When you first visit Old Salem Museums & Gardens, the architecture of the original buildings in Salem usually catches your eye. Many Moravians were arriving from Germany, and the significant Central European influence is prevalent in the architecture still witnessed today. Over time the Moravians adopted the national styles in the United States, so that early regional examples of Greek Revival and other popular styles are evident. Often, however, with some unique ‘Moravian’ details that persist, such as the arched hood.
As seen first in an 1800 design by Frederic William Marshall (the Moravian administrator in North Carolina) for the Home Moravian Church front entrance, the elliptical shaped hood has become a local symbol of the Moravians and used on many other buildings, from churches to funeral homes to banks to homes.
Ongoing research and investigation continues to restore the rich fabric of original buildings in Salem. Buildings restored in the 1950s are beginning to undergo re-examination to apply new knowledge and modern techniques. The Boys’ School, built in 1794 is one building currently closed and undergoing re-evaluation. It was first restored by Old Salem Museums & Gardens in 1954, and refurbished with new exhibits in 1975. Paint analysis and other new techniques are being applied to determine if there are changes needed to restore it more accurately to its earlier appearance. The building is currently closed during research and restoration.