Bethlehem Green Historic District

View of Bethlehem Green, Northwest; Source- NRIS 82001001.
Historic/Common Name:
Bethlehem Historic District
Town:
Bethlehem »
Year of Establishment:
1976
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Town Center, Green
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Bethlehem, Connecticut green is a triangular park located in the center of town at the intersection of the principal highways. North Main Street divides at the green, one arm going to the west and one arm to the east of the green in its long north-south direction of 350 feet. The top of the green, 150 feet wide, is along West Road, across the street from the imposing, 3-1/2-story, clapboard house built by the Rev. Joseph Bellamy c.1760. The Rev. Joseph Bellamy began preaching in Bethlehem in 1738, four years after the area, known as the North Purchase of the Town of Woodbury, was settled.[1] The location of Bellamy's church during the years 1767-1790[2] at the highway intersection is now marked by a granite obelisk at the north end of the green. The intersection has been the center of the community for the ensuing two centuries. The historic community center surrounding the green, with its town government buildings, churches, and 18th- and 19th-century houses, is the subject of the district. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Architecture:The buildings around the central crossroads, near the green, in Bethlehem retain the size, spacing, and general atmosphere today that they have had over the centuries. Now there are a few more structures than heretofore, several of them quite new, but the ambience remains the same and the functions of church and state continue to be performed in the buildings around the green, as they always have been. The central crossroads, near the green, in Bethlehem, Connecticut, has long been the site of the community center. Changes have occurred over the years, reflecting especially the early 19th-century popularity of the Greek Revival style of architecture, but the church and town buildings, and 18th- and 19th-century houses in the Bethlehem Green Historic District continue today the function, scale, setting, and ambience that was established two centuries ago. [NR]

District Boundary:

The district includes Bethlehem Green and the surrounding properties, subject to setbacks, as described in the district ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, Green, Parks and open spaces

Use:

Residential, Commercial, Educational, Government, Religious, Park

Architectural Style:

Greek Revival, Gothic, Queen Anne, Italianate,

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

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.ci.bethlehem.ct.us/.
[2] Bethlehem Green Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] District information and street addresses obtained from the town clerk, Town of Bethlehem.
[NR] Ransom David F., Bethlehem Green Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 82001001 NRIS, National Park Service, 1982 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/82001001.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/82001001.pdf.

Notes:

Bethlehem National Register Historic District and the local historic district are not co-terminus.

Links:
Map:

Map of the local historic district retrieved from the Study Committee Report, SHPO Library, Hartford.

View photo
Disclaimer:

The street addresses of the designated properties have been obtained from the town clerk, Town of Bethlehem. 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