District Overview Inventory List District Map

West Hill Drive 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.

West Hartford
Year of Establishment:
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Suburban Neighborhood

Buildings, Stone Wall, Open Spaces

Architectural Style:

20th Century Revivals- Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival

20th Century [Period of significance- Architecture 1920-46; Community development- 1919-28]

The West Hill Historic District is a 1920s real estate development containing 25 large architect-designed Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival homes. The 11-acre West Hill Historic District is located in West Hartford, Connecticut, four blocks west of the City of Hartford line on a site formerly occupied by the Cornelius Vanderbilt Estate.

All houses in the West Hill Historic District are compatible in height (about two stories) and mass (10/12 rooms). All face West Hill Drive, set back about 15 feet from the building line on approximately half-acre lots. West Hill Drive is a circular roadway accessed from Farmington Avenue at the south end of the circle. In the subdivision layout lots are sited on both sides of the roadway; consequently, the houses face one another. West Hill Drive is appropriately named because the West Hill Historic District is on a low hill with higher elevations generally on the northwest falling off to the east and southeast. The West Hill Historic District's visual identity is established by the rugged brownstone ashlar retaining wall which runs for 421 feet along Farmington and Hamilton Avenues. [NR]

Architecture, Community Development:West Hill Historic District is significant historically because it is an excellent example of a planned real estate development of the early 1920s that proceeded under specific design restrictions to achieve outstanding success as a well-crafted and prestigious neighborhood. The West Hill Historic District has maintained its highly regarded appearance and standing for three-quarters of a century. The social and economic context which made possible the development of the district marked the final phase of prosperity associated with Hartford's great period of industrial ingenuity and growth.

West Hill Historic District is significant architecturally as a cohesive group of buildings of compatible scale unified according to a controlled plan. The houses were designed well by architects selected from the best-known practitioners active in the Hartford area at the time. Their work displays skill and careful attention both to overall effect and to details derived from the Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival styles popular in the period. The houses are in a fine state of preservation, having been maintained unusually well for three-quarters of a century. The district, free of intrusions, continues to exhibit the setting of spaces between houses, arrangement of buildings and voids, prevalence of trees and walks, and general exterior features without change from time of construction. [NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.west-hartford.com/.
[2] West Hill Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1988, SHPO library, Hartford.
[3] West Hill Drive Historic District Brochure, West Hartford Historic District Commission, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[4] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from http://host.appgeo.com/westhartfordct/Map.aspx and the website www.visionappraisal.com.
[NR] Ransom David, West Hill Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 96001366 NRIS, National Park Service, 1996 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/96001366.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/96001366.pdf.

The local historic district and the National Register historic district are co-terminus.

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