9 Essex Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Architectural Description: 

Built as Greek Revival building with fluted Doric column entrance and portico.
Engaged pillars on corner trim to complete Greek temple look

Historical Narrative: 

Themes - Architectural, The Arts, Community development, recreation and Transportation.

This structure was built as the Andover & Wilmington Railroad terminus depot and passenger station in 1836.
Poore, writing in 1863, claims that Jacob Chickering did the carpentry work and lists under "buildings erected by Chickering before 1852 -cottage which was the depot about 1845." First train of cars on Andover and Wilmington Railroad, now Boston and Maine, arrived at this depot, August 6, 1836. Used as railroad station until 1847." The front entrance portico can be seen behind the tree in the period image. Built in the Greek Revival style, popular during that time, the station served the rail line for about a decade. The original tracks were located to the left of the building and later extended all the way to Haverhill, MA. The rail line through Andover from Wilmington went through Ballardvale near the rear of South School crossing Andover St. through the Andover Recreation Park, then cut through what would become in 1871 the Spring Grove Cemetery. It traveled along the east side of Abbot St. and down behind the homes on the east side of Central Street crossing School St. then turning back across Central St. at the site of St. Augustine’s School to the depot. Many of the buildings between Essex and Pearson Streets were built to service the railroad. Some were shops building train cars. The line continued to Haverhill via what has now become lower High St. to North Andover. The Boston & Maine RR acquired the line and moved the tracks further west to accommodate the new City of Lawrence in 1848.

The depot building was purchased by Henry F. Barnard and converted it into a furniture store. Barnard advertised in the local newspaper Andover Advertiser (AA) in 1853.
*Advertisements AA; Feb. 19, 1853 - H. F. Barnard - Depot Furniture Store – Rich & Cheap Furniture
*April 29, 1854 AA– The furniture house of Henry F. Barnard is to be raised up and a basement put in, as commodious as the whole building. Accommodations will then be furnished for lectures, exhibitions and town meetings.
Andover did hold its town meetings in the basement of the building for three years after division of the two Parishes into Andover & North Andover in 1855.
* Feb. 3, 1855 AA– Charles Pray –one of Andover’s Constables – Town Meeting to be held Feb. 6, 1855 in the Furniture Warerooms of Henry F. Barnard.
* Nov. 15, 1855 AA Barnard’s Furniture Warehouse Essex St. opposite N. Swifts.
H. F. Barnard – Essex St. - Grateful for a liberal patronage for the past five years (Oct. 25, 1856)
*Sept. 5, 1857 - Messrs. H. J. & E. A. Newman have purchased of H. F. Barnard his stock & furniture and taken his warerooms for the manufacture and sale of cabinet work – These gentlemen are favorably known in this community.
Fore Sale – The house now occupied by Mark Newman 2nd pleasant neighborhood inquire on premises – J.H. & E. A. Newman (Aug. 15, 1857)
*March 6, 1858 AA – Saturday, Town Meeting Monday – Art. #16 to see if the town will vote to build a Town House – choose a site or purchase a building for that purpose – by petition of Samuel C. Jackson and others - several sites mentioned including purchasing the Baptist Meeting House, corner opposite the post office owned by Herman Abbott & Co. the site of the Tavern and opposite the Bank building. [Meeting was held at the furniture warehouse of Messrs. H. J. & E. A. Newman on Essex Street formerly Henry F. Barnard’s store in the old depot building.]
The Town House was built in 1858 and opened in December 1859. Town meetings were then held there from 1860-1936

William Barnett a plumber in Andover would purchase the building and move his business over in 1863. The Barnett family held the property for nearly 50 years. The family sold to Louis Resnik in 1912.
*Aug. 4, 1855 AA – William Barnett – Plumber – Tin plate, sheet iron and copper –
rear of the Baptist Church.
*March 8, 1862 AA- William Barnett – plumber – rear of Baptist Church
*Feb. 13, 1864 AA- William Barnett – Magee Parlor Stoves – Old Railroad Depot.
*July 25, 1899 AT– William Barnett – an easement to the town of Andover b. 171 p. 92
Barnett continued his plumbing business here and later it became the site of M. T. Walsh plumping and tin shop.
Oct. 30, 1912 deed b. 323 p. 61& 62 – Barnett heirs to Louis Resnik – Parcel with buildings on Essex St. beginning at the SW corner of land of Town of Andover by Essex St. 127’ to boundary of Hardy & Cole – then northerly by Hardy & Cole land 152’ then easterly by H & C and Daly land 100’ then southerly by land of Town of Andover 139’ to the first boundary. Heirs by Will of late father Wm. Barnett, - Town has the right of way to repair the sewer which runs through the property – Intending to convey all the buildings except the one known as the bowling alley.

