Milford Historic District

View of West River Street, Milford Historic District; Source- NRIS 86002648.
Historic/Common Name:
River Park National Register Historic District (Contained within)
Town:
Milford »
Year of Establishment:
1975
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:

Milford Historic District is located in the town of Milford, a community on Long Island Sound on the southern coast of Connecticut, encompassing the residential and institutional center of the town. The Wepawaug River winds down through the historic district, entering Long Island Sound at Milford's harbor. Stone retaining walls along its banks define the course of the river, and two stone dams with waterfalls control its flow. Ten acres along both banks of the river, landscaped with mature trees, create a continuous series of picturesque river parks. Although "beautification" programs in the early twentieth century radically altered the historic appearance of nineteenth-century Milford, the physical layout of the historic district is virtually unchanged since the early colonial period. When Milford was established in 1639, house lots were concentrated in two separate settlements along the principal watercourses. Rather than the more common single axial pattern, both town plots had two streets, a double axis, with a river running north to south between them. With only minor variations, the location of the present-day roads and bridges date from the early settlement period. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Architecture, Community Planning, Exploration/ Settlement, Landscape Architecture:Milford Historic District comprises the residential and institutional center of Milford. It is a significant and distinguishable entity which illustrates the development of the town from settlement to the present (1650-1936). Good representative vernacular examples of most of the major domestic styles are contained within the historic district, including a notable group of well-preserved Greek Revival style houses. The major focal component of the district is its river park system, a significant demonstration of early twentieth-century community planning. This historic landscape adds significance to the district's collection of domestic architecture and provides a unique setting for its distinguished institutional buildings. [NR]

District Boundary:

The district spreads across both sides of Wepawaug River including properties along the following major roads- North Street, Main Street, West River Street, River Street, Maple Street, Plymouth Place; as described in the district ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, River as the focal point, with its dams, bridges, retaining walls and ponds.

Use:

Residential, Religious, Park, Educational, Government, Industrial

Architectural Style:

Federal, Second Empire, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Stick Style, Queen Anne, Adamesque

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

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/Public_Documents/Index.
[2] Milford Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1975, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from the study committee report [2].
[NR] Cunningham Jan, River Park Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 86002648 NRIS, National Park Service, 1986. http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/86002648.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/86002648.pdf.

Notes:

The large elongated open space in the center of the National Register district is bordered by North and West River Streets on the east and west side, respectively, generally the boundaries of the local historic district. The River Park Historic District boundaries for the National Register are extended to include the secondary streets that cross the river on a series of four twentieth-century bridges and radiate out from the parks. [NR]

Links:
Map:

Map of the local historic district retrieved from the Historic District Study Committee Report, 1975, SHPO Library, Hartford.

View PDF
Disclaimer:

The street addresses and the parcels IDs of the designated properties have been obtained from the Historic District Study Committee report, 1975, SHPO Library, Hartford. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective Historic District Commission.

Date of Compilation:
12/15/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation