The Oldest Building in Major Cities Across America

Ursuline Convent

Ursuline Convent by Louisiana Travel (None)

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Ursuline Convent
Ursuline Convent by Louisiana Travel (None)

Building History

While the United States is a relatively young nation compared to the likes of China or countries throughout Europe, that doesn't mean we're lacking in the history department. There are plenty of buildings throughout this country that showcase our history as a nation and in many ways reflect the hopes, dreams and conflicts of our ancestors. The online financial services company NetCredit recently focused its research efforts on identifying the oldest buildings in America's biggest cities, and the resulting list covers everything from adobe huts to elegant mansions. Here's a closer look.

Related: The Oldest Building in Each State

The Overholser Mansion in Oklahoma City's Heritage Hills.
The Overholser Mansion in Oklahoma City's Heritage Hills. by Urbanative (CC BY-SA)

Henry Overholser Mansion, 1903

Oklahoma City
An elegant and impressive home, the Henry Overholser mansion was built for a man who has been dubbed "the father of Oklahoma City," because of the role he played in establishing the thriving metropolis. The building, now managed by Preservation Oklahoma, is open to the public and includes original furnishings, stained glass and stunning canvas painted walls.

Related: The Oldest Bar in Every State

The Pomeroy Building built in 1891 in Mesa, Az
The Pomeroy Building built in 1891 in Mesa, Az by Marine 69-71 (CC BY-SA)

Pomeroy Building, 1891

Mesa, Arizona
The first brick building in the city, the Pomeroy Building was a business building that housed a clothing store and also a shoe store. 

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Tulsa’s Oldest House
Tulsa’s Oldest House by David Stapleton (CC BY-SA)

Tulsa's Oldest House, 1885

Tulsa, Oklahoma
A very simple, side-gabled house, this tiny home was constructed by the Reverend Sylvester Morris, a Methodist missionary. Though it was originally located on North Cheyenne Avenue, like so many of the historic structures on this list, it was also eventually moved. It is now located within Owen Park.

Fresno Daily Expositor Building
Fresno Daily Expositor Building by Kevin Enns-Rempel (None)

Fresno Daily Expositor Building, 1881

Fresno, California
Located in downtown Fresno, the Fresno Daily Expositor Building housed the city's first working newspaper. Newspapers dating back to 1896 were found in the building during renovations in 2019.

The Montgomery Building
The Montgomery Building by Susan Barnum (CC BY-SA)

Montgomery Building, 1881

El Paso, Texas
Built by namesake William K. Montgomery, this simple box-shaped structure was known for its decorative wood cornice, which was the style in the late 1800s on the western frontier. The Montgomery Building is the last surviving building of its kind in the city. Originally used as a drugstore, it is now a pawn shop.

Related: 30 of the Oldest General Stores in America

McAllister House, located at 423 North Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
McAllister House, located at 423 North Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs, Colorado. by Jeffrey Beall (CC BY-SA)

McAllister House, 1873

Colorado Springs, Colorado
The first brick building in Colorado Springs, this home was constructed for Major Henry McAllister and his wife, Elizabeth Couper McAllister. Bricks for the home were transported from Philadelphia. The home also includes three marble fireplaces, which were imported. McAllister lived in the house until passing away in 1921. Later it was rented to another family who used it as a shop. Today it is a museum.

Van Zandt Cottage, Ft. Worth, Texas
Van Zandt Cottage, Ft. Worth, Texas by Nicolas Henderson (CC BY-NC-SA)

Van Zandt Cottage, 1870

Fort Worth, Texas
Initially purchased by Civil War soldier Khleber Miller Van Zandt in 1871, the house was already built when the sale took place, which leaves its exact construction date somewhat a mystery. Still, the home is believed to be the oldest property in Fort Worth.

The 1870 adobe homestead house of Phillip Darrell Duppa in Phoenix.
The 1870 adobe homestead house of Phillip Darrell Duppa in Phoenix. by Marine 69-71 (CC BY-SA)

Duppa House, 1870

This simple adobe home was built by Phillip "Lord" Darrell Duppa, who is considered one of the founders of Phoenix. Duppa is said to be the one who named both Phoenix and Tempe. The home used to be open to the public and offered tours, but that no longer seems to be the case.

