Main Street Historic District

View of the house at 432 Main Street; Source- NRIS 79003750
Historic/Common Name:
Suffield National Register Historic District
Town:
Suffield »
Year of Establishment:
1963
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic District Commission, Suffield
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Town Center
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Main Street of Suffield, a town in north central Connecticut established in 1670, runs north-south for two and one-half miles from tobacco fields on the south through the center of town to the edge of the old village on the north. The local historic district includes the properties along the Main Street and other major streets which include North Street, Mapleton Avenue, High Street, Bridge Street, Marbern Drive and Depot Street. The Main Street portion of the larger local historic district is incorporated in the National Register historic district. Like many other 17th-century colonial villages, Suffield was started in 1670 as a farming community. Suffield continued to be part of Massachusetts until 1749. The original name was Stoney Brooke Plantation and falls in the stream for which it was named soon were used for power for grist mills, saw mills, tanneries, and iron forges. Most of this limited industrial activity was for the purpose of augmenting or servicing the principal agricultural activity of the community. The industrial activity never developed a momentum of its own and in due course died out. The presence of so little industry helps to explain the town's present image as a typical New England village.

A unique industrial activity in Suffield, directly related to the farms, was the manufacture of cigars. Presumably, tobacco growing made the fine houses possible. Now tobacco growing has declined to a fraction of its former importance. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Architecture: Suffield historic district provides a remarkable display of American building styles from early 18th century to mid-20th century. Fine examples of architectural styles along the two and one-half mile length of the Main Street district include the Colonial, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Romanesque Revival, Second Empire, Beaux Arts, Colonial Revival, and Modern. These outstanding buildings by their continued existence, largely free from damaging alterations and intrusions, constitute an architectural and historic resource of substantial significance.

The ambience of Suffield's Main Street arises from its history as a typical New England village, modified by tobacco affluence, the presence of Suffield Academy and redevelopment in the center, and the absence of urban or industrial development. The general level of architectural quality has been raised by the work of several good architects in the town, and the documentation of the history of the town and its properties is unusually complete. [NR]

District Boundary:

The district includes properties along the following major roads, subject to 400 feet setback on either sides of the roads: Main Street, North Street, Mapleton Avenue, High Street, Bridge Street, Marbern Drive and Depot Street; as described in the district ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, Open Spaces

Use:

Agricultural, Commercial, Educational, Museum, Park, Residential, Religious

Architectural Style:

Greek Revival, Italianate, Georgian, Colonial Revival, Federal, Queen Anne, Modern

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

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.suffieldtownhall.com/.
[2] Report of the Historic District Study Committee of Suffield, 1962, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from the website http://data.visionappraisal.com/SuffieldCT/DEFAULT.asp.
[4] Additional information obtained from Suffield Historic Districts Handbook, accessed from the website http://www.suffieldtownhall.com/filestorage/2951/1674/1070/Suffield_Historic_District_Handbook.pdf.
[NR] Ransom David F., Suffield Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 79003750 NRIS, National Park Service, 1979 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/79003750.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/79003750.pdf

Notes:

The Main Street portion of the local historic district forms the Suffield National Register historic district. The Suffield Historic District boundaries, as more fully explained by the map and verbal boundary description, generally run 400 feet on either side of the road.

Links:
Map:

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

View PDF
Disclaimer:

The street addresses of the designated properties have been retrieved from the Report of the Historic District Study Committee of Suffield, 1962, SHPO Library, Hartford. The properties are subject to setbacks as explained by the map and verbal boundary description in the report, generally running 400 feet on either side of the road. For further information, the user is urged to contact the respective Historic District Commission.

Date of Compilation:
11/30/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation