Archives and Resources

The New London Landmarks office at 49 Washington Street contains extensive files on all National Register Historic Districts and Individually Listed Sites in New London. Additional files are kept on individual structures, listed by street address. Historic and current photos files, newspaper clippings, maps and a variety of historic documents are included in the files.  A "Finding Aid" is in development and will provide a full list of our collections.

 

Below is a sampling of surveys and studies along with the past ten years of newsletters.  Grants and funding sources are also provided in addition to New London's thirteen historic districts.  The detailed nomination packets will be linked soon.

Appointments for research can be made by calling 860-442-0003.
A minimum research fee is charged depending upon the staff time required and/or number of copies and scans requested..

Archives and Building HIstories

New London Landmarks has building histories, maps, photos, architectural drawings and more.  Review our Finding Aid to see what is in our collection.

Grants and

Funding Sources

There is a variety of funding sources available to help finance your restoration projects including grants, historic rehabilitation tax credits and low interest loans.

Historic Districts and Sites

There are twelve historic districts and several sites in New London that are listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.  See if your property is included!

Archives and Resources

 

A finding aid is being developed and will be posted online later this year.  It will provide a full list of the contents of our library.  Many documents are already available in digital format and can be accessed below.

 

Surveys and Studies

Here are just two examples of studies in the office. More to be added soon!

Annual Reports

Since 2014, New London Landmarks provides details of annual activity along with recognition to members and donors.

Guidebooks

Bank Street, New London - A Self-Guided Walking Tour

Pride of Place: State Street, New London, CT

Sacred Spaces in New London's Downtown National Register Historic District

Crossing The Thames: Tour Aboard Sea Pony 2004

Secret New London: New Faces in Historic Places 2005

Tiffany Windows (coming soon)

From Cottage to Castle: a Neptune Park House Tour

Online Research Sites

A few sources to aid in your research of local history and/or buildings.

Property Database (New London)

Property Database (All States)

News Archives (The Day 1881 - 2008) 

News Archives (All newspapers)

Find a Grave

Ancestry (need paid subscription for most information)

Family military history

WPA Architectural Survey of CT 

New London County Historical Society (a variety of online history in resource section)

Connecticut Historical Society (family history, general history, online research tools, etc.)
Connecticut State Library (lots of online resources including ample collection of Sanborn Maps)

History of New London, Connecticut: From the First Survey of the Coast in 1612 to 1860 (online version of this great local history book by Frances Caulkins - useful index to find local names, streets, etc.)

Restoration Services

Online directory plus regional home show for historic property owners

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Grants and Funding Sources

Below are some grants and low-interest loans available to individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and municipalities.  State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits are a great way to restore a building to high standards with financial incentives. As we learn of additional sources, we will add to the list.

 

Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits are administered through the State Historic Preservation Office and work similarly to a rebate.  First apply for program BEFORE construction for review and approval.  After inspection of completed work, the homeowner will receive a voucher that is given to a sponsoring company who pays cash for the tax credit voucher.  See links below for more details and application forms.  First determine if your property is eligible by seeing if it is listed individually or considered a contributing property to a historic district on National or State Register.

You can use BOTH federal and state tax credits on a project but must apply separately. They are both reviewed by Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

FEDERAL HISTORIC TAX CREDITS: up to 20% of construction costs - application needed - work must be reviewed and approved before beginning work.  (STRICTER THAN STATE TAX CREDITS)

STATE HISTORIC TAX CREDITS: up to 25% of construction costs - application needed - work must be reviewed and approved before beginning work. (PROJECT MINIMUM $30,000 on commercial projects or $15,000 on residential projects)

There are different programs for residential and commercial properties.  State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) can help you find the right program.  See links below.

NOTE: When using historic tax credits, you must do restoration work within "Secretary's Standards for Rehabilitation." The SHPO office will provide guidance on it.
 

Free or Low Interest Loans

There are a few programs available to New London property owners that provide free or low-interest loans. 

C-PACE (for energy improvements)

New London Housing Conservation Program

New London Revolving Loan Fund

Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP)

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Historic Districts and Sites

In addition to several local museums and historic houses, there are thirteen historic districts in New London that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and several sites listed individually.  There is also one local historic district in the City which is Starr Street.  The history of each neighborhood and listing of the properties including architectural style, dates and some photos are provided in the Nomination Packets.  See links below next to description.

 

New London Museums and Historic Sites

Below are various museums and historic sites in New London with direct links to their websites.  Lower on this page, you will find the nomination packet for National Register listings - historic districts and many individual sites.

Custom House Maritime Museum (designed by Robert Mills)

Shaw Mansion (home to New London County Historical Society)

Hempsted Houses

Monte Cristo Cottage (childhood home of playwright Eugene O'Neill)

Old Town Mill

Fort Trumbull

Lyman Allyn Art Museum

Ye Antientest Burial Ground
Rogers Cemetery (family plot)

Riverside Park

Union Station (designed by HH Richardson)

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.

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.

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.

Below are links to both Nomination Packets for downtown historic district:
Downtown #1 (State Street and more)
Downtown #2 (Bank Street and more)

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.

Hodges Square Historic District

Recently added to the State Register of Historic Places is Hodges Square Historic District.  More information will be added soon.

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.

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 Historic 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.

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.

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.

West Coit Street State Historic District

Recently added to the State Register of Historic Places is West Coit Street.  More information will be added soon.

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.

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.

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