Neighborhoods: National Register Historic Districts
Civic Institutions Historic District
Containing only 6 buildings, this is the one of the smallest historic districts in New London. The buildings are all surviving examples of the late 19th and early 20th century concepts of institutional care – publicly supported institutions for the poor and sick residents of a city. The almshouse contains fine examples of both Italianate and Georgian Revival styles; while the Mitchell Isolation Hospital is a well-crafted Colonial Revival.
Downtown New London Historic District
This district, now known as the Historic Waterfront District, showcases the commercial development of the city in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Many of the 19th century buildings were designed by prominent architects, most notably Union Station, by Henry Hobson Richardson and the Custom House, by Robert Mills. The many side streets included contain an array of urban residential and commercial buildings, dating to the same eras. Ten years after the original district was formed, its boundaries were increased to encompass a larger mix of commercial, religious, public, and residential buildings. Of particular importance is the 1784 Georgian New London County Courthouse at the top of State Street.
U.S. Housing Corp. Historic District
This district is a well-preserved example of the first federally sponsored housing program in the United States. Practically all the houses were built between 1918 and 1930 in the Colonial Revival style. The site presents a unified, lively neighborhood. Not only are the houses designed to blend together, but planned landscape design adds to the overall visual cohesion. This neighborhood is unique in New London.
Montauk Avenue Historic District
A major streetcar suburb of the city, the Montauk Avenue district was mostly laid out and built up during the first half of the 20th century. It has not experienced many major changes since then. The housing styles popular during that time – Queen Anne and various revivals – are still evident today. The Tudor Revival/Queen Anne house at 58 Bellevue Place is a significant example. It was designed by one of New London’s most prolific architects Dudley St. Clair Donnelly.
Hempstead Historic District
The oldest surviving house in New London, the 1678 Hempstead House provides the historical anchor to this urban residential neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Most of the district was rapidly developed in the mid to late 19th century homes for the growing working-class, as well as sites for small manufacturers. This quick growth led to an architecturally cohesive neighborhood that survives to this day, along with important social institutions that grew out of the black community residing there.
Williams Memorial Park Historic District
This district offers a vivid illustration of the prosperity that whaling brought New London in the mid 19th century. Newly wealthy families built on two sides of Williams Memorial Park established in the late 1860s.The neighborhood continued to attract wealthy development into the early 20th century. Some of these houses are the finest examples of their respective styles in New London: the Tudor Revival of 160 Hempstead St, the Colonial Revival of 164 Hempstead St, and the Gothic Revival of 130 Hempstead St.
Prospect Street Historic District
A short development period of only 20 years (1838 to 1859) gave this district an intact mid-19th streetscape, which survives today with few later interpolations. Almost all of the houses are modest Italianate and Greek Revivals. The majority of them were the work of two notable local builder/architects, John Bishop and Lewis Crandall. Crandall’s own house, 25 Prospect St, is in this neighborhood.
Pequot Colony Historic District
Originally one of Connecticut’s most prominent summer resort communities, the Pequot Colony was the summer residence of many wealthy and distinguished families from 1852 to 1930. Gradually, the district became occupied year-round, both by locally prominent families and the families of workers employed on the larger estates. There are many surviving examples of resort architecture from the late 19th and early 20th century revival styles as the colony underwent the change to permanent occupancy. The 1872 Pequot Chapel at 857 Montauk Ave. is of particular note with its Gothic Revival style and Tiffany windows.
Post Hill District
The District documents the development of one of the oldest parts of New London, from the first European settlement until the mid 20th century. As laid out by John Winthrop Jr., the founder of New London in 1646, this site was the center of the community and the Antientest Burial Place, dating back to 1652, remains there. The District did not see much development until the 19th century when whaling prosperity drove New London’s growth. Williams Park, laid out in 1858, became a focal point for new residences, and many of the city’s business and civic leaders have made Post Hill their home ever since.
Whale Oil Row
The four Greek Revival buildings that make up Whale Oil Row on Huntington St. are stunning testaments to New London’s whaling prosperity. All four buildings were built between 1835 and 1845 and share soaring Ionic columns and fine classical details. Originally built for some of the city’s wealthiest residents (three of the four original owners made their fortunes through whaling), the buildings are now offices.
Coit Street Historic District
A compact and cohesive neighborhood, this district contains four of the twelve surviving 18th century houses in New London. The layout of the streets reflects the colonial thoroughfares around Bream Cove, despite the cove being filled in during the 19th century. One of the original areas of settlement in New London (at the edge of the town), it has maintained its residential aspect as the city has grown around it and later 19th century Greek Revival houses joined the early Georgians. An outstanding example of 18th century architecture is the house at 92 Washington St, with its bell-cast gambrel and slightly flared eaves.