District Overview Inventory List District Map

Berlin Historic District

LHD boundaries as described are approximate and subject to change. Consult the LHD Study Report on file with the relevant local district commission or municipal authority to verify district boundaries and whether a specific property, particularly one in proximity of a boundary line, is within the district. Also note that LHD boundaries may differ from those of State or National Register Districts.

Year of Establishment:
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Town Center

Buildings, Open Spaces

Architectural Style:

Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Bungalow

18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century

Worthington Ridge Historic District is a linear concentration of mostly 18th and 19th century buildings on narrow, tree-lined streets, located along the top of a ridge that rises some 50 feet above an unnamed brook to the east; the principal thoroughfare in the district, Worthington Ridge, takes its name from this landform. The Worthington Ridge Historic District also extends several hundred feet west of Worthington Ridge along Farmington Avenue, Hudson Street, and Sunset Lane. Most of the major buildings in the Worthington Ridge Historic District are residential, although Worthington Ridge's historical role as the institutional center of the Town of Berlin is also depicted in such buildings as the 1774 meetinghouse, the 1831 Worthington Academy, and the 1884 Brandegee Hall/Berlin Town Hall. The area's one-time local commercial prominence is represented by several houses that once served as taverns, hotels, or stores. [NR]

Architecture, Settlement, Commerce:Worthington Ridge Historic District is significant because its buildings embody the distinctive characteristics of several important architectural styles, including New England Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic, Late Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Tudor Revival. The Worthington Ridge Historic District features an unusually large number of well-preserved New England Colonial, Federal, and Greek Revival buildings, a concentration of state-level significance. The buildings include several outstanding examples of their types, such as the Worthington Meetinghouse, one of fewer than a dozen colonial meetinghouses that still stand; the David Sage House, an 18th-century dwelling notable for the elaborate Georgian detailing of its principal elevation; and the Elishama Brandegee House, a Greek Revival house with the full panoply of characteristic features including flush-boarding and the complete Ionic order. The Worthington Ridge Historic District is also significant for its important roles in the history of Berlin: a principal residential area in the agricultural community of the colonial period, and the institutional and commercial center of Berlin through the mid-19th century. As railroad and industrial development in other parts of town caused the commercial function to move elsewhere by the late 19th century, and as the civic-institutional function moved in the 20th, Worthington Ridge evolved into a sedate neighborhood where many of the town's wealthiest and most prominent citizens made their homes.While many of the buildings in the district have outstanding architectural significance as rare survivals or exceptional examples of their type, the Worthington Ridge Historic District's importance exceeds the sum of its parts. The juxtaposition of buildings of different periods, in different styles, and of different original uses, provides a window into changing taste and evolving building methods, and represents two centuries of diverse and changing lifestyles on Worthington Ridge. [NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.town.berlin.ct.us/.
[2] GIS information and Parcel IDs retrieved from the website http://www.berlingis.com/ags_map/.
[NR] Clouette Bruce and Roth Matthew, Worthington Ridge Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 89000925 NRIS, National Park Service, 1989 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/89000925.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/89000925.pdf.

The National Register historic district as a whole can generally claim a high degree of integrity, a circumstance that owes much to the presence of the local historic district with substantially the same boundaries as the district. [NR]

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