13-15 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

The original building had either a gable or what appears to be a shallow gambrel roof with the profile facade end to the street similar to the buildings on either side. The current square facade was added during its reconstruction with only three windows across the second story. Period photographs show only small changes in window and trim materials made through the years.

Historical Narrative: 

13 – 15 Main Street – Swift - Burns Building - Built circa 1840, rebuilt 1874-5

This lot of land was once owned by David Holt Jr. & Isaac Osgood Jr. and was the southern portion of their corner parcel on Main St. and Elm Sq. Holt & Osgood built a Federal Brick block in 1814 at the intersection and opened a business there, renting out two other stores and offices above. Holts estate, was taken over by guardians, to pay off debts and placed in trust for his wife and children. Lots were then sold south of the block as funds were needed. (See 1 Main St. Brick Block)

This parcel was sold to Guy Carlton of Roxbury, MA, a Morocco Leather Dresser and manufacturer. Carlton bought on July 31, 1822 from the Holt family, for $250. The parcel included both #13 - #15 Main and #17 Main. Carlton then built a store on the property and owned it for seven years. Carlton then sold to Nathaniel Swift from $775 on Mar. 5, 1829. Nathaniel Swift was a Physician, the Post Master and served on several committees in town. Nathaniel built a second store on the property. This lot was referred to as the Post Office lot and may be the second building. Dr. Swift died on Dec. 7, 1840 and his property went to his children. They quit claimed these two lots to siblings Jonathan Swift, who got this lot and building, and Sarah Frances Hall, wife of Rev. Jeffries Hall, who got the store at #17 Main. The deeds were transferred on Jun. 1, 1842.

Jonathan Swift was an early merchant in town and opened his first shop here. He relocated to other locations including #17 Main St. owned by his sister Sarah Hall. Jonathan sold his shop and business on on April 17, 1854 to Daniel H. Atwood. Atwood paid $2500 for the building, land and stock in trade. April 15, 1854 AA – D. H. Atwood – removal – Having purchased the entire stock and stand lately kept by Jonathan Swift, No 8, Main Street – Fancy Goods, patent medicines, fancy groceries.
Dec. 16, 1854 AA– Boot & Shoe Store – Removal – J. W. Barnard removed to the store formerly occupied by Jonathan Swift, No. 8 Main Street.. Atwood owned just two years then Jonathan Swift purchased the property back from Atwood for $2050. on on Mar. 24, 1856. The property then remained with the Swift family until 1927 when purchased by William J. Burns.

The Burns Building, as it was known locally during the 20th century, is one of three now attached buildings in the business district that can claim to be the oldest business blocks in the downtown area. The early 19th century structure has served as quarters for a variety of stores for over 188 years. (2017). Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes this store has survived two major fires through the years.

December 18, 1874 Andover Advertiser (AA) – fire discovered in the clothing store of Daniel Logue, on Main Street,… almost entirely consumed the building. Mrs. I. S. Bryant occupied the second story as a residence, lost her piano and nearly all her house hold belongings. Jonathan Swift owned the building. Swift was insured with the Merrimack Mutual Co. for $600. Mr. Logue insured for $3000. Mrs. Bryant for $300. The store building of John J. Brown on the north, and that of J. E. Whiting on the south, were in imminent danger, the former only nine feet from the burned shop, and the latter connected with it by a stairway, all three of them being wooden buildings. – The fire started in the cellar of Mr. Logue, but its cause is unknown. The goods of Messrs. Whiting & Brown and the law library and fixtures of the offices of Messrs. G. & G.W. Foster were promptly removed to places of safety….

June 2, 1887 AA – pg2 - Mr. Joseph Bradley has built an entrance to the tenement over his store, which is a decided improvement over the old one. He desires to let the tenement.

Andover Townsman (AT) advertisement – December 2, 1892 – J. M. Bradley’s storefront

A second major fire in September of 1893 destroyed the rear portion of this building
Sept. 8, 1893 AT $10,000 Fire – Bradley’s Clothing Store – The Elm Club, and Thomas Murphy the loosers.
Fire broke out in the rear of Joseph M. Bradley’s building. Thomas Murphy, who was sleeping over his store in the next building found the stairway between the buildings filled with smoke -jumped out the front window – flame confined to the Bradley building.

