Charles Bulfinch- Architect of the Capitol

More Conspiracy Dug Up From the Past

Charles Bulfinch Architect of the Capitol. Find out more at the Salem Tunnel Tour.

Charles Bulfinch

One of the most famous architects in Salem was Charles Bulfinch. In Salem he built the new building for the Essex Bank, the town asylum, and Old Town Hall.

Old Town Hall was built on the foundation of Elias Hasket Derby’s mansion. This was the last mansion he lived in before he died. The first was the little brick house on Derby Street his father had built for him when he married the daughter of the enemy in town. The second was what is now named the Hawkes House. Derby never finished this one, instead he opted to use it as secret warehouse for all of his booty his fleet yanked from the Brits at sea. The remaining house we have not mentioned yet was razed to build the Essex Lodge in 1918. All of his mansions were connected to the tunnels. When they built the  Mason Lodge  the new owners kept the foundation untouched and left the tunnels unfettered. The last mansion was sold to the town by relatives of Elias Hasket Derby Jr., who engineered the most daring expansion to the tunnels to date, to build the new town house and market.

Now Bulfinch was called to be the man on the job to build the new town house and market.  Bulfinch perfected the art of crafting buildings with secret entrances to the tunnels he had designed. In Salem this was a necessity for the majority of the wealthy who depended on this system to circumvent the custom agents. Granted the custom agents were smugglers too, but they did collect from the honest unconnected merchants. Bulfinch would build the State House in Boston as well, but his biggest project would call on him to be the one who finishes building the nation’s capitol. He became the Architect of the Capitol. Bulfinch was the original Warren Bellamy in Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol. He held the position from 1818 to 1829. He was appointed by James Monroe.

Old Town Hall Built by Charles Bulfinch. Find out more on the Salem Tunnel Tour.

Old Town Hall

In July of 1817  James Monroe had seen many of the homes that were connected to the tunnels. He visited the homes of Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield , Superior Court Justice Joseph Story, Senator Nathaniel Silsbee, and Old Town Hall built by Bulfinch. Monroe might of been so impressed  by the network of tunnels that he hired Bulfinch to do the same for Washington D.C.

Bulfinch dug his way to the top by going through the bottom building homes for the wealthy and ended up  working for the government building their capitols and maintaining theirs secrets.

Tunnel leading from the Library of Congress.

Tunnel in D.C. You can see where part of the tunnel was sealed off.

For more info visit the best Salem walking tour! Plus read the book Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City on Amazon.com.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s