The Typical Nantucket House with Greek Revival details at 55 Union Street was constructed by prolific island builder John B. Nicholson in 1834. Nicholson developed much of the block bounded by Union Street, Orange Street, and York Street in the 1830s, but prior to this, it had been a more rural area of settlement by African Americans, called Newtown. Essex Boston, an African American man and relative of Seneca Boston, builder of 27 York Street, likely lived in on older home on this property, prior to the current building’s construction. 55 Union Street has a 4 bay plan common in homes built by Nicholson, with each floor consisting of three rooms and a hall built around a central chimney mass. Michelle Elzay and Pen Austin, together with Ginger Andrews, the home’s previous owner, won Nantucket Preservation Trust’s Architectural Preservation Award in 2016 for the restoration of the property. The careful, sensitive restoration preserved the home’s interior floorplan, lime plaster walls and ceilings, floorboards, paneled doors, baseboards, interior paneled window trim, mantelpieces, and balustrades, and more.
Delve deeper into the restoration process with this article from Archipedia New England.