Architectural Monographs: The Boston Post Road

EWP Boston Post Road 1

Connecticut’s earliest settlements were made not along the water, like most, but inland, in the center of the state. This fact may seem surprising at first, but it’s because the first outsiders to arrive there came not from the sea, but overland from Massachusetts to found a small group of colonial communities in the fertile bottomlands along the Connecticut River. Smaller towns that cropped up around it were often found along the Boston Post Road, the route between Boston and New York City.

EWP Boston Post Road 2

EWP Boston Post Road 4

Written in 1920, Volume VI, Issue I of the White Pine Architectural Monographs examines the homes in these towns. “Where in the big and prosperous cities the proportion of old houses is almost negligible, and the absolute number very few, in the small old towns one could almost fancy one was miraculously returned to the Colonial period, so many old wood-built houses remain.”

EWP Boston Post Road 3

The houses along Boston Post Road are described as “alike as beads on the string – beads of the same pattern and the same color.” Each little town was centered around the “green”, which was dominated by a church. The houses are simple square boxes with low-pitched gable roofs. Architectural details in cornices, doorways and windows were sparingly deployed, resulting in homes as unfussy as the English names of the towns. Yet one one looks closer, there is still variety to be found.

Read more at the White Pine Monograph Library.

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