Ridgefield Historic District

View of Ballard Park, Main Street North, View Southwest; Source - 84000817.
Historic/Common Name:
Ridgefield Center Historic District
Town:
Ridgefield »
Year of Establishment:
1964
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:

The location and topography of Ridgefield were important to the architectural development of the Ridgefield Center Historic District. Its position on the western edge of Connecticut, 15 miles above Long Island Sound and seven miles below Danbury, was out of the way, and it never became a trading or manufacturing center. The terrain is dominated by parallel north-south ridges that tend to diminish the agricultural value of the land. The Ridgefield Center Historic District's 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century houses, churches, civic and commercial structures, built side by side and representing various types, ages and styles, are sensitive to one another in scale and setting and form a cohesive district of discrete components. The local historic district includes three areas as described in the 1964 Study Committee report: Main Street South, Main Street North and West Lane. The boundaries of the three areas are discussed below. [NR and 2]

Significance of the district:

Architecture: The distinction of the architecture in the Ridgefield Center Historic District arises both from the excellence of individual structures and from the panoramic streetscapes that are composed of many buildings constructed over a period of three centuries. Colonial homes, Greek Revival structures, buildings constructed in 19th century picturesque styles, workers' homes from that era and early-20th century examples exist side by side, in their original relationship to one another, providing an excellent visual summary of the history of American architecture in a country town. The buildings of the Ridgefield Center Historic District span three centuries in time and a full range of American architectural styles from the Colonial through the Art Modern. The buildings, most of them of frame construction, relate well to one another in terms of size, scale, materials and spacing and are significant for their integrity and lack of intrusions.

District Boundary:

The boundaries of the three areas of recommendations as per the 1964 report are: Main Street South (comprising an area extending on either side of the center line of Main Street from the intersection of Governor Street, including all the property of St. Stephen's Church, south to the intersection of the blinker light at the intersection of Wilton Road East and Main Street), Main Street North (comprising an area extending on either side of the center line of Main Street from the intersection of Main Street and Prospect Street, beginning on the west side with the Ballard property, north to the intersection of Pound Street and Main Street); West Lane (comprising an area extending on either side of the center line of West Lane from the intersection of Golf Land and West Lane, west to a point west of the intersection of West Lane and South Salem Road). [2]

Features:

Buildings, Green, Parks, Others- Memorials, Fountains

Use:

Residential, Commercial, Educational, Government, Museum, Park, Religious

Architectural Style:

Colonial, Italianate, Second Empire, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Georgian Revival, Queen Anne, Neo-Classical Revival, Others

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

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.ridgefieldct.org/.
[2] Ridgefield Historic District Study Report, 1964, SHPO Library, Hartford.

[NR] Ransom David F., Ridgefield Center National Register District, National Register Nomination Number- 84000817 NRIS, National Park Service, 1984 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/84000817.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/84000817.pdf

Notes:

The Central Business District (CBD Zone) of Ridgefield was designated as a –Village District– effective on May 1, 2007 by the Planning and Zoning Commission. This area can be found in –downtown– Ridgefield – primarily Main Street, Bailey Avenue, and parts of Catoonah Street and Prospect Street. [Town website] The Main Street- North and South areas of the local historic district appear to be included in the much larger National Register Historic District while the West Lane area stands as a separate entity towards the southwest.

Links:
Map:

Map of the three areas comprising the historic district has been retrieved from the Study Committee Report, SHPO library, Hartford.

View photo
Disclaimer:

For the list of designated properties within the historic district and further information, 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