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Bean Hill Green

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The Bean Hill settlement was laid out shortly after the first settlement of Norwichtown was established along West Town Street, an important major highway leading north from Norwichtown through Bean Hill Plain. At the summit of the hill is the surviving early town plan, an open square, the present green, around which are ranged 18th and 19th century homes on three sides. The simple vernacular houses in the Bean Hill area were owned by mechanics, artisans, and shop and tavern keepers that lived in the area when it was the local center for manufacturing and commercial activity between about 1740 and 1820. Of the eight houses around the green today, four are from the 18th century. Three others date from the early 19th century. The only non-domestic structure is the Methodist church (1833) the first church of that denomination in Norwich. The buildings across from the green along West Town Street are commercial buildings dating primarily from the late 20th century. While the land use practices along West Town Street have long been mixed commercial and residential, these buildings, built for the automobile-oriented culture, are visually distracting from the simple historic character of the green and surrounding streetscape.

The Bean Hill Green is the focal point of a town plan that survives from the early history of Norwich. The houses that developed around it during the 18th and early 19th centuries are intact and representative of the period when Bean Hill was the local center for manufacturing and commercial activity. Although the site has been compromised by the 20th century commercial development along West Town Street, it remains an important historic site.



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