Doc Maynard's House
Public Domain

Maynard's House, 1860

This building was built for pioneer David "Doc" Maynard, an Indian agent whose job was to manage Indian affairs. The nondescript, shingle home is a private residence. There's no plaque indicating its status as the oldest building in the city, and the property has no special historic designation.

Four Mile House
Souley Vegan
Sophia C./Yelp

301 Broadway, 1857

Oakland, California
A relatively nondescript, one-story building that began as a wine shop, 301 Broadway is the only building of its era in the Oakland area to have survived. The others either burned, crumbled, collapsed or have been demolished. Today the building houses a vegan soul-food restaurant.

Bank of Florence
Wikimedia Commons

Bank of Florence, 1856

Omaha, Nebraska
A bank initially established for speculators, this building later became the Bank of Florence. Today it is a museum showcasing displays about the early days in what is now the Omaha neighborhood of Florence. Upstairs, visitors can view the bank manager's living area.

Old Mormon Fort
Old Mormon Fort by David Stanley (CC BY)

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort, 1855

Las Vegas
No, the oldest building in Las Vegas is not a casino of some sort. It is an 150-square-foot adobe fort constructed by Mormon colonists. The property, in downtown Las Vegas, is now surrounded by a public park.

Related: 22 Must-See Vegas Attractions That Aren't on the Strip

John W. Tigard House
John W. Tigard House by M.O. Stevens (CC BY)

Tigard Rogers House, 1855

Portland, Oregon
The Tigard Rogers House was built by pioneer Andrew Tigard, whose brother Wilson founded the nearby town of Tigard. The property was a modest, frontier-era home. It has a small, gabled roof with an attached shed roof.

Lady Adams Building
Lady Adams Building by duluoz cats (CC BY-NC-ND)

Lady Adams Building, 1852

A former store and office building, this historic structure was built using materials that arrived in this country aboard the ship Lady Adams. The property, constructed for the price of $29,000, was used as a wholesale and import house run by four German immigrants who also arrived on the Lady Adams.

Kelly's Westport Inn
Wikimedia Commons

Albert G. Boone Store, 1850

Kansas City, Missouri
This property played a significant role in western trade that took place during the 1800s and the migration on the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was originally an outfitting store for wagon trains. The building was constructed by traders George and William Ewing and later sold to Albert Gallatin Boone.

Ard Godfrey House
Wikimedia Commons

Ard Godfrey House, 1849

Constructed by one of Minneapolis' first settlers and the property's namesake, this building fell into disrepair over the course of time and later was moved to a new location in Chute Square, where it currently sits. It is the city's oldest remaining frame residence structure and has been fully restored.

La Casa Cordova
La Casa Cordova by Shawn Rossi (CC BY)

La Casa Cordova, ca. 1848

Tucson, Arizona
An adobe property that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this property is named for the family who purchased the building in 1936. The Cordova family lived in the home from 1944 until 1973. The building belongs to the Tucson Museum of Art but is closed to the public.

Sharrock-Niblo Cabin
Ron Siebler – Preservation Dallas

Sharrock-Niblo Cabin, 1847

A log cabin that dates back to Texas' earliest days, the home included a hand-dug well, root cellar, and log barn and was built by the Sharrock family. In 2012, the property was rescued from decline by preservationists.

The Kellum-Noble House is a Historic American Building in Sam Houston Park
The Kellum-Noble House is a Historic American Building in Sam Houston Park by sdburns (CC BY-SA)

Kellum-Noble House, 1847

Built by Nathaniel Kellum using bricks from his very own brickyard, this home later became one of the first schools in the area. Later, in 1899, the property became part of the first municipal park in Houston and served as the park keeper's home. In 1954, the Heritage Society was established to save the historic home.

Related: Cheap or Free Museums in All 50 States

Old St. Mary Parish
Wikimedia Commons

Old St. Mary Parish, 1846

This parish structure is the same age as the city of Milwaukee where it is located. Both were established in 1846. The church, designed by renowned architect Victor Schulte, was built by German Catholic immigrants.

Miami, Florida: Lummus Park Historic District: Old plantation slave quarters, moved here from the Fort Dallas area
Miami, Florida: Lummus Park Historic District: Old plantation slave quarters, moved here from the Fort Dallas area by E (CC BY-SA)

Fort Dallas Barracks, 1844

The Fort Dallas Barracks structure has gone through a variety of uses including as a military post during the Seminole Wars and even a gambling club. The property was also headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution for many years.

