West Primary School

While this Concord, Mass., house doesn’t fully retain its original look, there’s a good reason: It used to be a school.

The West Primary School is one of Concord’s surviving mid-19th century schoolhouses. Between 1848 and 1852, Concord rebuilt its district schoolhouses. The core of this building was the West School, which was originally on the corner of Main and Thoreau Streets.

A town-wide school system replaced the district system in the 1880s, and the town sold off its school properties.

In 1887, four acres of land just east of the center were donated by the heirs of Ralph Waldo Emerson for a playground — part of it is the Emerson Playground, which offered my human siblings many hours of enjoyment when we lived in Massachusetts.

To make a long and somewhat complicated story short, the building was sold a few times, then relocated, eventually being converted into a rental house around 1889.

It now has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and 3200+ square feet of living space. It last sold in 1996 for $358,500 and is worth well over a million today.

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