Whitfield Street Historic District

View of Henry Whitfield House at 248 Old Whitfield Street. Built 1639 and restored in the 1930s by J. Frederick Kelly, this is thought to be the oldest stone house standing in America; Source- NRIS 76001988.
Historic/Common Name:
whitfield Historic District
Guilford »
Year of Establishment:
Historic Designation:
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
District Character:
Small town neighborhood
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
General description:

Guilford was first settled in 1639 by a group of English Puritans. Settlement occurred in the area bounded by the West River and East Creek along the shore. The large central Green was established at this time, inspired by New Haven's Green and has been maintained, with only minor encroachments ever since. The Green is unmistakably the center, a spatial magnet that draws everything around it, including the approaching neighboring streets. The town began, like New Haven, with hopes of becoming a mercantile port. But conquering a wilderness turned out to be a longer, harsher thing that the early colonists had bargained for. Soon Guilford, like its sister towns, settled down to become an agricultural village. Fortunately its land was fertile and its harbor teemed with shellfish. It was soon supporting a community which, if not rich, was secure. Farming continued to be Guilford's mainstay, but it explored other avenues likes Coastal trade and shipbuilding industry and related maritime industries. [NR & 2]

Significance of the district:

Whitfield Street historic district is a special neighborhood towards the south of the town center. In recognition of its architectural and historical significance, the area is also listed in Guilford Historic Town Center, listed on the National Register on Historic Places in 1976. The unique nationwide significance of the Henry Whitfield House, the district's oldest structure, was officially established when it became a National Historic Landmark in 1997. [2]

District Boundary:

The designated historic district encompasses most of Whitfield Street south of the Town Green, a portion of Old Whitfield Street, and South Fair and High Streets; as described in the district ordinance.


Buildings, Fairground.


The district is primarily residential in character, but there are three other types of historic buildings, a former school, a former church, a factory and one site, the Guilford Fairgrounds.

Architectural Style:

Late colonial, Federal, others.

19th Century, 20th Century

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.ci.guilford.ct.us/.
[2] Whitfield Street Historic District, Guilford, The Guilford Historic District Study Committee Report, Prepared by Cunningham Preservation Associates, 1999, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from the website http://guilfordct.virtualtownhall.net/Public_Documents/GuilfordCT_Assessor/index.
[NR] Raiche Stephen J., Guilford Historic Town Center, National Register Nomination Number- 76001988 NRIS, National Park Service, 1976 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/76001988.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/76001988.pdf.


The National Register Guilford Town Center historic district includes a large area with more than 700 structures, encompassing both the local historic districts of Guilford: Town Center historic district and Whitfield Street historic district.


Map of the local historic district obtained from the Historic District Study Committee Report, 1999, SHPO, Hartford.

View photo

The list of the designated properties has been obtained from Whitfield Street Historic District, The Guilford Historic District Study Committee Report, 1999, SHPO Library, Hartford. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective district authority.

Date of Compilation:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation