Kings Highway North Historic District

View of King Street Cemetery, established 1740; Source- NRIS 98000884.
Historic/Common Name:
Westport Historic District
Town:
Westport »
Year of Establishment:
1972
Notes on Establishment:
The original district established in 1972 was later expanded to include lot B of 170 Post Road West, by ordinance effective March 2, 1990. The district was further extended to include the properties 5 & 6 Old Hill Road, as described in the legislation effective February 11, 2000. [HDC Handbook]
Historic Designation:
LHD, NR, SR
District Authority:
Westport Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory [ The Historic District Commission has the responsibility of overseeing six local historic districts and 14 local historic landmark properties. The districts include- Kings Highway North Historic District, Jesup Road Historic District, Violet Lane Historic District, Gorham Avenue Historic District, Evergreen Avenue Historic District and20 & 26 Morningside Drive South Historic District.
District Character:
Suburban Neighborhood
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Kings Highway North Historic District is a residential area on the west side of the Saugatuck River in Westport. Situated directly across the river from Westport's downtown business and commercial center, it encompasses about two-thirds of a mile of Kings Highway North, the spine of the district, with the secondary streets generally running east and west. The path of the Old Kings Highway, first known as King Street, was laid out in 1672. Constructed at the behest of the governors of the New York and Connecticut colonies, it facilitated communication between New York and Boston. The district includes four historic sites- A small triangular green at the intersection with Old Hill Road and Kings Highway North used as military drill ground (c.1760-1850); Two adjoining cemeteries across the road to the east, which together encompass about three acres, date from the mid-nineteenth century to c.1900; And an earlier graveyard, the King Street Cemetery, laid out in 1740. The majority of the buildings are houses built between 1736 to 1948 and their associated outbuildings. Also included is a former mill, a blacksmith shop, and a schoolhouse, all converted to residential use. All of the houses are wood-frame construction and generally similar in scale. With few exceptions, they are sited close to the road and a uniform setback is maintained. In a few cases, backlots have been developed, a process that began in the late nineteenth century. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Architecture, Social History- The Kings Highway North Historic District is a significant historical and architectural entity which embodies the major stages of Westport history. A village of farmers at settlement, the district was directly associated with maritime development of the Saugatuck riverport and the formation of the town. As a prestigious early twentieth-century neighborhood, it reflects Westport's role as an artists' colony as well as a suburban haven for city dwellers. The Kings Highway North Historic District is characterized by a high degree of cohesiveness, which is reinforced by similarities of scale, setting, and style. Although Colonial and Colonial Revival architecture predominate, the district also contains representative examples of other major nineteenth- and twentieth-century architectural styles, which add variety to its streetscapes.The Kings Highway North Historic District is an exceptionally integrated and representative demonstration of the dominance of Colonial Revival architecture in early twentieth-century suburban neighborhoods. Indeed, so many houses were built, remodeled, or embellished in the Colonial Revival style that the district appears to date from this period. This impression is conveyed especially by the Kings Highway North streetscape where almost half of its 32 historic houses were built by the early twentieth century and many earlier Colonials were updated in this period, adding to the Colonial Revival ambience. [NR]

District Boundary:

The district includes the properties along the following major roads, as described in the district ordinance- Kings Highway North, Edge Hill Lane, Old Hill Road, Wright Street and few properties along Ludlow Road, Nutmeg Lane, Wilton Road, Ridgewood Lane and others.

Features:

Buildings, Green, Cemetery, Open Spaces.

Use:

Residential, Funerary

Architectural Style:

Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Italian Villa, Second Empire, Colonial Revival, Early 20th Century Bungalow/ Craftsman

Era:
18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century; Period of significance: 1736 - 1948
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.westportct.gov/.
[2] Westport Historic Resources Inventories accessed from the town website [http://www.westportct.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=910].
[3] Historic District handbook accessed in the town website [http://www.westportct.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=280].
[4] GIS information retrieved from http://webmap.jws.com/taxmap/viewer.aspx?JWSCONFIG=CT_Westport.
[NR] Cunningham Jan, Kings Highway North Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 98000884 NRIS, National Park Service, 1998 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/98000884.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/98000884.pdf.

Notes:

The Kings Highway North National Register Historic District encompasses most of the local historic district of the same name that was established in 1972 and amended in 1989. The boundaries of the National Register Kings Highway North Historic District differ in the southern part. Several more historic properties have been added, especially on Ludlow Road, and modern houses within the existing local historic district perimeter were excluded. [NR]

Links:
Map:

Map of the historic district retrieved from the Historic District Commission Handbook.

View photo
Disclaimer:

The street addresses and the parcels IDs of the designated properties have been obtained from the Updated Historic Resources Inventory, Town of Westport, 2008. 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