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Historic Buildings in Litchfield, Connecticut

Litchfield Historic District

The historic buildings of Litchfield, Connecticut are a testament to the early days of American history. Founded in 1719, this small town played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War, producing some of the most influential figures of the time, such as Ethan Allen. While the town has grown and changed over the years, many of its historic buildings remain, showcasing the beauty and grandeur of the early American era. 

The historic preservation of these buildings is extremely important for the local community and for future generations. Not only do they provide a glimpse into the past, but they also serve as a reminder of the people, places, and values that were important to the early colonists. The buildings also provide an opportunity to learn about the architecture, engineering, and craftsmanship of the time, as well as to appreciate the skill and artistry of the people who built them. 

The town of Litchfield is home to a number of historic buildings, including the homes of Ethan Allen and Noah Webster. The Allen House, built in 1749, is a perfect example of early American architecture and is one of the few surviving houses from the Revolutionary War. The Webster House, built in 1796, is an example of neoclassical architecture and is one of the few surviving homes from the listed Litchfield Historic District Federal period. Both of these historic homes are open to the public for tours, giving visitors an opportunity to learn about the history of the area. 

The preservation of these historic buildings is essential for the town of Litchfield and for the nation as a whole. These buildings are a living reminder of our past and provide an important connection to the earliest days of American history.

Let’s take a look.

The Litchfield Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Tappy Reeve House in Litchfield, Connecticut
Wiki image of Tapping Reeve House
Henry Bissell House
Henry Bissell House Courtesy of Wiki

1700s Homes and Buildings

The town of Litchfield, Connecticut is a living testament to the rich history of the United States. Its streets and buildings are lined with picturesque homes and structures that have been standing for centuries. In particular, the homes and buildings that were constructed during the 1700s offer a unique glimpse into the past. 

The Tapping Reeve House and Law School, built in 1773, is one of the most significant structures in the town. It served as the first law school in the United States, and is now a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can take a tour of the building, learn about its history, and explore the artifacts that are housed inside. 

The Litchfield Historical Society is home to a number of other historic homes and buildings that were constructed in the 1700s. The Litchfield Inn, built in 1792, is one of two remaining inns in the town. The Matthew Lyon House, built in 1790, was the home of one of the first congressmen in the US. The Cadwell-Tillotson-Hurlbut House, built in 1788, was the home of the town’s first minister. 

The town also boasts a number of other homes and buildings from the 1700s, including the Benjamin Tallmadge House, the Beecher-Stowe House, and the Litchfield Congregational Church. Each of these homes and buildings has its own unique history and character that gives visitors an insight into what life was like in the 1700s. 

For those looking to explore the history of the United States, Litchfield, Connecticut is an excellent destination. Its historic homes and buildings from the 1700s offer a unique glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to get a glimpse at what life was like centuries ago.

Tapping Reeve House and Law School 

Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School is one of the most important landmarks in the history of American law; it was restored in 1976. Located in Litchfield, Connecticut, the Tapping Reeve House was built in 1773 and was the home of Tapping Reeve, who is widely regarded as the founder of the first law school in the United States.

In 1782, Tapping Reeve founded Litchfield Law School, which is widely considered to be the first formal law school in the United States. The school was based in the Tapping Reeve House and offered courses on the fundamentals of law, including contracts, torts, and real property. The school was eventually moved to a larger building, but the Tapping Reeve House remains as a reminder of the school’s important place in American legal history.

The Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School are still open to visitors today. The house, which is now owned by the Litchfield Historical Society, is open for tours and includes a museum and library that feature exhibits on the history of the school and the life of Tapping Reeve. The law school itself is no longer in operation, but it is still a popular destination for legal historians and enthusiasts.

The Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School have been designated as a National Historic Landmark and are a significant part of America’s legal heritage. The house and school are a reminder of the importance of the study of law and the contributions of Tapping Reeve to the development of the American legal system.

Captain William Bull Tavern (1745)

The Captain William Bull Tavern is an iconic historical landmark in Litchfield, Connecticut. Built in 1745, it is a three-story wood-frame structure, with a gambrel roof, central chimney, and clapboarded exterior. The tavern was originally located on the east side of the town green in Litchfield, but was later moved to its current location.

The history of the Captain William Bull Tavern is closely linked with that of the Fuessenich family. In 1923, Frederick W. Fuessenich purchased the tavern and had it moved two miles to his 100-acre farm. He renamed it the “Tollgate Hill Tavern,” and set about restoring the building to its former glory. The tavern was the centerpiece of his estate, which he named “Tollgate Hill” after the nearby toll gate.

The Fuessenich family lived in the tavern from 1923 to 1966, and during this time, Frederick W. Fuessenich opened it to the public as a restaurant and tavern. Since its opening, the tavern has become a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It is well known for its cozy atmosphere and delicious menu, which includes classic New England fare like clam chowder and lobster rolls.

Today, the Captain William Bull Tavern stands as a reminder of the Fuessenich family’s commitment to preserving the history of Litchfield, Connecticut. It is a beloved landmark that continues to attract visitors from near and far. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious meal, or just a chance to step back in time, the Captain William Bull Tavern is the perfect place to visit.

The Oliver Wolcott House

The Oliver Wolcott House in Litchfield, Connecticut is a unique and remarkable piece of American history. Built in 1753 by Founding Father Oliver Wolcott Sr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, and a state militia leader in the American Revolutionary War, the house is the oldest in the borough. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.

