Academy Hill Historic District

View of Sterling House Community Center, Main Street; Source - NRIS 83003511.
Historic/Common Name:
Stratford Historic District
Town:
Stratford »
Year of Establishment:
1987
Notes on Establishment:
The original district established in 1987 was further expanded northwards in 1996.
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Town Center
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The district includes properties along the following major streets: Elm Street, Main Street, East Broadway, Judson Place, White Street, Broad Street and Academy Hill. Elm Street, once known as Front Street, parallels Main Street one block closer to the Housatonic River. Its houses are only slightly less imposing in general than those along Main Street, and there are some notable pre-Revolutionary dwellings that must have been showplaces of the town two and one-quarter centuries ago. The Main Street has always been the focal point of the town, the setting for its churches, public institutions and the like and the location of the finest houses. East Broadway contains several pre-Revolutionary houses, a smattering of Federal era half-houses, and a concentration of Italianate and Gothic dwellings built in the 1850s. Judson Place, apparently laid out circa 1880, contains several handsome Queen Anne and Colonial Revival houses in the block between Main and Elm Streets. East of Elm Street is a development of identical two and one-half story Victorian Gothic houses built around 1890. White Street includes additional components of the Victorian Gothic development of Judson Place as well as a mixture of Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne workers' houses. Broad Street is highlighted by a development of six houses between Main and Elm Streets that dates from around 1850. The houses face Academy Hill Green. Academy Hill Green is an open space of approximately six acres occupying the north and west slopes of "Watch House Hill," the location of seventeenth century fortifications. It was also the site of the Congregational Church in the 18th century, and takes its name from an early 19th century school. Today its only occupants are a Civil War monument and the 18th century Episcopal cemetery. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Architecture, Commerce, Community Planning, Exploration/settlement, Transportation: The old center of Stratford contains a substantially intact 17th-century village plan, later adapted for use as a suburban community with the advent of the railroad and the trolley car. One of the earliest places to be settled along the coastline of Long Island Sound, the Stratford Center Historic District has a well-preserved concentration of historic buildings which represent the architectural development of a Connecticut seaport town over a period of some three centuries. The 17th and 18th century homesteads, Federal period town-houses, Greek Revival and Victorian villas, and early-20th century suburban, houses have thus far withstood massive redevelopment efforts and continue to evoke a strong sense of small town antecedents. The Academy Hill Green area, site of 17th century fortifications, presents the potential for archeological investigation.

District Boundary:

The district includes properties along the following major streets: Elm Street, Main Street, East Broadway, Judson Place, White Street, Broad Street and Academy Hill; as described in the district ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, Park, Open spaces, Others- Memorial

Use:

Residential, Commercial, Educational, Government, Religious, Museum, Park

Architectural Style:

Federal, Italianate, Gothic, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival

Era:
17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.townofstratford.com/.
[2] Academy Hill Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, November 1986, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Proposed Expansion of Academy Hill Historic District, Historic District Commission, December 1996, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[4] Assessors Parcel IDs and GIS information retrieved from the website www.visionappraisal.com and http://host.appgeo.com/stratfordct/Map.aspx.
[NR] Brilvitch Charles W., Stratford Center Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 83003511 NRIS, National Park Service, 1983 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/83003511.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/83003511.pdf.

Notes:

The local historic district is contained within the much larger Stratford Center National Register Historic District

Links:
Map:

Map of the original district and its expansion retrieved from the HDC report, December 1996, SHPO Library, Hartford.

View PDF
Disclaimer:

The street addresses of the designated properties in the original district and its expansion has been retrieved from the November 1986 and December 1996 study reports. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective Historic District Commission.

Date of Compilation:
12/31/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation