Rundlet-May House

INTRO -BUILDING THE HOUSEcontent head (title, RS31186TIFF, text

Building a house in Portsmouth in the first years of the nineteenth century was an undertaking that often involved an emerging class of craftmen, artisans, and workers who contructed many parts of the city that can still be seen today. As Portsmouth had faced much expansion during the shipbuilding era with a population rivaling port cities of Boston and Salem to the south, new houses were built by ship owners and those active in the trade eager to partake in the strong economy and opportunity at hand. By about 1800, the emerging elite that benefited from trade and privateer pursuits overall were interested in forging a path to a more open countryside to build their homes; Portsmouth’s Middle Street was just far enough from the bustling harbor and business area to feel removed. It also allowed the Rundlets an expansive bountiful space to build a property of unparalleled luxury that came with great technological innovations.