District Overview Inventory List District Map

Bethlehem Green 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:
Overlapping Historic Designation(s):
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Town Center, Green

Buildings, Green, Parks and open spaces

Architectural Style:

Greek Revival, Gothic, Queen Anne, Italianate,

18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century

The Bethlehem, Connecticut green is a triangular park located in the center of town at the intersection of the principal highways. North Main Street divides at the green, one arm going to the west and one arm to the east of the green in its long north-south direction of 350 feet. The top of the green, 150 feet wide, is along West Road, across the street from the imposing, 3-1/2-story, clapboard house built by the Rev. Joseph Bellamy c.1760. The Rev. Joseph Bellamy began preaching in Bethlehem in 1738, four years after the area, known as the North Purchase of the Town of Woodbury, was settled.[1] The location of Bellamy's church during the years 1767-1790[2] at the highway intersection is now marked by a granite obelisk at the north end of the green. The intersection has been the center of the community for the ensuing two centuries. The historic community center surrounding the green, with its town government buildings, churches, and 18th- and 19th-century houses, is the subject of the district. [NR]

Architecture:The buildings around the central crossroads, near the green, in Bethlehem retain the size, spacing, and general atmosphere today that they have had over the centuries. Now there are a few more structures than heretofore, several of them quite new, but the ambience remains the same and the functions of church and state continue to be performed in the buildings around the green, as they always have been. The central crossroads, near the green, in Bethlehem, Connecticut, has long been the site of the community center. Changes have occurred over the years, reflecting especially the early 19th-century popularity of the Greek Revival style of architecture, but the church and town buildings, and 18th- and 19th-century houses in the Bethlehem Green Historic District continue today the function, scale, setting, and ambience that was established two centuries ago. [NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.ci.bethlehem.ct.us/.
[2] Bethlehem Green Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] District information and street addresses obtained from the town clerk, Town of Bethlehem.
[NR] Ransom David F., Bethlehem Green Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 82001001 NRIS, National Park Service, 1982 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/82001001.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/82001001.pdf.

Bethlehem National Register Historic District and the local historic district are not co-terminus.

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