Louis Resnik deeded half of his property to Sam Resnik on Nov. 2, 1912 and they converted the old building into the Colonial Theater and motion picture movie house as Andover’s second theater. The old entrance portico was moved over to the south end of the building on Essex Street creating the new entrance. The Colonial put the Wonderland Theater on Elm St. out of business by 1914. The property was placed in the Resnik Realty Investment Trust in March 1, 1922. The theater was completely renovated in the 1930’s, enlarged and updated. A new name also appeared over the marquee “The Andover Playhouse”. The movie theater flourished in town and was a favorite spot to take a date on the weekends. The new Showcase Cinemas built in South Lawrence in the mid 1960’s would spell an end to the Playhouse. After the death of Louis Resnik, Sam Resnik held ownership of the theater and several other buildings on Essex St. and the Musgrove Building in Elm Sq.
In October 1975 the Town held a Special Town Meeting to vote on article #18 of the Warrant to land taking by eminent domain for municipal purposes the theater building and two other parcels behind the building, one fronting on Pearson St. The votes approved the article and the town purchased the building and converted into town office and library storage space. A Senior Drop-in center called the Andover Haven was opened here and Eastern Regional Book Mobile The building was then named the Theater Building. When the Memorial Hall Library rear addition was proposed in the 1980s, the building was razed and construction began. The west wing now stands on the former site of the old Depot building. The parking lot entrance off Essex St. to Pearson St. traces the original rail bed of the Andover -Wilmington Railroad.

Bessie Goldsmith says the building served as Andover's first railroad depot in the 1830's. After its years as a railroad station, it later became "old plumbing shop" (Waldo's Plumbing Shop). In 1850: Walsh's Tin Shop to 1900 under M. T. Walsh. In 1918, it was considerably altered for its use as a moving picture theater. It was named Colonial Theatre and remodeled and reopened in 1918, the charge was 15 cents plus 2 cents for the War Tax.


Essex County Registry Dedds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Goldsmith, Bessie; Townsman's Andover, 1964
Andover; What It Was and What It Is: 300th Anniversary Memorial Volumn. Andover Press. 1947
Poore, Dr. Arnold; "A Genealogical-Historical Visitation of Andover in Year 1863" Essex Institute Historical Collection, vol. XLIX, 1913, July p. 239-252
Catalog of Loan Collection at Punchard Hall; 250th Anniversary Celebration, Town of Andover, 1896
Andover Townsman; Oct. 23, 1914, Dec. 11, 1914, April 19, 1956
Andover Advertiser

Andover & Wilmington Rail Road 1838-1848
Boston & Maine Railroad
Henry F. Barnard - 1850’s-1863
William Barnett – 1863 - 1912
William Barnett estate
Heirs- daughters; Elizabeth B. Hitt, Katherine H. Barnett, Sarah A. Clement, & Helen I. Higgins.
Louis Resnik - Oct. 30, 1912 - b. 323 p. 61& 62 Movie Theater & Diner
Samuel Resnik – Nov. 2, 1912 b. 323 p. 88 ½ of property
Louis Resnik & Sam Resnik – Nov. 2, 1912 – b. 323 p. 88
John Angus – Feb. 27, 1922 – b. 454 p. 528
Resnik Realty Investment Trust, Sam Resnik tr. – Mar. 1, 1922 – b. 454 p. 531
Samuel Resnik – March 31, 1950 - b. 733 p. 541 final decree land court
Danton Realty Trust – L. John Davidson, tr. – June 11, 1968 – b. 1107 p. 168 five parcels
Inhabitants of Town of Andover – Nov. 25, 1975 – b. 1272 p. 265 Eminent domain

Inventory Data:

StreetEssex St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictIndividual National Register Listing
Historic NameAndover - Wilmington Railroad Depot
Present UseAddition on Memorial Hall Library
Original UseRailroad Depot
Construction Date1836
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Architect/BuilderAndover - Wilmington RR
Foundationstone and brick
Wall/Trimwood, brick
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresCapitol Lunch Diner Bowling Alley
Major Alterations1914 - Converted to Movie theater 1930 - Enlarge, new entrance, brick and stucco veneer 1976 - Renovation to office space, two levels
Demolition Details1983-84
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel55-69
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredMarch 13, 2014