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Watertown Center Historic District


The Watertown Center Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Watertown Center Historic District encompasses the town's civic and residential center. Located on an elevated site near the intersection of Main and Deforest Streets, the Watertown Center Historic District extends from the cemetery at the head of North Street south to the intersection of Woodruff Avenue and Wheeler Street. From Main Street on the eastern border, the district runs west to the intersection of Deforest Street and Woodbury Road. Secondary streets include Academy Hill, The Green, and Town Hill Road.

The Watertown Center Historic District contains 130 contributing and non-contributing resources, of which 114 (94 percent) contribute to its architectural and historic significance. Most of the contributing resources are residential, but the Watertown Center Historic District also includes a number of institutional buildings that are clustered around three contributing sites, the Public Green at De Forest Street and Town Hill Road and its associated Munson Memorial Park, and another Green that runs between Deforest Street and Woodbury Road. Three of the non-contributing resources are houses built after 1950, but most of the rest are secondary structures such as garages, which were built after 1940.

Although residential construction began in the district after the Public Green was laid out in 1772 and a Congregational church erected nearby, only a few houses date from the eighteenth century. Most of the 65 houses were built from about 1840 through the early twentieth century. Almost every streetscape incorporates a representative range of nineteenth-century styles, including Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne, with more than half the houses built or remodeled in the Colonial Revival style. A number of associated historic outbuildings such as carriage houses that remain in the district have been converted to residential use.

A driveway and intersecting walkways cross the lawn of the Public Green, the focus of the Watertown Center Historic District, which rises steeply from Main and Deforest streets. The present configuration of this public space dates from the 1930s when Route 6 was relocated. A small rectangular section set off from the rest of the Green by Town Hill Road is the site of a gazebo and a 1921 War Memorial at its western corner. The memorial consists of a large boulder with plaques honoring those who served in World War I and the later wars of this century. The Soldier's Monument of 1902, a tall free-standing column surmounted by a globe and an eagle, which commemorates the dead of the Civil War, is located across the street on the edge of the main Green.

The buildings that define the boundaries of this public space are a stylistically and functionally diverse collection that represents more than a century of construction in both masonry and wood. On the west side, a driveway leads up to the First Congregational Church, a Greek Revival edifice erected in 1839 by master builder Stephen Baldwin, which occupies a commanding position near the crest of the hill. The pedimented main block, which has an Ionic portico, is surmounted by a two-stage square tower. Doric columns in antis are displayed at the first level of the tower and the Ionic order is utilized in the same fashion above.

The two buildings south of the church are the Reverend John Trumbull House and the former Watertown Library. The Trumbull House (40 Deforest Street), a Colonial built in 1772 as the home of the first minister of the Congregational Church, has been remodeled several times. A large ballroom was added when the building became a tavern in the 1790s, and the shed dormers and Neo-Classical Revival porches at either end were installed after 1900. The library to the south, which now serves as Our Savior Lutheran Church (50 Deforest Street), is an ashlar granite building designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style in 1883 by Robert W. Hill with a steep hipped roof and projecting gabled pavilions on three elevations. Contrasting lighter stone defines the broad entrance archway above the springline, the round-arched windows, cornices and quoining, and a beltcourse under the first-floor windows. An unusual feature is the stone chimney that rises from the right side of the entrance pavilion.

The Watertown Town Hall, a large brick structure erected in 1894, is located at 37 Deforest Street. The large arched front entrance echoes the style of the library but the pediment and flanking square tower display several Colonial Revival features, such as urns, swags, dentil molding, and consoles.

North of the church is the Amos Gridley Store and the Munson House. The store is a brick Greek Revival building constructed in 1846 (22 Deforest Street). The facade is highlighted by a broad pediment, with a rectangular multi-paned window and a columned porch in the Ionic order, which together with the main frieze are detailed with dentil courses. Gridley's home, now known as the Munson House, was constructed in the cube-form Italianate style with a low hipped roof, deep bracketed eaves, and a cupola (10 Deforest Street). The elaborate Italianate main portico is original; the other porches were added after 1912. Tucked behind these buildings is the Nova Scotia District School, an 1853 Greek Revival schoolhouse moved to this site. Both buildings are situated on property donated to the town with the Munson House and now known as Munson Memorial Park.

