooms in the manner that curator George Francis Down envisioned them when they were installed in 1910 to 1912.
The Phillips Library collection, which was originally housed here, includes several hundred thousand printed volumes as well as thousands of logbooks, account books, diaries, printed ephemera, maps, photo albums and photographs. To improve the standards of care and preservation for the collection, the library materials and reading room are now at the PEM Collection Center in Rowley, Massachusetts.
Since 2014, PEM has been steadily renovating this historic structure. While work is underway, its incredible acoustics make the building ideal for performances.
In 2021, hip-hop group STL GLD recently spent three days writing and recording a new song in Plummer Hall. Read more about it on our blog, Connected.
Samuel Pickman House
Built in 1672
Located behind the museum
East India Marine Hall
Built in 1824–25
Incorporated into the main museum building
Lye-Tapley Shoe Shop
Built in 1783
0.1 miles from PEM
Quaker Meeting House
Built c. 1688
0.1 miles from PEM