District Overview Inventory List District Map

Cornwall Avenue Town Center 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:
Cheshire Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Town center

Buildings, Open Spaces, Others (side walks, hilltop vistas, etc)

Architectural Style:

Cape-style, Georgian Style, Federal Style, Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, Second Empire, Queen Anne

18th Century, 19th Century and early 20th Century

The Cornwall Avenue- Town Center Historic District reflects the original composition associated with the earliest community settled in the town of Cheshire. The district includes residential, commercial and institutional buildings, which makes it a unique area in the town and the contributes to the spirit and neighborhood character. The in-town residential neighborhood with stores, schools, churches, the Town Hall and Library, all within easy walking distance, defines this sense of spirit. This spirit is characterized by tree-lined sidewalks, hilltop vistas and large front porches for visiting with neighbors, make a stroll through the center of the town easy and inviting. Along Cornwall Avenue, front lawns flow freely between charming homes in a variety of styles. Doorway gardens, white fences and friendly greetings offer surprises at every turn. There are treasured old trees, a beautiful view to the west ridge and sounds of church bells ringing from the Green. Each building in this historic district has a story to tell about the history of the neighborhood and should be recognized and valued in its own right. As part of the neighborhood, each district has come to play a significant role in the development of the spirit of the district which helps the 21st century to remain connected with the bygone era. [2]

Architecture, Community:The Cheshire Historic District, located in the town center, is a well-preserved, distinguishable entity which contains a high concentration (95%) of historic residential, commercial, and institutional buildings dating from 1720-1936. An exceptional cross section of type and style constructed in several distinct time frames presents a tangible microcosm of Cheshire's history: the colonial period, the stage and turnpike era, the industrial period, and the early twentieth century. Representative examples of historic architecture from the colonial period to the twentieth century are contained in the Cheshire Historic District. Historic growth and development have not erased its eighteenth-century origins; nineteenth- and early twentieth-century construction has generally interspersed and overlaid the colonial base. Although historic buildings have been lost through demolition in the last ten years and been replaced by modern construction, there is a minimal amount of modern intrusion. For the most part the houses and other buildings in the Cheshire Historic District are well-preserved. Most of the alteration has been historical in nature, having taken place in the nineteenth century. A limited amount of inappropriate modern siding has been used and in very few cases does this siding obscure or cover significant architectural details. The eighteenth-century collection of buildings is particularly notable because it contains a high proportion of two representative types, the Cape Cod style and the gambrel-roofed colonial form. Cheshire's small town character persists into the 21st century with the historic district. The dwellings, churches, schools, stores and institutional buildings retain their aesthetic, architectural and historical integrity and is one of the most significant assets of the community in this century. [NR & 2]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.cheshirect.org/.
[2] Final Report of the Historic District Study Committee, Cornwall Avenue Town Center and South Brooksvale Historic Districts, 2004, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from [2] and GIS website http://www.cogcnvgis.com/cheshire/ags_map/.
[NR] Jan Cunningham, consultant, Cunningham Associates and John Herzan, Connecticut Historical Commission, Cheshire Historic District, Cheshire, Connecticut, nomination document, 1986, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C. (Source: www.livingplaces.com)

The local historic district and the National Register Historic District share the same core but have different district boundaries.

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