Facing the Green from the east is the 1898 United Methodist Church at 305 Main Street. A large Queen Anne/Shingle style building composed of two intersecting gabled sections flanking a bell tower, it was designed by George Kramer. Notable features include large arched stained-glass windows in the broad gables of the southern section. Similarly placed fenestration on the north end is rectangular, with windows grouped in bands of four surmounted by swan's neck pediments. Asbury Cottage, an associated building at the rear, is a former schoolhouse now used as the church office.

Christ Church, the only other religious institution in the Watertown Center Historic District, and its Rectory are situated facing a smaller Green owned by the church. Bordered by mature trees and The Green, the name of the road on the east side, this open space also serves as the nucleus of a cluster of several other distinctive residential buildings and the Watertown Academy. Christ Church, a granite structure and the second Episcopal Church on this site, was built in 1924 (25 The Green). Designed by Allen and Collens of Boston to resemble an English parish church, it features a square crenelated tower and a steeply pitched gabled nave. A matching parish hall wing was added on the south side in 1960. Next door is the Colonial Revival style Christ Church Rectory built in 1846 (37 The Green). Originally an Italian Villa, it was raised to three stories with an open two-story porch on the south end. The academy, a Greek Revival style building located at the corner of The Green and Academy Hill, was built by the church as a private school in 1843 and now serves as its Parish House.

Two large houses that face the Green from either side of the street were associated with members of the Alanson family. The 1805 Alanson Warren House on the west side was designed in the Federal style by David Hoadley (28 The Green). Substantially remodeled in the nineteenth century with large wings and an Italianate veranda that spanned the entire facade, the house achieved its present Colonial Revival configuration in the mid-1930s. At that time architect Cameron Clark replaced the wings with smaller ones and completely redid the interior of the building in the Federal Revival style. Although the circular porch was added by Clark, much of the rest of the central pedimented pavilion, including the Palladian window, is original fabric. Truman Warren, Alanson's son, built the Italianate across the street in 1851 (5 The Green). Attributed to Henry Austin, the ashlar granite cube-form house has a large arched cupola centered in the near-flat roof and displays an elaborate curved veranda supported with pierced posts and a cast-iron balustrade. A similar porch is located at the southeast corner. The corner lot is bordered by a cast-iron fence, which was imported from France. Directly across Deforest Street is the c.1840 Eli Curtiss House, a hipped-roof building distinguished by corner pilasters and a fine Federal doorway (90 Deforest Street).

At the foot of the Green are two more large residences, the Nathaniel Wheeler and Charles Woodruff houses. The Wheeler House, which was built in the villa form in 1852, was remodeled in the Colonial Revival style by Wilfred Griggs (14 Woodbury Road). Changes made to the house include the two-story porches at each end, the French doors along the east elevation, and the fanlight over the main entry. An associated brick carriage house to the west was built in 1863. Among its special features are eave oculus, corbeled cornices, and basket-arched doorways outlined by brick voussoirs. The Woodruff House, an unusual example of the Victorian Gothic Revival, has matching turrets at the corners (7 Woodbury Road). The crenelated top of these turrets has been removed but other original features remain, such as the Gothic rose design of the frieze under the eaves and the Italianate porch on the east elevation. The two- story colonnaded portico on the west side was added about 1912.

Two corner lots at the intersection of Woodbury Road and Deforest Street were selected as the sites of the Charles Merriman and Charles Warren houses. The main block of the Charles Merriman House, which may have been added to an earlier 1750 house, dates from 1812 (75 Woodbury Road). Later Federal Revival remodelings produced the Roman Ionic order doorway and two-story colonnaded porch on the south elevation. Warren's Italianate house across the street, one of the few unaltered villas that remain in the Watertown Center Historic District, is distinguished by a wraparound veranda, which displays molded spandrels and brackets (153 Deforest Street).

