Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District
The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Portions of the text, below, were selected and adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.
The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District is located just south of the central business district in the city of Oneida, Madison County. The district of 197 properties is predominantly residential in character but includes two schools, five churches and one park. The long period of gradual development within the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District has promoted a collection of residential types and styles that covers the period from the 1830's through the early nineteenth century (1930's). The 82-acre Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District contains only three non-contributing structures (546 and 421 Wilbur Street).
The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District is characterized by substantial mid-to-late nineteenth century residential dwellings along Main and Broad Streets, which run parallel through the district. The character of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District is further enhanced by the regularity of setback, lot size and scale. Landscaped lawns and trees line the streets and a large number of original outbuildings such as barns and carriage houses remain to the rear of the properties. The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District contains structures ranging in style from Greek Revival to Bungalow. The northernmost point of the district to approximately the intersection of Belmont Avenue contains residential dwellings in various styles from the early to late nineteenth century. The small area bordered by Elizabeth, Grove and Wilbur Streets is a turn-of-the century planned neighborhood developed by the locally prominent businessman J. Will Chappell. The area south of the Belmont Avenue intersection features dwellings designed in the popular turn-of-the-century and early twentieth century styles.
The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District boundaries were drawn to include a high concentration of architecturally significant structures constructed between 1830 and 1930 which retain integrity of design, material and style. The area to the northwest of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District includes smaller, more modest working-class homes which are generally altered in appearance. The area northeast of the district is characterized by commercial structures and mid-twentieth century residential neighborhoods lie southwest of the district. Although a few homes southeast of the district along Elizabeth Street date from the mid-nineteenth century, they are substantially altered and do not reflect the character of the more prestigious section of the village. The underpass of the West Shore Railroad forms a strong visual southern boundary of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District.
The earliest nineteenth-century styles evident in the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District are representatives of the Federal and Greek Revival styles at 432 Main Street and 328 Broad Street respectively. Although altered in the late nineteenth century, the Breese residence at 432 Main Street retains its Federal style proportions and scale. The Greek Revival style structure at 328 Broad Street exhibits a pedimented gable end with full entablature and a recessed side entrance with transom and sidelights. Gothic Revival style dwellings, such as 410 Broad Street, are scattered throughout the district and retain such features as board and batten siding, decorative bargeboards, and sweeping verandas. The Italianate style appeared in Oneida as early as 1850 and along with the Italian Villa style, dominates the architectural character of the district. These homes, found throughout the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District, exhibit such stylistic features as bracketed eaves, cupolas, and towers, elaborately carved entries, and enriched moldings (409, 407, 405 Broad Street). The Shingle and Queen Anne styles are most evident in the area bordered by Elizabeth, Grove and Wilbur Streets, which include dwellings characterized by irregular rooflines, asymmetrical plans, and a mixture of classical and picturesque detailing. The massive residence at 469 Main Street is an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style with clapboard and shingle sheathing, tower, recessed sleeping porches, and encircling verandah. The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District also contains many smaller, more modest homes which also reflect the picturesque styles of the late nineteenth century in their Eastlake style porches, varied window treatments and asymmetrical plans (341, 337, 335 Broad Street). Early twentieth century styles such as Colonial Revival, English Tudor and Bungalow are also well represented throughout the district. An excellent example of the Colonial Revival style is at 321 Main Street which exhibits such classical features as a Palladian window, Ionic porch columns, and corner pilasters. The Bungalows at 436 and 438 Elizabeth Street are characterized by their low sweeping gable roofs with projecting eaves, shed dormers, and truncated porch columns.
The character of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District reflects Oneida's rapid development from its initial settlement in 1830 to its heyday as a railroad/canal shipping center in the late 1860's. By the late nineteenth century, the bustling village served as the commercial center for the surrounding farming area and also had a thriving industrial core with small factories and mills. From its settlement, the area bordering the two main parallel streets, Main and Broad, was developed as an elite residential neighborhood. Here, just south of the commercial core of the city, Oneida's prominent citizens, bankers, merchants and professional people resided in large, elegant homes that grace the district's stately tree-lined streets today.
The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District is significant as a remarkably intact collection of nineteenth to early twentieth century residences reflecting the varied architectural styles in the period. As the home of Oneida's most prominent citizens, the residential neighborhood reflects the city's development from an agricultural community in the 1830's to a bustling commercial center in the early twentieth century. The nineteenth-century character of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District, which remains intact, is derived from the common setback, scale and lot size of the structures as sell as the stately tree-lined streets and the retention of outbuildings such as barns and carriage houses to the rear of the properties.
See also City of Oneida: Beginnings
The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District is architecturally significant for its display of styles spanning the period from 1832 to 1930. Included within the district are examples of the Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Shingle styles of the nineteenth century, as well as examples of the twentieth-century eclectic revivals including Colonial Revival, English Tudor Revival, and the Bungalow style. Located on the city's main thoroughfares, the large, elaborate structures were the homes of Oneida's most prominent citizens. Retaining integrity of design, materials and craftsmanship, the residences remain as outstanding examples of the nineteenth and early twentieth century architectural styles. The ambience of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District has been enhanced by the retention of the building scale, lot size and setback. Stately tree-lined streets and the survival of various outbuildings such as carriage houses and barns add to the nineteenth century character of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District.
The district includes three structures designed by the locally prominent architect, Melvin H. Hubbard. Known for his church designs, Hubbard built the First Baptist Church (246 Main Street) in the Romanesque Revival style and St. Patrick's Church (349 Main Street) in the Norman-Gothic style. As a young designer working for the Chappell, Chase and Maxwell Company, manufacturers of caskets, Hubbard built the Maxwell House (239 Broad Street). An outstanding example of the Queen Anne style, the Maxwell House is highlighted by corbelled brickwork, decorative cross gables, and an engaged tower. Hubbard also designed buildings in the nearby communities of Utica, Verona and Sherburne.
The portion of the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District bordered by Elizabeth, Grove and Wilbur Streets was developed as a planned neighborhood by the locally prominent businessman, C. Will Chappell. The land east of Elizabeth Street was the site of Oneida Seminary, incorporated in 1857. Due to financial difficulties and the formation of a district school, the seminary was closed in 1895. Chappell purchased the structure, demolished it and built his mansion on the site. Chappell attracted other relatively prominent citizens to the area, which was eventually developed with large, elegant homes in the popular Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles. Situated on large, landscaped lots, the residences exhibit fine detailing, workmanship and craftsmanship.
The Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District has the highest concentration of fine nineteenth and early twentieth century residences in Oneida. Retaining integrity of design, materials and craftsmanship, the residences within the Main-Broad-Grove Streets Historic District represent a distinguished collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century architectural styles.
Books and Publications
Abbott, Arthur, "History Bits by the Old Professor," The Democratic Union. Oneida, New York.
Chamber of Commerce. Oneida Illustrated-1909. Published by Oneida Post Printery, Oneida, N.Y., 1909.
Gale, W. Hector, ed. History of Oneida, published by the Oneida Free Press, 1880.
Hammond, Mrs. L. M. History of Madison County, State of New York. Syracuse, New York: Truair, Smith and Co., Book and Job Printers, 1872.
The Industrial Advantages of Oneida, N.Y. Published by I. J. Isaacs, Oneida, New York, 1892.
Smith, James H. History of Chenango and Madison Counties, N.Y. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason and Company, 1880.
Smith, John E. Our Country and Its People, Madison Co., N.Y. Boston: Boston History Co., 1899.
Solms, Jennifer G. F., and Paula A. Schoonmaker, ed. Country Roads-Madison County's Heritage: A Resource for the Future. Wampsville, New York: Madison County Planning Board, July, 1976.
Whitford, Noble E. History of the Canal System, vol. 1. (New York State Engineer and Surveyor Annual Report, 1905, sup.) Albany, New York, 1906, pgs. 654-660.
Atlas Map of Madison County, New York, 1875. Surveyed by D.G. Beers. Published by Pomeroy Whitman & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
Map of Oneida, Madison County, New York. Surveyed and Published by T.J. Slator, C.E., 1857.
Oneida, New York, 1885. Published and Drawn by L.R. Burleigh, Troy, New York.
Madison County Historical Society, Oneida, New York, Newspapers, City Directories, Church Publications, Post Card Collection.
Oneida Library, Newspaper Clippings File.