District Overview Inventory List District Map

Borough of Newtown 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:
Notes on Establishment:
The original district established in 1996 was later expanded in 2008.
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Town Center

Buildings, Monument

Architectural Style:

Colonial revival, Colonial, Gothic Revival, Victorian, Federal.

18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century

The Borough of Newtown Historic District is a town center that includes properties along the Main Street, West Street, Church Hill Road and Currituck Road. The area is a mix of residential, commercial, religious, and public buildings, ranging in style from the plain vernacular architecture of the colonial period to various Victorian styles to the Colonial Revival style of the early 20th century. The buildings are generally 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 stories high, with exteriors covered with clapboards or wood shingles/ there are also a few constructed of brick or stone. Unlike some town-center settlements, Newtown does not have a village green. However, the setback of the houses, the shade trees, and the sidewalks running through the broad green areas along the road give a village-like character to the district, despite the heavy traffic along the Main Street, that forms the spine of the district. [NR]

Architecture, Exploration/ Settlement, Social History:The Borough of Newtown Historic District is significant because it recalls the importance of the area as a political, religious, social, and commercial center for much of the surrounding town (Criterion A). From the time of Newtown's earliest settlement, Main Street has been the setting for town government, churches, and school buildings as well as the homes of many of the town's families. Established as the town common and the location of the meetinghouse of the Congregationalist majority, the area around Newtown center continued as a focal point for the community throughout the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. The present-day physical characteristics of the district--the remnant of town common preserved as the Ram's Pasture, the closely spaced buildings, and the broad, tree-lined Main Street--continue to reflect its origin as the historic town center. Finally, the Historic District has significance because it illustrates an important early 20th-century historical development, the rise of small-town philanthropy. Particularly through the generous donations of Mary Elizabeth Hawley, a wealthy lifelong resident of the town, Newtown center was able to acquire a number of public amenities that added to the quality of life in the community.The district has architectural significance because many of the buildings embody the distinctive characteristics of particular periodsand styles of American architecture (Criterion C). [NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.newtown-ct.gov/Public_Documents/index.
[2] Borough of Newtown Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1995-96, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Proposed Expansion of the Borough of Newtown Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 2008, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[4] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from the website http://data.visionappraisal.com/NewtownCT/DEFAULT.asp.
[NR] Clouette Bruce and Hoang Tinh, Newtown Borough Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 96001458 NRIS, National Park Service, 1996 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/96001458.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/96001458.pdf.

The Newtown Borough National Register historic district is nearly co-terminus with the boundaryof the local historic district. However, the National Register Historic District includes the west side of Academy Lane, where there is a c.1870 house similar to others in the district nearby, and it excludes a property on West Street that is set so far back that it is barely visible. Also, the boundary of the National Register district follows property lines on Main Street wherever possible, rather than a set distance that cuts across all lot lines.

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