A pleasing mix of styles and forms are found on other streets in the Watertown Center Historic District. North Street is the site of two early nearly identical Greek Revival residences, the Eli Curtiss House (48 North Street) and the Congregational Parsonage (36 North Street). Set off from the road by a picket fence, they have fully pedimented three-bay temple form and rectangular gable windows of this style. The only real difference between them is the Greek Revival portico on the Curtiss House. The matching carriagehouse/barn for the latter residence has been converted to residential use (60 North Street). Among the several vernacular Italianates and Queen Annes that contribute to this nineteenth-century streetscape is the John Bronson House (87 North Street), which is detailed with a bracketed door hood and a decorative side porch. North Street is also the site of the 1907 Baldwin School, a large brick building designed with an interesting combination of classical and Victorian detail (68 North Street).

The Greek Revival influence is also found on Woodruff Avenue, a street that largely developed in the last half of the nineteenth century. More urban in character, it features houses that are more closely sited on narrower lots. The 1858 Samuel E. Merwin House at 186 Woodruff Avenue, one of the first on this street, and its neighbors to the south at 182 and 178 illustrate this trend. The Greek Revival form persisted in the vernacular Italianate at 178. The later Queen Anne style Woodruff House (182 Woodruff Avenue) was built in 1900 after the Merwin-Woodruff property was subdivided. Two Queen Annes across the street, built about the same time, are quite similar (147 and 153 Woodruff Avenue). The Martha Roberts House at 153 Woodruff Avenue is detailed with oriel windows and a recessed front gable window. Both houses have Colonial Revival porches. Griggs and Hunt of Waterbury may have designed a large Colonial Revival farther up the street at 191 Woodruff Avenue, which was built for Frank Noble. A classic expression of a more formal Colonial Revival Foursquare, it features a bell-cast roof profile, a Palladian window, and a columned wraparound veranda.

The Colonial Revival is interspersed with several earlier nineteenth-century styles on Academy Hill, which runs from The Green down to Main Street. It is the location of the Merriman Coachman's House, an adjunct to the Carpenter Gothic Merriman House, another example of an outbuilding converted to a residence. Academy Hill is also the site of an early nineteenth-century shop, the only example of this type in the Watertown Center Historic District (38 Academy Hill). Since it was built in 1820, this vernacular building has served as hat shop, shirt factory, doctor's office, and tailor shop. Overlooking the center near the end of the street is the Gordon Hurlburt House of 1929 (28 Academy Hill). Designed by architect Fred Webster, it displays a fine recessed arched doorway surmounted by a pediment.

The Arthur G. Evans House has the same orientation and hillside location near the east end of Warren Way, a street largely devoted to the Colonial Revival style (30 Warren Way). Attributed to the Cass Gilbert firm, it has an east-facing facade highlighted by an exceptional Georgian Revival doorway with a swan's neck pediment and pulvinated frieze. Anchored on the west end by the Watertown Tennis Club, a low gabled structure with Colonial Revival porches (70 Warren Way), most of the rest of Warren Way consists of smaller gambrel-roofed Dutch Colonial Revivals built between 1912 and 1920; one set back and above the south side of the road has a Main Street address (190 Main Street). The Charles Smith House is a typical example of this type (37 Warren Way).

Although there are a few recent commercial buildings on Main Street and some historic homes there have been adapted for commercial use, this busy thoroughfare still illustrates the architectural diversity of Watertown Center. The earliest buildings are Greek Revival in style, as represented by a temple-fronted house (160 Main Street) and the Grange Hall at the head of the district (175 Main Street). The Smith-Nettleton House at the other end, a transitional Greek Revival/Italianate cube-form building, is now the Town Hall Annex (424 Main Street). Sited close to the west side of the street just to the north is the White House, one of the more elaborate Queen Annes in the district (404 Main Street). It features shingled gables and quatrefoil cutwork balustrades. The Italianate is represented by the John A.Woodward House (235 Main Street), and there are two American Foursquares (180 and 429 Main Street).

Significance

The Watertown Center Historic District is an exceptionally cohesive, well-preserved collection of residential and institutional architecture that illustrates the development of the community from settlement through the mid-twentieth century. An extraordinary number of professional architects contributed to the quality of design and the stylistic range of the district from about 1850 to 1920. Many notable examples of the Greek Revival and Italianate styles of the antebellum period were built for entrepreneurs associated with the founding of Watertown's major industries. The Queen Anne style was popular in the late 1800s, a progressive civic period also distinguished by the erection of handsome masonry buildings influenced by the Richardsonian Romanesque style. More than half the houses were constructed or remodeled in the Colonial Revival renaissance that followed, a period that produced many significant residential buildings.

Historical Background and Significance

Watertown was once part of the Farmington bounds. Mining rights were deeded for eight miles on either side of the Naugatuck River, but this area remained unsettled for many years. Waterbury on the eastern shore was founded in 1670 but it was not until 1736 that enough people had settled on the west side of the river in the Watertown area to form a separate parish. Parish rights were granted by the General Assembly in 1738 and the First Ecclesiastical Society of Westbury was founded. By the time the first meetinghouse was erected in 1741 on the edge of the old burying ground, there were 300 parishioners, mostly living on isolated farmsteads scattered throughout the community. In 1772 land was set aside for a commons or Public Green in the district. When a new meetinghouse was erected on the site of the present Town Hall (37 Deforest Street) and the Reverend John Trumbull built his house there that same year (40 Deforest Street), the stage was set for development of a town center. Political autonomy was achieved in 1780, when Watertown was incorporated, but little new construction took place in the district until the nineteenth century.

Although there were the usual grist- and sawmills, Watertown did not fully exploit the industrial potential of Steele Brook and its other streams until the 1830s. By mid-century the manufacture of silk thread, sewing machines, and buckles were major industries in the village of what is now Oakville to the southeast. The district was transformed as the founders of these industries and other enterprises built new homes in the center. Among the first was Eli Curtiss, a sheep farmer who began to manufacture Panama hats. He already owned a Greek Revival house and carriage house on North Street. Soon after his advantageous marriage to Alma DeForest, a member of a wealthy Watertown family, Curtiss erected a new Greek Revival house at the foot of the street on land his wife received from her father in 1839.

The Warren family left an extensive architectural legacy in the Watertown Center Historic District. Alanson Warren, the founder of Wheeler & Wilson, forerunner of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, had a Federal style house at the head of The Green (28 The Green). Alanson, Jr., who inherited the house, is probably responsible for its earlier Italianate transformation. In 1851 Alanson, Sr.'s two other sons, Truman and Charles, erected fine Italianates nearby (Truman A. Warren House, 5 The Green and Charles A. Warren House, 153 Deforest Street), and Truman built a cottage for his coachman in 1859 (15 The Green). Nathaniel Wheeler, a principal in the company, bought land from Alanson, Sr., at the foot of The Green and built his house the following year (14 Woodbury Road). Charles T. Woodruff, who invested heavily in Watertown's industries, erected his Gothic Revival house across the street in 1859 (7 Woodbury Road).

General Meritt Heminway, who started Heminway & Sons Silk Company, built a fine Gothic Revival house for his daughter Mary Merriman at 47 Academy Hill. It was the part of a family estate that included houses for the coachman and a tenant (57 and 67 Academy Hill), as well as Heminway's own house, a large Colonial Revival at the foot of the hill, which was demolished when a new building was erected there in 1967. Henry Bartlett, a later partner in Heminway & Bartlett, bought the Daley House at 175 Woodruff Road in 1888.

As the center grew, mercantile interests flourished. Younglove Cutler had a store in the district in the late 1700s; his house at 63 Deforest Street was built in 1783. Benjamin DeForest, who purchased the old Aner Bradley House, had his first store there, but soon moved the business to Cutler's place. Tailor Charles Merriman had his shop and a general store just up the street from his fine Federal house at 75 Woodbury Road. Amos Gridley built a new brick store next to the Congregational Church in 1846. Although accused of dubious business practices, Gridley also was able to build his fine Italianate house next door before he went bankrupt (10 Deforest Street). The store, latter used as a town hall and firehouse, still serves as the Fire District office, as well as the home of the Historical Society. Tavernkeeper David Woodward, who lived at 54 Deforest Street, took over Lockwood's Tavern, the former Trumbull House, which was remodeled with a third-floor ballroom in the 1790s.

Institutional redevelopment began in 1838 with construction of the new Congregational Church in the present location on Deforest Street. Christ Church opened a private school in its new Academy built in 1846, which served as the town high school later in the century, and built a Rectory in 1848 (37 The Green). The new church of 1854 was replaced by the present stone edifice in 1924 (25 The Green). The establishment of the Watertown Public Library was largely due to the philanthropy of the DeForest brothers. John DeForest donated $5,000 for books when the library was located on the second floor of Barton's Store at 31 Woodbury Road (no longer extant). Benjamin DeForest, the merchant, helped fund the construction of a library building in 1883 with a donation of $15,000 (50 Deforest Street). Within a few years, having outgrown Gridley's former store, town officials decided to build the imposing new Town Hall across the street, which had space for town meetings on the second floor (37 Deforest Street). James Woolson, who remodeled the Gridley-Munson House in 1912, donated funds for construction of the United Methodist Church just below in 1898 (305 Main Street). When Center School burned down, it was replaced by the substantial Baldwin School at 68 North Street in 1907. For many years the superintendent of schools lived just up the street at 82 North Street.

Newcomers began to make their homes in the district after the Civil War. In 1879 John A. Buckingham, a New York stockbroker, bought the Alanson Warren House (28 The Green). His son, Scoville M. Warren, who transformed the house to the Federal Revival that stands today, was a state senator and the State Commissioner of Agriculture. By the turn of the century, industrialists in other communities moved to the center. Among them were Arthur G. Evans, purchasing agent for Chase Brass and Copper Company of Waterbury, and Frank Noble, corporate secretary of that firm. In 1928 Gordon Hurlbutt, president of Plume & Atwood, a brass company in Thomaston, built his house at 28 Academy Hill. Later in the twentieth century, the Buzzee House at 31 Woodbury Road became the home of Clark S. Judd, the chief executive officer of American Brass of Waterbury.

Architectural Significance

The Watertown Center Historic District is distinguished by an exceptional array of impressive institutional buildings and stylish houses. Although many years had passed since the Puritans had envisioned their "city on a hill," the district, with its central focus of an elevated Public Green, accompanied by a pristine white church overlooking the town, certainly is the nineteenth-century architectural embodiment of this ideology. Through its exceptional cohesiveness and integration, the Watertown Center Historic District's collective significance transcends the admittedly high level of significance of many of its individual resources. Rarely does an entire district have such a concentration of contributing resources or display such an extraordinarily high level of quality and historic architectural integrity.

Many well-known architects contributed to the Watertown Center Historic District's significance. Among those who have been identified are David Hoadley, arguably the most important Connecticut architect/builder of the Federal period, to Henry Austin of New Haven, considered to be the master of the Italianate Villa style. Cameron Clark and Cass Gilbert, two of the most important architects of the early twentieth century, are both represented. Although technically not an architect, master builder Steven Baldwin of New Hartford deserves to be included with these professionals. Some, like Waterbury architects Wilfred Griggs and Robert Wakeman Hill, practiced in the region; others came from out of state, such as Allen & Collens of Boston, a firm that specialized in ecclesiastical architecture. Further study may add to this list, given the fact that a number of other fine buildings in the Watertown Center Historic District are of similar quality.

Steven Baldwin's design for the First Congregational Church demonstrates his sure eye for proportion and classical orders. This structure is so well preserved that all the original details remain. Baldwin's contract called for a building that matched the size and style of the Plymouth Congregational Church. How exact a match is no longer apparent; some details, such as the classical sarcophagi of the tower parapet found here, may have been removed from that earlier building. Like many builders of the day, Baldwin may have relied on pattern books. And indeed, his design appears to be a composite of some that appeared in Asher Benjamin's Practice of Architecture of 1833 and his Builder's Guide of 1837.

Other notable Greek Revival buildings in the Watertown Center Historic District include the Nova Scotia District School and Watertown Academy, surely exemplars of a period schoolhouse. The Amos Gridley Store at 22 Deforest Street is a rare example of a commercial building with a colonnaded portico. The Greek Revival houses at 17/27 and 48 North Street and 160 Main Street are all fully realized expressions of the temple form as a residential style.

The Truman A. Warren House (5 The Green), a superb, perfectly preserved Italianate, has been attributed to Henry Austin (1804-1891). A Connecticut native born in Hamden, Austin was, during his tenure with the office of Town & Davis of New York, supervising architect for the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Although Austin is associated with development of the Villa style, especially in New Haven, his body of work also includes many distinguished churches and institutional buildings there. No complete list for Austin's work has been compiled, but features of the Warren House can be found in his manuscript for his design book, including the veranda and the arched cupola, which resembles the one used on the J.D. Dana House in New Haven.[1] Austin's villas were widely copied, which also makes definitive attribution difficult, but the massing and detailing of this villa are typical of his work.

The Italianate style was extremely popular in the district. Many of those built in the 1850s were altered in the Colonial Revival period. While none of the relatively unaltered examples achieve the individual distinction of the Truman Warren House (5 The Green), the Gridley-Munson House (10 Deforest Street) and Charles Warren House (153 Deforest Street) are among the well-preserved, wood-framed versions of this style. In the case of the former example, the Colonial Revival additions do not obscure that essential stylistic form, which here is more elongated, with a horizontal massing emphasized by the lower height and length of the cupola. In addition, essential features remain, such as the bracketed eaves and portico, and matching bay windows.

Wilfred Griggs apparently had a hand in the remodeling of several Italianates. It is known that he added the porches along with other Colonial Revival details to the Nathaniel Wheeler House (14 Woodbury Road). Even though the original cube form is still obvious, these porches give this house the appearance of a Southern mansion, which may have been his intention. He may have added the similar end elevation porch to the Woodruff House across the street (7 Woodbury Road). There the addition does not relate stylistically to the rest of this unusual Gothic Revival building. Given the rarity of the original turreted design, the replacement of crenelated parapets would restore the proportions and massing of the main block. Since Christ Church Rectory included his signature stylistic feature, Griggs was probably responsible for the more drastic remodeling of that dwelling (37 The Green). There, however, its Italianate origins are only revealed by a historic photograph.

Robert W. Hill's contribution to the district, the Watertown Public Library, is surely one of his best works (50 Deforest Street). A tour de force in stone that makes the most of the contrasting granite, the library is an exceptionally well-integrated example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style in which he excelled. It is noteworthy how compatible the design is for its present use as a religious building.

One cannot miss the similarities between the library and the Watertown Town Hall across the street (37 Deforest Street), the Syrian-arched entrance being the most prominent among them. Despite the stylistic tensions between the Romanesque and the Colonial Revival, the design is surprisingly successful. As has been pointed out by others, the Town Hall has the appearance of a committee-designed building. However, it is more likely that its classical motifs and details were part of an architect's effort to make a more modern statement. It is not known if Hill was still in practice when this building was designed, but he is a possible candidate.

Allen & Collens, an architectural firm in Boston from 1903 to 1933, was the designer of such notable monumental buildings as Riverside Church and the Cloisters in New York City. It is not known which of the partners designed Christ Church at 25 The Green, but it may have been Charles Collens (1873-1956). Educated at Yale and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he designed many other masonry buildings, including Collegiate Gothic structures at Williams, Vassar, and Mount Holyoke. Although Christ Church is based on the traditional English parish church, the design of this well-preserved monumental edifice with its crenelated tower also resembles college chapels of the period.