118 S. Westland Avenue

118 S. Westland Avenue, 1842

Tampa, Florida
Though it was built at the corner of Florida Avenue and Jackson Street, this historic 2,000-square-foot property was later moved to accommodate the construction of city hall. And then it was moved yet again in 2018 to place it within a protected zone.

The French Legation, built in 1840-41, is now the French Legation Museum.
The French Legation, built in 1840-41, is now the French Legation Museum. by Larry D. Moore (CC BY-SA)

French Legation, 1841

Austin, Texas
This property was once the private home for French diplomats who were stationed in Texas after the French monarch recognized Texas as a sovereign nation. Later, the home became a museum but more recently has been closed for renovations.

Joseph-Willis House

Joseph Willis House, 1840

This property belonged to one of the area's earliest settlers, Joseph Willis, who was the owner of a grist mill. Later this home had the distinction of being the headquarters for Major General Jacob D. Cox of the Union Army during the siege of Atlanta. Previously you could rent a room in this historic home through Airbnb, but currently there are no dates available.

Related: Historic Vacation Rentals Across America

Magevney House in Memphis, Tennessee.
Magevney House in Memphis, Tennessee. by Thomas R Machnitzki (CC BY-SA)

Magevney House, 1836

Memphis, Tennessee
A tiny, white clapboard cottage, the Magevney House belonged to an Irish immigrant Eugene Magevney. The house is usually open to the public and still includes personal items that belonged to the family such as a desk and a bureau.

James Ray-Buscher House

James Ray-Buscher House, 1835

Another historic property with ties to a former politician, the James Ray-Buscher House was inhabited by former Indiana Gov. James Ray. The home's initial location was on the site of the current Marion County jail. However, in 1977 it was moved to Lockerbie Square Historic District.

Noble-Seymour-Crippen House
Wikimedia Commons

Noble-Seymour Crippen House, 1833

When it was initially built, this home was actually outside Chicago's city limits. But as the city grew and expanded, it encompassed this property, a former farmhouse that was built by Mark and Margaret Noble, who settled the area where the property is located. The Noble-Seymour Crippen House officially became part of the Windy City in 1893. The fact that it began existence outside city boundaries causes some contention about whether it really deserves the title of Chicago's oldest building. Some suggest the title rightly belongs to the Clarke House Museum, which has been part of Chicago since the city was incorporated in 1837. You can decide which structure deserves the honor.

Related: 38 Tasty Places to Eat for Cheap in Chicago

Trowbridge House on Jefferson, Detroit MI
Trowbridge House on Jefferson, Detroit MI by Andrew Jameson (CC BY-SA)

Charles Trowbridge House, 1826

Like so many others on this list, the Charles Trowbridge House is also tied to a former politician. In this case, the home was built by Charles Christopher Trowbridge, who eventually became mayor of Detroit. Later the building became a rooming house. These days, it is used as office space.

Pancho & Lefty's Cantina
Donna M./Yelp

104 Fifth Avenue South, 1820

Nashville, Tennessee
The structure at 104 Fifth Avenue South has the unique distinction of possibly being part of the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves escape the South. Years later, a taller adjoining building was added to the property and it became a grocery store. Today 104 Fifth Avenue South is a restaurant.

Avila Adobe, Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California
Avila Adobe, Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California by Los Angeles (CC BY-SA)
Convergence11_496 by zemistor (CC BY-NC-ND)

Casa de Carrillo, 1810

San Diego
Though there's some debate about the exact date that this adobe structure was built, the property remains in use today. It serves as a golf shop for an adjacent golf course.

The exterior of the adobe house at Rancho Los Alamitos
The exterior of the adobe house at Rancho Los Alamitos by Monacat (CC BY-SA)

Rancho Los Alamitos, 1804

Long Beach, California
The history of this site dates back to 1790 when the land was given to Manuel Nieto in return for his service to the Spanish crown on the Gaspar de Portola expedition to California. The adobe ranch house at the center of the property was constructed in 1804. The building is now a museum.

