Created By: New Bedford Preservation Society
One of many small homes built on the land of the John Avery Parker estate 53 Willis Street was built between 1832-34. The structure is the last remains of this great John Avery Parker mansion designed by renowned architect Russel Warren. When Parker died in 1853 the estate was purchased by Wamsutta Mills superintendent Thomas Bennett purchased it. His daughter sold it in 1902 and the grant home was demolished, except the south wing on Willis Street. The small four-square building seems out of scale with its huge granite building stones. This impression would not be so apparent if the original mansion had not been pulled down in 1904. This wing has not been fundamentally changed, though some columns have been removed from the sides and reused on the new porch. Even in its altered state it gives a good impression of how large and imposing the Parker estate must have been. In 1905 this small wing was converted into a single-family dwelling and sold by developers to Emil Hesse, an artist with a studio on Purchase Street.
This point of interest is part of the tour: New Bedford Pathways Tour #5: North Bedford Historic District Tour