United Methodist Church (305 Main Street) was one of more than 2,200 churches designed by George Washington Kramer, an influential architect associated with the development of the Akron Plan, which became a standard for Protestant church design by the 1890s. Initially the plan called for the full integration of Sunday schools into the design of church auditoriums, with flanking classrooms set off by moveable partitions. United Methodist is believed to be a late variant of this plan, in which the Sunday school is spatially distinct and often located in its own wing. In Kramer's design here, the wing has similar massing and scale but is distinguished from the main body of the church by different architectural features.

An evaluation of the Watertown Center Historic District's architecture would not be complete without some discussion of the pervasive influence of the Colonial Revival style in all of its manifestations, both original designs and remodelings. The Arthur G. Evans House at 30 Warren Way, an exceptional design attributed to Cass Gilbert (1858-1934), or a member of his firm, represents a particular phase in the evolution of this style. By the time this house was built in 1929, architects were not simply interpreting colonial architecture, but actually duplicating its form, massing, and detail. The Evans House has the double-cube narrow form, central-hall plan, and ornate doorway so characteristic of the eighteenth-century Georgian Colonial. The standardized Colonials and Capes so popular today are derived from these earlier more precise architectural reproductions. It is probable that Gilbert actually created design-level plans, which were completed by an apprentice. Gilbert was nationally known for his numerous buildings in New York City, where he practiced after 1905. Among them were the U.S. Customs House and the Woolworth Building. Work in Connecticut included the New Haven Railroad Station and numerous Colonial Revival restorations.

By contrast, in the Frank Noble House at 191 Woodruff Avenue, colonial details are applied to a new American type, the Foursquare. This especially pleasing, well-preserved example, which was designed by Griggs & Hunt of Waterbury, is given an added fillip by its bell-cast roof profiles.

The finest examples of the Federal Revival style in the district are both remodelings of earlier buildings. The Charles Merriman House (75 Woodbury Road) is an exceptionally fine rendering of this style, made even more authentic by the Federal configuration and massing of the original main block. Great care is used to reproduce the attenuated Roman classicism so characteristic of the earlier Federal style, as evidenced by the skillfully proportioned doorway and the columns of the two-story porch.

The Alanson Warren House (28 The Green) that stands today is a superb example of the genre. Its revival by Cameron Clark respected the earlier work of David Hoadley, using the proportions and detail of his fine pavilion as the basis for an essentially new structure. The replacement of the mid-nineteenth-century wings by the present smaller additions was essential to the success of his design. The interior, a tour de force for Clark, is exquisitely rendered and fully detailed with Federal architectural motifs.

Endnote

[1]See Austin, "Dwelling House, Stores, Banks, Churches, and Monuments Designed by Henry Austin," MS, 1851.

References

Austin, Henry. "Dwelling Houses, Stores, Banks, Churches, and Monuments Designed by Henry Austin," MS, 1851.

History of Ancient Westbury and Present Watertown from Settlement to 1907. 1907.

Jaeger, A. Robert. "The Auditorium and Akron Plans-Reflections of a Half Century of American Protestantism." Master's thesis, Cornell University, 1984.

Klamkin, Marion. Watertown Then and Now. 1976.

Town Greens, Statewide Architectural and Historical Survey, 172 Properties. Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and Connecticut Historical Commission, 1996, site 114.

Watertown (historic map), 1867.

"Watertown Historic District: Report of the Historic District Study Committee, Watertown, Connecticut, 1996."

† Jan Cunningham, Cunningham Preservation Associates and John Herzan, Connectict Historical Commission, Watertown Historic District, Litchfield, CT, nomination document, 1999, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Watertown Center Historic District Map

Street Names
Academy Hill • Deforest Street • Dickerman Street • Main Street • North Street • Route 6 • Route 63 • The Green • Warren Way • Woodbury Road • Woodruff Avenue

**Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. You should independently verify any information you use for decision making.
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