Wiggin’s boarding home (Building behind "Emperial House") – several boarders carried out clothing and trunks – several buildings scorched – George W. Wiggin restaurant building rear end scorched – needs repainting – Arthur Bliss building will need new clapboards on rear side. The building of the heirs of Mrs. Sarah F. Hall and occupied by Thomas Murphy is quite badly injured on the north side and west end. – loss of household effects and stored stock – smoke and water damage in his tore below.

Largest loss comes the next building – Elm Club upstairs above Joseph M. Bradley. The main room of the Elm Club suite, water damage, billiard and pool tables being apparently in shape if newly covered., walls will need frescoing – In the rear fire was the worst. Most of the furniture in the parlor & fittings in the anterooms also damaged.

Mr. Bradley’s loss falls on his stock of goods. – large store in preparation for school opening and fall orders. Entire stock destroyed or damaged. The building will need almost entirely rebuilding on the rear and new plastering, furnishings and decorating through-out. The fixtures in the store are a total loss. All insured.

Sept. 22, 1893 – AT - The work fitting up Bradley’s building, which was recently damaged by fire, has begun and will be pushed along as rapidly as possible. Hardy and Cole will do the carpentry work and E. J. Rowe the interior decorating. The Elm Club will also refit its rooms at once.
Nov. 24, 1893 AA – The “Elm Club” has taken possession of its newly furnished rooms in the J. M. Bradley’s building. They have been thoroughly redecorated by E. J. Rowe, and the fittings are much handier since the fire. Mr. Bradley’s store is being put into shape slowly, but when finished, he intends it shall be the handsomest store in town, which means simply that he is going to put Mr. Hannon’s new store in the shade.
Nov. 24, 1893 AT – p 5- The interior of J. M. Bradley’s store, which was burned out, is to be put in better shape than ever. George E. Crawley of Boston will put in a mosaic floor, and J. A. Kennedy of Haverhill will do the decorating.

Jan. 24, 1896 AT p5 New Tailoring Firm – Burns & Crowley is the name of the new firm. Conducted by Joseph M. Bradley – March 1 – Bradley to open a new store in Lawrence, - long article about who worked for who.
April 17, 1896 AT – p1. Jos. M. Bradley has sold the building on Main Street, now occupied by Burns & Crowley and the Cutshamache Club, to John Ford of Lawrence.
In March 1896 Joseph M. Bradley sold his business to W. J. Burns & M. J. Crowley and established Burns & Crowley. It was described as, “The handsomest tailoring and gent’s furnishing goods store in the state.” They were also agents for Scriptures Laundry. The two men had worked in the trade under Mr. Bradley & Paul Hannon. When Crowley left the partnership in 1899 the store became The W. J. Burns Company and continued until 1949. Holden & O’Sullivan, Inc. owned by Timothy J. O’Sullivan & Joseph J. Holden signed a 10 year lease on the building on Dec. 1, 1949 continuing the men’s furnishings and tailoring until 1953 when it closed.

In the late teens or early 1920’s Burns remodeled the facade. The upper story was applied with stucco and the three windows were removed for one large metal industrial style. The current tile work on the street level and entrance apron with the Burns name was probably done at this time. The stucco was removed and clapboard returned to the facade in the late 1960’s. The upper windows were also replaced then and again recently in 2010.

Reinhold’s Shoe Store moved to this location from 49 Main St. in the summer of 1953. Most residents who were patrons of Reinhold’s remember the x-ray machine that customers could insert their feet in to see if the shoes were the correct size and fit. You could actually see your bone structure. Reinhold’s had bought out Henry E. Miller in 1918, who had acquired the Benjamin Brown & George Brown shoe business established in 1861. After Reinhold’s closed about 1973-4, Feet First Inc. opened and was here 1979, then Geometrics gallery & frame shop. The Strawberry Tree gift and card shop opened about 1992 and later moved over to #11 Main. A series of women’s clothing stores followed including, Elephant’s Trunk, Irresistibles which moved to Barnard St. in 2008? and the Native Sun moving up from Essex St. but later closed in 2010. Soiree – event planning & supplies, opened in September 2010.

