FAQs

The Norwich Historical Society is not a collections-based organization and we recommend you donate your artifacts to other historical institutions such as Slater Memorial Museum or Leffingwell House Museum.

Otis Library

261 Main Street Norwich, CT 06360

Website: www.otislibrarynorwich.org

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Leffingwell House Museum

348 Washington Street Norwich, CT 06360

Phone: (860) 889-9440, Website: www.leffingwellhousemuseum.org

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Norwich City Historian:

Dale Plummer – email: cityhistorian@norwichct.org, Phone: (860) 949-5784

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Historic Norwich Cemeteries:

 Post and Gager: Lee Ave

Colonial Burying Ground: 40 East Town Street or Old Cemetery Lane

Oat Street Cemetery: 34 Oak Street

Yantic Cemetery: 68 Lafayette Street

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Reference Books Available at Otis Library & Leffingwell House Museum:

Caulkins, Frances Manwaring. History of Norwich Connecticut From its Possession by the Indians, To the Year 1866. Norwich, Connecticut: John Trumbull Press, 1989.

Perkins, Mary Elizabeth. Old Houses of the Antient Town of Norwich 1660-1800. Norwich, Connecticut: Press of the Bulletin Co, 1895.

Financial Incentives for Historic Property Owners

Owners of State and National Register-listed properties may be eligible to apply for tax credits through state and federal programs, subject to the availability of funding. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has a number of tax credit opportunities:

The Historic Homeowners Tax Credit

  • Program provides a 30% tax credit, up to $30,000 per dwelling unit, for the rehabilitation of one to four family buildings.
  • All proposed work must be reviewed and approved by SHPO prior to the start of construction.
  • After completion of rehabilitation work, one unit must be owner-occupied for a period of five years.

The CT Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

  • Program provides a 25% tax credit; the credit increases to 30% if the project is located within an opportunity zone or the project includes an affordable housing component.
  • Post-rehabilitation use can be of one of the following: residential use of five units or more; mixed residential and nonresidential use; or nonresidential.

Federal Historic Tax Credit

  • A 20% tax credit is available for the rehabilitation of historic, income producing buildings that are determined by
    the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, to be certified historic structures.

For more information about these programs, please contact:

The State Historic Preservation Office

450 Columbus Blvd. Suite 5 Hartford, CT 06103
Phone:
860-500-2300

Website: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Services/Historic-Preservation/Funding-Opportunities/Tax-Credits

Preservation Connecticut is a nonprofit organization, established by special acts of the State Legislature in 1975 and 1985, to preserve, protect, and promote the buildings, sites, and landscapes that contribute to the heritage and vitality of Connecticut communities. Preservation Connecticut has information regarding easements for historic properties and a directory of preservation professionals.

Please visit their website for more information: www.preservationct.org.

Preservation Connecticut

940 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06517

Phone: 203-562-6312

Email:contact@preservationct.org

Help for Historic Homeowners

The Norwich Historical Society is NOT the Norwich Historic District Commission. They are two separate entities.

The Norwich Historic District Commission is comprised of volunteers appointed by the city council. It was established by ordinance of the city council to ensure the protection and preservation of buildings and places of historic interest within the city. The Commission is empowered to review and approve plans for construction, reconstruction, or restoration of any building or structure within a designated historic district in order to determine the appropriateness of any and all changes that are visible from a public street or way.

The primary function of the Historic District Commission is to review the appropriateness of any physical alterations to the exterior of a historic structure, construction of a new structure, or demolition of an existing structure that is visible from a public way in the local historic district.

Typical work that requires such review includes: replacement of windows or doors, siding, addition of decks, garages, fences or outbuildings. Ordinary repairs and maintenance and paint colors are not subject to review.

Norwich has a Historic District Commission to regulate the Little Plain and Norwichtown Local Historic District. The Norwich Historic District Commission has authority set forth by Ordinance 439 adopted 10/2/67.

The Norwich Historical Society is a private not-for-profit organization that seeks to preserve, protect, and promote the rich history of Norwich, CT. They do have historic preservation programs, but they are not a City commission.

Norwich Historic District Commission website: http://www.norwichct.org/144/Historic-District-Commission

Local Historic Districts: A Local Historic District (LHD) consists of a contiguous area of buildings and structures that represents either a distinct period of significance in the community’s history or the evolution of the community over time.

CGS, Section 7-147b defines the historic district as “an area, or a cluster of related buildings, or objects and structures, in a compatible setting which, taken as a whole, visually expresses styles and modes of living representative of various periods in American History.” In general, an LHD is an area with clear boundaries enclosing a contiguous set of historically or architecturally significant structures that are related through proximity, ownership, history or use and that together tend to visually represent the community’s heritage.

The LHD is different from a National Register or State Register historic district in that it provides for the local review of any exterior work that is visible from a public street, place or way.  Properties within the LHD are subject to review, regardless of the age or condition of the specific building or structure.  There are exceptions which include properties owned by higher education institutions and state owned properties.

Norwich has two local historic districts that were recognized: the Norwichtown Historic District in 1967 and the Little Plain Historic District in 1969. Local Historic Districts are not to be confused with National Register Districts; although both are automatically listed on the State Register of Historic Places, they are structured and reviewed differently.

National Register of Historic Places: The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s buildings, sites, and structures that have a high degree of physical integrity and a documented level of historical or architectural significance.  Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and administered by the Department of the Interior through the National Park Service, the National Register of Historic Places is a national program to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources.  There are currently more than 80,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, representing 1.4 million individual buildings sites, structures, objects, and districts.

Properties may be nominated to the National Register either individually or as part of a National Register Historic District. Nominations are processed through the State Historic Preservation Office using a standard format and must demonstrate that the resource has integrity of location, design, materials, setting, workmanship, feeling, and association.  In addition, the nominated property or resource must meet one or more of the specific National Register criteria at the local, state, or national level.

Listing on the National Register of Historic Places entails no obligations on the part of private property owners. There are no restrictions on the use, treatment, transfer, or disposition of private property.  The National Register does not require public access and does not automatically result in any local preservation designation.  Owners of National Register-listed properties may be eligible to apply for grants or tax credits through particular state and federal programs, subject to the availability of funding.

The National Register is used by state and federal agencies to evaluate the potential risk of adverse impact on historic properties that may result from federally or state-funded, licensed, or permitted projects.  In Connecticut, the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act (CEPA or Public Act 82-367, Section 22a-15 through 22a-19) also provides a mechanism through the Superior Court to prevent the “unreasonable destruction” of National Register-listed resources.

In Norwich there are 26 properties individually listed on the National Register.  In addition to individual properties, there are eleven historic districts, and each contains many properties.

NORWICH’S NATIONAL REGISTER HISTORIC DISTRICTS

Bean Hill

Chelsea Parade

Downtown Norwich

Greeneville

Jail Hill

Laurel Hill

Little Plain (also a local historic district)

Norwichtown (also a local historic district)

Norwich Hospital National Register District

Taftville/Ponemah Mill National Register Historic District

Yantic Falls National Register Historic District

In addition, the Yantic Woolen Company Mill and the Occum Hydroelectric Mill & Dam are individually listed on the National Register.

Ask your historic district commission or view properties on this map from the Preservation Connecticut: http://lhdct.org/maps/inventory-overview

Little Plain Historic District Nomination form: https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/70000718_text

Norwichtown Historic District Nomination form: https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/73001951_text

 

For more resources, please visit: https://www.norwichhistoricalsociety.org/resources/