Brookfield Center Historic District No. 1

View of the Congregational Church, Center School and Town Hall towards northwest; Source- NRIS 91000992.
Historic/Common Name:
Brookfield Center Historic District
Town:
Brookfield »
Year of Establishment:
1973
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic District Commission, Brookfield
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Town center
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Brookfield Center Historic District runs in a north-south direction along a rocky ridge in the geographic center of the Town of Brookfield. The district looks down on the Still River which lies in a parallel north-south valley to the west. The center of the district, which has almost the same boundaries as the local historic district, occurs at the intersection of Whisconier Road with Obtuse Hill, Junction, and Silvermine Roads. Here are located two churches, town hall, early school, and the village store. The balance of the district is essentially a spine of residential properties running north and south from the center. After settlement, c. 1700, the nominated area first gained local identity in 1754 by the establishment of the Parish of Newbury, named for the neighboring towns 'of New Milford, Newtown, and Danbury. The same three municipalities each yielded some land, in 1788, to form the Town of Brookfield, named after the Reverend Thomas Brooks, the first Congregational minister, who served from 1755 to 1796. Population reached its 19th-century peak in 1840 when, in addition to farming, there was modest industrial activity of gristmills, sawmills, manufacturing of combs and hats, and an iron forge at the village of Brookfield Iron Works (now Brookfield) north of the Center. The center of religious and political life was at the crossroads of Brookfield Center, where the first church was built, the town hall, Center School, and tavern. Toward the end of the 19th century, an unusually large number of private schools were conducted in the district. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Architecture, Education: The Brookfield Center Historic District is significant architecturally because it consists of a group of residential, religious, and municipal buildings which are good examples of many styles of the 18th-20th centuries with a concentration from the 19th century, pre-1875. The buildings exist in their original relationship to one another in a good state of preservation, free of intrusions, giving an accurate sense of how the village developed over time. More than a dozen buildings extant in the district relate to its educational history. Three are churches, two were town halls, and five are church-related residences. Thepresence of these buildings in the district demonstrates that historically the district was the center of the religious, educational, and political life of the Town of Brookfield. [NR]

District Boundary:

The district is located in the center of Town and both sides of a portion of Route 25 beginning at the intersection of Route 133 and traveling south for approximately 0.4 mile to include property owned by Bradley on the westerly side and Ceysens on the easterly side. Also on both sides of Route 25 beginning at the intersection of Route 133 and traveling north for approximately 0.4 mile to include property owned by Gregory on the westerly side and Baker on the easterly side. It also includes on both sides of Long Meadow Hill Road beginning at the intersection of Route 25 and traveling north for approximately 0.4 mile to include property owned by Douglas on the westerly side and the trustees of the Fund for Ministers on the easterly side. Also on both sides of Winding Road beginning at the intersection of Route 25 and traveling east for approximately 0.2 mile to include property owned by B. Rippy on the northerly side and C. Rippy on the southerly side. Also on both sides of School Street beginning at the intersection of Route 25 and traveling east for approximately 0.1 mile to include property owned by Phillips on the northerly side and Narwold on the southerly side. Both sides of all of said streets are included to a depth of 200 feet from the highway and street lines. [1]

Features:

Buildings, Open spaces

Use:

Residential, Commerce, Religious

Architectural Style:

Colonial- Dutch Colonial, Post Medieval English; Early Republic- Federal; Mid 19th Century- Greek Revival, Gothic Revival; Late Victorian- Italianate, Queen Anne; Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals- Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Late Gothic Revival; Late 19th and early 20th Century American Movement- Bungalow/ Craftsman.

Era:
18th Century, 19th Century
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.brookfieldct.gov/index.html.
[2] Brookfield Center Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1972, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from [2].
[NR] Ransom David F., Brookfield Center National Register District, National Register Nomination Number- 91000992 NRIS, National Park Service, 1991 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/91000992.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/91000992.pdf.

Notes:

The National Register district encompasses the same buildings as those in the local historic district, with the exception that three houses less than 50 years old on the north side of Winding Road are omitted. Also omitted are parcels 86-42 and 43 (formerly 86-3), which are now part of the Aramon Circle development, and parcel 86-8/68-26, which is a property fronting on Junction Road. In general, the intent is the same, but whereas the local historic district boundary usually runs approximately 200' from the street, the tendency in the national register nomination is to use property lines where feasible, while drawing arbitrary lines as necessary to exclude back acreage of large parcels. [NR]The local historic district includes both sides of all of said streets (as described in the district boundary), included to a depth of 200 feet from the highway and street lines. [1]

Links:
Map:

Historic district map retrieved from Brookfield Center Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1972, SHPO Library, Hartford.

View photo
Disclaimer:

The list of the designated properties has been obtained from Brookfield Center Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1972, SHPO Library, Hartford. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective district authority.

Date of Compilation:
10/31/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation