Side door of the Jacob M. Ruff house at 21 North Main St., painted a felicitous shade of green.
The house is a Lexington landmark, and owes its life to the Historic Lexington Foundation (which purchased it in 1972 and restored the exterior) and G. Otis Mead III (who restored the interior after purchasing it from HLF the following year). It was only the third building in Lexington to be rescued by the then fledgling local preservation movement. It has served as the offices of Mead Associates, Realtors, for over 35 years.
Built c. 1829, this structure was likely not the first house on the site. A brick incorporated into the present building reads, "1783." According to The Architecture of Historic Lexington, by Lyle and Simpson, at the time of the restoration "the foundation introduced many young people in the community to an archaeological excavation in the backyard. It was the first such experience for Lexington. Among the artifacts unearthed were porcelain, pottery, glass, marbles, a clay pipe, a French brass hand-warmer, and evidence of the presence of an early stable and brick walls."