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Main Street Historic District

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The Gregory Building imposingly marks the entrance to one of the most endearing town views in the state. The prospect east on Main Street is a nearly uninterrupted tree-lined vista to the town dock at the opposite end, approximately half a mile away. Most of the houses, dating from 1780 to 1820, press close to the sidewalk, opening directly onto it with a single granite step. They are based mostly on a five-bay, central-chimney model, varying in door surrounds, cornices, trim, quoining, window treatments, and the presence or absence of shutters (most of which are later additions). Preservation began in the early years of the twentieth century, and the Main Street Association emerged in 1932 to regulate signage, plant trees, lay sidewalks, start a historic marker program, and draw up an early historic district zoning law. The work of the association led to the 1959 designation of Wickford's Main Street as Rhode Island's second historic district.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.

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