Learn more about Rancho Los Alamitos, Avila Adobe, and other historic and fascinating destinations in the region in "Secret Los Angeles: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure" by Danny Jensen, Cheapism's Managing Editor. 

1806 Beers Family Log Cabin located on E Norwich Ave., Columbus, Ohio.
1806 Beers Family Log Cabin located on E Norwich Ave., Columbus, Ohio. by Unknown (CC BY)

Beers Family Log Cabin, 1804

Columbus, Ohio
Constructed by David Beers as a family home, this log cabin was initially located on Dodridge Street in Columbus and was later relocated to East Norwich Avenue. Descendants of the Beers family still live in the city.

Kingsley Plantation
Kingsley Plantation by Jon Dawson (CC BY-ND)

Kingsley Plantation House, 1798

Jacksonville, Florida
Constructed by slaves owned by John McQueen on Fort George Island, this structure was named the Kingsley Plantation House. The name was a nod to the Kingsley family that moved to the property in 1814. It is now viewed as the oldest plantation house in the state of Florida. The property, managed by the National Park Service, is open to the public Wed.-Sat. Visitors can explore the slave quarters, barn, plantation house and kitchen house.

Front view of the adobe
Front view of the adobe by David Sawyer (CC BY-SA)

Peralta Adobe, 1797

San Jose, California
San Jose's first resident and its second mayor, Manuel Gonzalez, an Apache Indian, built this home. The property was later inhabited by Luis Maria Peralta, who served as a community commissioner. Today it is possible to visit the two-room property, which is furnished as it might have been when originally constructed and inhabited.

San Felipe Church on Old Town plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
San Felipe Church on Old Town plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. by Camerafiend (CC BY-SA)

San Felipe de Neri Church, 1793

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Construction of the original church on this site dates back to 1706 when work began under the guidance of Franciscan priest Fray Manuel Moreno. However, during a particularly rainy summer in 1792, the structure collapsed. The current church on the site was constructed one year later.

Related: Holy Makeovers: 20 Former Churches That Have Been Born Again

Mission Dolores
Mission Dolores by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. (CC BY-NC-ND)

Mission Dolores, 1791

San Francisco
Dedicated in 1791, Mission Dolores (Mission of Sorrows) is a whitewashed adobe structure that's part of a chain of missions throughout the state of California. In addition to its historical significance, Mission Dolores is known for its rare art and stunning rose gardens.

Zachary Taylor House in Louisville, Kentucky.
Wikimedia Commons

Zachary Taylor House, 1790

Louisville, Kentucky
A 2½-story Georgia Colonial brick structure, the Zachary Taylor House was built by Colonel Richard Taylor on what was once a 400-acre farm. The Zachary Taylor Home was constructed using slave labor and originally named "Springfield." It's real claim to fame, however, is that it was the childhood home of our nation's 12th president, Zachary Taylor, who lived here from 1790 until 1808. Interestingly, Taylor's marriage ceremony was also held in the home, and five of his six children were born here.

Hezekiah Alexander Homesite in Charlotte, North Carolina
Hezekiah Alexander Homesite in Charlotte, North Carolina by Jimmy_Joe (CC BY)

Hezekiah Alexander House – The Rock House, 1774

Charlotte, North Carolina
Home of Congressman Hezekiah Alexander, who was a blacksmith and farmer before being elected to office, this Revolutionary War-era property is a two-story stone structure. The building was later used as a Methodist retirement home and is now a museum furnished with authentic period furniture.

Joel Lane House
Wikimedia Commons

Joel Lane House, 1769

Raleigh, North Carolina
Built in what was a very rural part of North Carolina, this plantation manor was once known as the finest house with 100 miles around. Property owner Joel Lane is viewed as the "Father of Raleigh" because he parted with 1,000 acres of his property, selling it to the state, to build the new capital city.

Mount Clare House
Wikimedia Commons

Mount Clare House, 1767

The Mount Clare House is an 18th-century colonial mansion that was the summer residence of Charles Carroll, a barrister, delegate to the Second Continental Congress, and also one of Maryland's first senators. Later, the home served as quarters for Union soldiers during the Civil War. Today it is a museum.

