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11 Incredibly Beautiful Old Buildings In America (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 10/25/10 03:23 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:05 PM ET

There is something so fascinating about learning how people lived and worshiped hundreds of years ago. Touring old structures, whether they are churches or homes, is compelling and always fun.

Here are 11 buildings in the United States that have amazingly stood the test of time. From the old church at Jamestown to a farm in Brooklyn, these 11 places exemplify how historic America lives on today.

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  • Jamestown Church, Virginia

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Originally built in 1607</a>, the church is now part of an historic Jamestown preservation project.

  • Palace of the Governors, New Mexico

    Built to be Spain's seat of government in the early 17th century, this building was awarded National Historic Landmark status in 1860 and is <a href="" target="_hplink">now a museum</a>.

  • Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, San Juan, Puerto Rico

    One of the oldest buildings in San Jaun, the church was originally constructed in <a href="" target="_hplink">1521</a>.

  • San Miguel Mission, San Miguel, California

    Now a National Historic Landmark, this church was <a href="" target="_hplink">built in 1797</a>.

  • White Horse Tavern, Newport, Rhode Island

    Constructed as a two-story residence in 1652, the tavern became "<a href="" target="_hplink">the birthplace of the businessman's lunch</a>" in 1708. It remains open to this day.

  • Old Ship Church, Hingham, Massachusetts

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Originally opened in 1681</a>, this Unitarian church is still an active meeting place south of Boston.

  • Wyckoff Farmhouse, Brooklyn, New York

    Originally a <a href="" target="_hplink">Dutch West India Company farm</a>, this house was built around 1652, making it the oldest building in New York City (it remains in the Flatlands of Brooklyn).

  • Paul Revere House, Boston

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Built in 1680</a>, this house gained notoriety as it was the home of Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere. It is the oldest building in downtown Boston.

  • Touro Synagogue, Newport, Rhode Island

    The oldest synagogue in the United States--<a href="" target="_hplink">it was built in 1658</a>--sits perched atop a hill in Newport, Rhode Island.

  • Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

    Founded on <a href="" target="_hplink">October 19th, 1775</a>, the mission was originally created to expand Spain's grasp in the region and spread Christianity across what is now California.

  • Bacon's Castle, Surry County Virginia

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">Sebbybear</a>:<br />Built in 1665, open to the public and maintained by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Bacon's Castle is the only surviving Jacobean Great House in the U.S.

  • "Old Swede's Church," Wilmington, Delaware

    Set in what is now a 10-acre historic site, the church was <a href="" target="_hplink">built in 1698-99</a>.

  • Mission San Jose

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">KennethRanson</a>:<br />Founded in present day San Antonio in 1720, 55 years before Capistrano, it has been in continuous use as a Catholic Church since. Restored by the WPA in 1940, part of the Missions National Historic Park, I strongly recommend a visit.

  • Mesa Verde

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">KennethRanson</a>:<br />The real 11 oldest buildings you can still visit in the U.S. are all going to be Native American. Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde was constructed beginning in 600 AD. There are houses on the mesa top that are much older but you can't walk through them.

  • Old Stone Fort, Nacogdoches Texas

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">rozc</a>:<br />The oldest stone house in Texas can be found in the oldest town in Texas, Nacogdoches. The house was built by Antonio Gil Y’Barbo between 1788 and 1791 (some say as early as 1779), and over the decades acquired the name “Old Stone Fort.” The structure was dismantled in 1902, causing statewide uproar. The original stones and other materials were reassembled, and today the Old stone Fort operates as a museum on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

  • Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, New Orleans, LA

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">KevinMS</a>:<br />Built before 1772 and located at the corner of Bourbon and St. Philip in the French Quarter.

  • Montezuma's Castle Natl Monument, Camp Verde AZ

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">Kathy Nix</a>:<br />This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a 1,000 year-old story of ingenuity and survival in an unforgiving desert landscape.

  • Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">Susanne Freeborn</a>:<br />Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo founded in 1770 in Carmel, California.

  • Walloon Church, 1717, New Paltz, NY

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">justsaynosarahp</a>:<br />'Our French Church' stone version built in 1717, replacing log structure of 1683 in the Hugeunot settlement in NY state's Catskill Mountains.

  • Indiana Landmarks Center at former Central Avenue United Methodist Church, Indianapolis

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">Indiana Landmarks</a>:<br />

  • West Baden Springs Hotel, Indiana

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">Indiana Landmarks</a>:<br />

  • Fairbanks House Dedham, Massachusetts

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">organic01</a>:<br />Countries Oldest Timber Frame House

  • James Blake House built in 1648 Boston, MA

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">organic01</a>:<br />


Filed by Kate Auletta  |