District Overview Inventory List District Map

Orange 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:
Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Town Center/ Green

Buildings, Green, Cemetery, Open Spaces

Architectural Style:

Federal, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Stick Style, Colonial Revival style

18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century (Period of significance- 1791-1937)

The Orange Center Historic District lies near the geographical center of Orange, Connecticut, approximately one mile south of Route 34, the historic turnpike connecting New Haven and Derby. The historic and architectural resources, dating from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries, are clustered in a village around the town green (1791) at the top of a small hill in an area of gently rolling land. The Orange Center Historic District extends several hundred feet north and south of the green on Orange Center Road, a main thoroughfare. To the east and the west, it includes large farms whose pastures and cultivated fields, demarcated in part by stone walls and rows of trees, recall the predominant historic use of the land in Orange. Much of the town has been subdivided for residential use in this century. Most district buildings are residential, although Orange Center's historic role in town commerce (Stone-Otis House), education (Academy and Mary L. Tracy School) and religious life (Orange Congregational Church) is also well represented. [NR]

Architecture: The Orange Center Historic District is architecturally significant because it is a cohesive village of well-preserved buildings and their surroundings that convey a strong sense of the area's historic appearance and role in town life. Present are fine examples of the Federal, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival architectural styles, together with vernacular buildings typical of small New England villages. The Orange Congregational Church is notable as an early example of the work of David Hoadley, an influential builder of 19th-century Connecticut meetinghouses. Orange Center has changed relatively little in this century despite the town's substantial residential and commercial growth. The green and surroundings assumed much of their present appearance before World War II. The Orange Center Historic District's strong sense, of time and place is a product of many factors, both built and natural. Most of the architectural resources date from the village's long period of significance. Their diversity in age and style is evidence of the community's gradual development. Architecturally, the Orange Center Historic District displays the stylistic diversity and range in quality that characterizes small, largely rural Connecticut communities of its age. [NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.orange-ct.gov/.
[NR] Andrews Gregory E. and Ransom David F., Orange Center Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 89001089 NRIS, National Park Service, 1989 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/89001089.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/89001089.pdf.

The boundaries of both the local historic district and the National Register historic district are similar. [NR]

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