Related: 31 Historic Places Across America That You Can Tour Virtually

The Old Stone House
The Old Stone House by Unknown (CC BY-SA)

Old Stone House, 1766

Washington, D.C.
This property has seen its share of battles. Constructed in 1766 in what was then the British colony of Maryland, the home lasted through the British invasion of Washington some 59 years later. Though it was once believed that George Washington stayed at the house, that was not the case. The property remains the oldest structure on its original foundation in the city.

Old Ursulines Convent complex, French Quarter, New Orleans.
Old Ursulines Convent complex, French Quarter, New Orleans. by Infrogmation (CC BY)

Old Ursuline Convent, 1752

New Orleans
The first convent built on this site dated back to 1734. It was constructed for Ursuline nuns who arrived in New Orleans from France and served as their residence for nearly two decades. It was also used as the center of their ministry and a school. The current building was built in 1752 and has managed to survive a number of fires in the city. The property is currently a museum.

Thoroughgood House
Thoroughgood House by PumpkinSky (CC BY-SA)

Thoroughgood House, 1719

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Built by Argall Thorowgood, who was the great-grandson of one of the leaders of the Virginia Colony, the house is famous for its detailed wainscoting and paneling. It also includes a fairly unique turned staircase. Now a National Historic Landmark and museum, the home has been furnished to reflect the way life would have been when the original inhabitants lived here.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Antonio, Texas, United States.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Antonio, Texas, United States. by Larry D. Moore (CC BY-SA)

Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1716

San Antonio
Founded by the Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order, this mission began life in East Texas under a different name, that of San Jose de los Nazonis. The initial location, however, proved unsuccessful. The founders took what they could from the original mission site and moved it to the east bank of the San Antonio River. Once established in their new location, the mission was given the new name of San Juan Capistrano.

Fowle-Reed-Wyman House
Wikimedia Commons

Fowle-Reed-Wyman House, ca. 1706

Arlington, Massachusetts
A historic "saltbox" house that was constructed by John Fowle, this home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is built on land that once belonged to Squaw Sachem, who was the leader of the Pawtucket Confederation. Later the home was inhabited by the Reed family, a farming family that lived in Arlington for nearly 200 years.

Related: Historic Houses You Can Buy That Were Built Before America Was a Country

Wikimedia Commons

Wynnestay, 1689

Built by physician Thomas Wynne about 10 years after Philadelphia was founded, the original owner lived in this home a mere two years before dying. Next, Wynne's son moved into the home and the property remained in the family's possession for more than two centuries. Today it is a private residence. It's also interesting to note that Wynne originally purchased the 5,000-acre property for the home from Philadelphia founder, William Penn.

James Blake House, Dorchester, Massachusetts - exterior. Photograph taken by me, August 2005.
James Blake House, Dorchester, Massachusetts - exterior. Photograph taken by me, August 2005. by me, August 2005. (CC BY-SA)

James Blake House, 1661

In a city filled with history and historic structures, the James Blake House takes the prize for being the oldest among them all. Once the family home of Deacon James Blake, the property was initially located along what is now Massachusetts Avenue. However, construction of the road would have required demolishing the building. Instead it was moved to its current location along Columbia Road in Dorchester, about 400 yards from its original address.

Wyckoff House, 5816 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn, NY
Wyckoff House, 5816 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn, NY by Dmadeo (CC BY-SA)

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, 1652

Brooklyn, New York
Located on Clarendon Road in Canarsie, this structure was the one time of Pieter Wyckoff and his wife, Grietje. The couple reared 11 children in what was then the Wyckoff farmhouse. The property began as a modest one-bedroom home, and over the years it has been expanded. It remained in the Wyckoff family for hundreds of years, until 1901. Today it serves as a museum.

Related: Beautiful Barns and Farmhouses You Can Rent Across America

Broad Bay Manor in 2017
Broad Bay Manor in 2017 by Bri (CC BY-SA)

Broad Bay Manor, 1640

Virginia Beach, Virginia

There is some debate about exactly when this house was built, but with most agreeing part of it was constructed between 1640 and 1660 by colonist Thomas Allen, NetCredit dubs it the oldest in their study. But thanks to additions, the house spans the centuries. The middle of the house is thought to have been added during the 1770s, and the left side was built in the 1980s. A part also burned down due to a lightning strike in the 1920s. Surprisingly, Broad Bay Manor is not a museum but instead a residential home.