The Cupola House is a historic house museum at 408 South Broad Street in Edenton, North Carolina. Built in 1756-58 (as determined by dendrochronology), it is the second oldest building in Edenton, and the only known surviving example in the American South of a "jutt," or overhanging second floor. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
The Cupola House is a two-story gable-roofed house with external brick end chimneys. It is now covered with weatherboards; recent research suggests it may originally have been covered with rusticated siding, similar to the siding still in place on the cupola. Mount Vernon and the Redwood Library have similar siding. The roof is covered with wooden shingles. Two main rooms flank a central passage, which was an uncommon layout in colonial North Carolina but was not rare in other colonies. The unique aspect of the house is its combination of a cupola with an overhanging upper story. The cupola is octagon-shaped and covered in wood that has been cut to imitate stonework.
Inside, the house features elaborate finishing which denotes the "social hierarchy" of the rooms. The stair brackets of the staircase in the central hallway feature carved floral decorations and moldings, while the doors leading to the two main rooms are surmounted by pediments. The house includes ornate mantels and woodwork on first and second floors. The cupola is reached from the attic by a "barrel stair," a spiral stair framed within vertical wood sheathing that looks like a large barrel.
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Cupola House Reviews
This was a typical historical house tour. The guide was pretty enthusiastic which made it better. However, my gripe is that the tour was pushed and advertised around the cupola on the house. But... more »
Each historic site in Edenton is on tour at a different hour so you need to get the schedule first. Nice gardens also. more »
My wife and I toured the Cupola House on Sunday afternoon. We were the only ones there so we had an opportunity to ask a lot of questions. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and made the experience really enjoyable. My wife's family is from nearby Gates County and her family lore says that her great grandmother lived in the Cupola House. We learned during the tour that the last member of the family, who owned the house, fell on hard times. She rented rooms out for a period of time at the point in time when my wife's grandmother would have been a young women; so, it's possible family lore could be true. We're definitely going to research this more!
Very charming historic house and gardens. Edenton is a delightful historic town.
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