The exterior of the house bears the traditional New England architectural style, with the classic white clapboard siding, shuttered windows, and a red-painted door. The interior of the house features period furniture and decorative pieces of the 18th century. The house is not open to the public, but it can be viewed from the exterior.

The house is located within the Litchfield Historic District, which was established in 1984. The district protects more than 200 buildings dating from the 1750s to the present day, as well as a number of open spaces, including a public park, historic cemeteries, and a nature preserve.

The Oliver Wolcott House is an important part of Connecticut’s history and a reminder of the vital role that Founding Father Oliver Wolcott Sr. played in the American Revolution. It is a treasure to be admired and respected. Though it is not open to the public, it can be seen from the exterior and its presence is a reminder of the importance of preserving our nation’s history.

Other Homes and Buildings of 1700’s Litchfield.

  • Lynde Lord House (1771)
  • Dr. Daniel Sheldon House (1785)
  • John Allen House (1799)
  • Sheldon Tavern (1760)
  • Dr. Reuben Smith House (1770)
  • Captain William Bull Tavern (1745)

Spend a day taking a stroll down North Street and/or South Street to see over 50 historic homes and buildings. Admire the architecture of this time period and the efforts made to preserve these historic sites in Litchfield.

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David Welch House Litchfield, Connecticut built 1756
Photo of David Welch House built 1756 by Jerry Dougherty

1800s Homes and Buildings

Litchfield, Connecticut is home to some of the most historic homes and buildings built in the 1800s. Many of these homes and buildings are registered as historic landmarks, and are protected from modern developments. Some of the most notable historic homes and buildings in Litchfield include the Litchfield County Courthouse (built in 1889) and the First National Bank of Litchfield (built in 1891) on West Street.

The Courthouse is an incredible example of 19th century architecture, featuring a grand clock tower and intricate stonework. It is a symbol of the town’s commitment to justice and fairness, and is open to the public. The First National Bank of Litchfield, built in 1891, was one of the first banks in the area. This building is an example of the 19th century architecture style, with its large banking hall and distinctive copper dome.

Other historic buildings and homes in Litchfield can be found throughout the town.  All of these buildings are examples of the history and architecture of this charming town.

These historic homes and buildings have been preserved over the years and are a reminder of Litchfield’s past. They offer a glimpse into the lives of those who lived in Litchfield in the 1800s, and are a reminder of the town’s commitment to preserving its history.

First Congregational Church of Litchfield (1829) Restored in (2005)

The First Congregational Church of Litchfield founded in 1721 is one of the oldest churches in the United States, having been established in 1761. The current building, constructed in 1829, is an impressive example of early 19th-century church architecture. The New York Times described it as “one of the best examples of early 19th-century church architecture” and “the best known symbol of Litchfield.”

The 1829 meetinghouse was built after the church had outgrown its 1761 building, due in part to the popularity of Lyman Beecher’s preaching. The church restoration project of 1929-30, done at a cost of $75,000, was part of a colonial revival initiative in Litchfield, in which townspeople also replaced a modern stone tower on the courthouse with a brick tower more consistent with colonial style, painted their houses and shops white, and added black shutters and other Colonial era architectural details to give the community a look reminiscent of 18th-century America. 

The church has undergone several renovations over the years to maintain its beauty and functionality. A major restoration project, with an estimated cost of $1.9 million, was undertaken in 2005 to address problems due to serious structural deterioration. This included the installation of a state-of-the-art ventilation system and structural repairs to the roof, walls, and foundation. 

The First Congregational Church of Litchfield is a testament to the town’s commitment to preserving its colonial heritage. Its 1829 building is a beautiful example of early 19th-century church architecture and has become an iconic symbol of the town. The church has undergone several renovations over the years and continues to be a beloved landmark in the town of Litchfield.


Litchfield County Courthouse (1889)

The Litchfield County Courthouse is a breathtaking icon of colonial-style architecture located in Litchfield, Connecticut. Built in 1889, the courthouse was designed by Waterbury architect Robert Wakeman Hill and constructed of Roxbury granite. It was remodeled in 1914-15 to reflect the colonial character of the town, and it serves as the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse.

The courthouse features a Seth Thomas clock tower which stands tall over the historic Litchfield Green. Its elegant design and rustic charm make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The courthouse was going to be given to George Beck, a descendant of the six landowners who leased the property to the state of Connecticut in 1803, via an unusual lease agreement. Fortunately, the local preservation organization was able to purchase the landmark 1889 courthouse, thus keeping it in the hands of the town.

The courthouse is a stately reminder of the area’s rich history and heritage, and it stands as a pillar of the community. It is a magnificent example of classical architecture that has withstood the test of time and is an integral part of Litchfield County’s landscape.


The town of Litchfield, Connecticut is dedicated to the preservation of its historic homes and buildings. Through the efforts of the Litchfield Historical Society, the town has been able to preserve the architecture and history of the region.

The society has established various programs and initiatives to help protect these important sites. These include grants and tax incentives for homeowners who wish to preserve and restore their properties, as well as educational programs to teach the public about the importance of preserving the towns history.

The society also works with local government to help protect sites from development and prevent the destruction of important buildings. The town also has a wide range of walking tours, lectures, and other events to help educate visitors about the history of the area.

Litchfields commitment to the preservation of its historic homes and buildings ensures that future generations will be able to benefit from the towns rich heritage.

Preservation Efforts in Litchfield

Historic Preservation Organizations 

Additional Historic Resources for Litchfield, Connecticut

  • Litchfield Historical Society 

  • A Brief History of Litchfield 


Litchfield Preservation Events

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