Sharon Historic District

View of Sharon Town Hall, 1875 Greek Revival brick building, Builder- Isaac Bartram; Source- NRIS 93000257.
Historic/Common Name:
Sharon Historic District (including Calkinstown extension and Oblong Valley extension); Sharon National Register Historic District
Town:
Sharon »
Year of Establishment:
1975
Notes on Establishment:
The Sharon Historic District was first established in 1975 and later extended in 1985 to include Calkinstown extension and Oblong Valley extension in 1991.
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Sharon Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Town Center/ Green
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

Sharon Historic District consists of over 100 houses and other buildings surrounding Sharon Green and extending north along North Main Street and south along South Main Street. The northern part of the Sharon Historic District, around the Green, is densely built up, mostly with houses from the 18th and early-19th centuries. Sharon was settled in the spring of 1739 and incorporated in October of that year. With the town common, the burying ground, and the meetinghouse of the Congregational religious society, what is now known as Sharon Green became a focal point for the community. The several roads that converged there made it a market center in the 18th century, and as the population of the village grew, houses were built closer together around the common, creating a village that also included stores, artisans' shops, and the offices of doctors and lawyers. The early-19th century was an even more prosperous time. Two turnpike roads converged at the village, the Goshen and Sharon Turnpike, chartered in 1803, and the Sharon and Cornwall Turnpike, established in 1809, thereby linking Sharon with both nearby communities and larger centers such as Waterbury. Many of the houses from this period on the Green, as well as earlier 18th-century houses that were remodeled, reflect the period's prosperity in their fanlights and other stylish details drawn from the then-current Federal style of architecture. Among the enterprises in business at one time or another in the center of Sharon were a shoe store, jeweler, hat shop, apothecary, milliner, clockmaker, saddlery, inns, taverns, and general stores. Today, several former store buildings from the early-19th century remain as reminders of the commercial activity that allowed crossroads villages such as Sharon to prosper during the Turnpike Era. With the South Main Street or Oblong Valley extension in 1991, the district now not only included the center of Sharon to the north where the principal houses and churches were located but also the farms which are an integral part of the community. [NR & 4]

Significance of the district:

Architecture, Commerce, Religion, Politics/Government:The historic resources included in the Sharon Historic District are significant because they recall the historical importance of the area as the focal point of economic, political, social, and religious life in Sharon throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The Sharon Historic District also has architectural significance. Many of the buildings are well-preserved, representative examples of particular styles of architecture, embodying the distinctive characteristics of the Federal, Greek Revival, Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival styles. The latter style is especially well-represented, with the estates on South Main Street constituting one of the most extensive concentrations of large Colonial Revival style houses in Connecticut. Many of the buildings in the Sharon Historic District embody the distinguishing characteristics of particular styles of architecture. The fanlights, Palladian windows, and porticos found on the several houses built (or substantially remodeled) in the early 19th century exemplify the elegant interpretation of Classical details favored in the Federal style, as do the arched entries and intricate steeple of the Congregational Church. Most of the later 19th-century buildings are plainer and less consciously stylish, but well-preserved examples remain of Stick style and Queen Anne style architecture, both of which epitomize the love of intricate variegated decoration that characterized the Victorian aesthetic. Two structures, the Hotchkiss Library and the clock tower, exhibit the rough polychrome masonry that is a defining characteristic of the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Even many of the more vernacular buildings in the Sharon Historic District retain architectural details that illustrate the rich diversity of Victorian millwork, such as pinnacles, decorative wood shingles, and board-and-batten gable decoration. The Sharon Historic District is particularly exceptional because of its great number and concentration of large and elaborately detailed Colonial Revival houses. [NR]

District Boundary:

The historic district includes tax parcels with at least part of one property line bordering the following roads: Calkinstown Road to intersection with Jewett Hill Road, Gay Street, North Main Street, Main Street, Upper Main Street, South Main Street, Amenia Union Road to the intersection with Boland Road, Boland Road and West Woods Road #1 to intersection with Boland Road. Various setbacks define the outer limits of the District, meaning that some properties are partially within the District. Setbacks may be the property–s back lot line or from 100 to 800 feet from the lot–s frontage depending on the location. The entire area enclosed by Amenia Union Road, Boland Road, and West Woods Road #1 is included in the District. A map of the District is on view in the Land Use Room at Town Hall. [Town website]

Features:

Buildings, Green, Open Spaces

Use:

Residential, Commercial, Religion, Education

Architectural Style:

Federal, Greek Revival, Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne and Colonial Revivals.

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

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.sharonct.org/.
[2] Sharon Historic District Study Committee Report, 1975, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Proposal for Sharon historic district extension, The Sharon Historic District Commission, Calkinstown, 1985, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[4] Oblong Valley extension, established in 1991, Map referred from SHPO Library, Hartford.
[5] The list of street addresses and parcels lots included in Sharon Historic District has been obtained from Sharon Historical Society and the original work compiled by Ms Elizabeth Gall.
[6] Assessors information retrieved from the website www.visionappraisal.com.
[NR] Clouette Bruce and Cronin Maura, Sharon Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 93000257 NRIS, National Park Service, 1993 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/93000257.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/93000257.pdf

Notes:

The Sharon National Register Historic District includes all of the Sharon Local Historic District as established in 1975, extending somewhat beyond the local district to include contiguous historic properties on Amenia-Union Road, Hilltop Road, Hospital Hill Road, Low Road, Mitchelltown Road, New Street, West Main Street, and West Woods Road. The properties on Amenia-Union Road and Westwoods Road were included in the later enlargement of the local historic district. [NR]

Various setbacks define the outer limits of the District, meaning that some properties are partially within the District. Setbacks may be the property–s back lot line or from 100 to 800 feet from the lot–s frontage depending on the location. For complete information on property-wise setbacks, contact the Historic District Commission or Ms Elizabeth Gall at Sharon Historical Society.

Links:
Map:

The maps of the historic district and its two extensions have been obtained from the Study Committee report 2, 3 & 4.

View photo
Disclaimer:

The parcels IDs and the street addresses of the designated properties have been obtained from Ms Elizabeth Gall, Historical Society of Sharon; And the name of the historic properties has been obtained from the National Register nomination form NRIS 93000257. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective district authority or the Sharon Historical Society.

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