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Main Street Historic District


The Afton Main Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Main Street Historic District is a compact group of eleven commercial properties on both sides of Main Street. Homogeneity of materials, scale and function establish the distinctive and cohesive character of the Main Street Historic District. All but one of the buildings included are two or three-story brick blocks, the majority of which are connected. They draw on a limited repertoire of decorative motifs which include corbelled or bracketed cornices, flat sills of rock-faced stone, arched brick lintels, stepped roof parapets, hanging buttresses with or without molded finials, and wrought-iron cresting. The single frame building within the Main Street Historic District is a three-story hotel distinguished by a two-tiered verandah and an octagonal tower with bell roof. Although some storefronts have been modernized, period design, workmanship and materials remain prevalent in the streetscape. The whole district exhibits the characteristic features of late nineteenth century commercial architecture. The Main Street Historic District boundary has been drawn to exclude altered and/or undistinguished non-commercial properties to the north, west and south as well as excluding modern and heavily altered commercial properties directly to the northeast.

Significance

The Main Street Historic District, comprising that part of the Afton Village core which has retained integrity of design materials and workmanship, is both architecturally and historically significant. The eleven buildings, mainly connected brick blocks with massive corbelled, Romanesque style cornices, exhibit the characteristic features of late nineteenth century, small-scale commercial architecture. The Main Street Historic District's distinctive and cohesive character is produced by similarities in scale, setting and materials and repetition of design motifs among the buildings. Historically, the Main Street Historic District reflects the commercial boom resulting from Afton's development as a regional transportation center in the 1870's and '80s.

Today, with an interstate highway (I-88) providing rapid access to nearby towns and the city of Binghamton, Afton is no longer a bustling commercial or transportation center. Nonetheless, the Main Street Historic District has continued to provide commercial services to Afton Village and the surrounding agricultural region. There has been some modernization of storefronts in the Main Street Historic District, but generally the buildings retain the qualities of period design and craftsmanship.

References

Hayes, Carlton J.H. Story of Afton. Deposit, New York: Valley Offset Inc., 1976 (reprint).

Smith, James. History of Chenango and Madison Counties. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., 1880.

  1. Bryer, Lucy A., New York State Division for Historic Preservation, Main Street Historic District, Afton NY nomination document, 1983, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
Other neighborhoods named
Main Street Historic District

Main Street Historic District Map

Street Names
Main Street South

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