The properties at 9-11, 13-15 and 17 Main Street are all now owned by the Florence Burns Realty Trust.

Other Businesses at this address.
April 15, 1854 AA – D. H. Atwood – removal – Having purchased the entire stock and stand lately kept by Jonathan Swift, No 8, Main Street – Fancy Goods, patent medicines, fancy groceries.
Dec. 16, 1854 AA– Boot & Shoe Store – Removal – J. W. Barnard removed to the store formerly occupied by Jonathan Swift, No. 8 Main Street.
June 14, 1856 AA - J. Swift – 4 Main Street – Ufford’s celebrated smoke consuming Patent Lamps for sale.
Jan. 23, 1858 AA – J. Swift, Main Street, sole agent for Jones’ Kerosene Lamps.
Sept. 11, 1858 AA – New Store – Boot & Shoe – of William Corse Main Street 3rd door south of the Post Office – The subscriber haven taken the store on Main Street (formerly occupied by Jonathan Swift).
April 27, 1866 AA - Daniel Logue, Merchant tailor has returned to town and re-established himself in business.
May 18, 1866 AA - Daniel Logue advertises on Main Street. Ready Made Clothing and Gentlemen Furnishings Goods - Hats & Caps
July 13, 1866 AA - Daniel Logue has removed to the store owned by Jonathan Swift on Main Street, one of the best locations for business in the Village. Logue was a tailor and in 1853 was located under the Baptist Church. Logue advertised as a gentleman’s furnishings store. In
December 1874 a fire partially destroyed the building.

In #15 above the store, John J. McArdle Jr. Phys. had his office in 1953.


Northern Essex Registry Deeds, Lawrence MA
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Andover Advertiser & Andover Townsman newspapers
Andover Historical Society Archives
Andover Resident Street Directories
Andover Evaluation Reports, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920.
Andover Town Maps, 1852, 1855, 1872, 1888, Sanborn Maps, 1896, 1906

Benjamin Ames Sr.
Benjamin Ames Jr.
David Holt Jr. & Isaac Osgood Jr. - July 7, 1814 - b. 204 leaf 192
David Holt, Sarah Holt & Sarah Holt - David Holt Trust - 1822
Guy Carlton - July 31, 1822 - b. 230 leaf 50 - $250
Nathaniel Swift Mar. 5, 1829 - b. 250 leaf 265 - $775
Nathaniel Swift estate, Swift heirs - d. Dec. 7, 1840 age 62
Jonathan Swift -Jan. 1, 1842 - b. 363 leaf 146 - Post Office lot
Daniel H. Atwood - Apr. 17, 1854 - b. 493 leaf 57 - $2500
Jonathan Swift - Mar. 24, 1856 - b.529 leaf 126 - $2050
Nathaniel Swift - Sept. 29, 1875 - b. 36 p. 205
Almena Swift & Nathaniel Swift - Sept. 29, 1875 - b. 36 p. 203
Kate Adams Swift & Elizabeth Florence Swift heirs of Almena Swift - April 20, 1883 - b. 36 p. 205
William J. Burns - May 18, 1927 - b. 532 p. 481 2nd parcel
Florence S. Burns Trust - Aug. 22, 1952 - b. p. Nancy B. McArdle trustee
Florence S. Burns Trust - Dec. 7, 1990 - b.
Florence S. Burns Trust; - Mar. 9, 1991 - b. 3367 p. 276 Nancy B. McArdle, David S. Burns Jr. Trustees

Researched by James Batchelder, Andover Preservation Commission - July 2010
Revised March 2011, Nov. 2011, July 2013, July 2017

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameSwift - Burns Building
Present UseRetail / Commercial
Original UseRetail / Post Office lot
Construction Datecirca 1822-1829
Architectural StyleOther
Architect/BuilderSwift family
Foundationstone & granite
Major Alterations1893 1917
Acreageless than one acre
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel55-100
Recorded byBrian Lee (cwo), James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 1992, 3/2014