The State of Connecticut Historical Commission and Congressman Rob Simmons’ office have confirmed that a 40-block area of Willimantic has been listed by the U.S. Department of the Interior on the National Register of Historic Places. The Prospect Hill Historic District, commonly referred to as “The Hill Section”, boasts more than 800 vintage homes/buildings. The district rises steeply from Valley Street, the southern boundary, to a 400-foot high summit, with a northern boundary of Washburn, Lewiston, and Bolivia Streets. Of the district’s 993 buildings, a remarkable 88% contribute to its overall historic architectural character. In addition to the historic homes, there are schools, churches, and a firehouse which contribute to the character of the community.
The vast majority of houses in the district were built after the Civil War when most of the streets were laid out for residential development. The district was substantially complete by 1910, the end of the Victorian era. As a result, Victorian architecture predominates in the district, with all the major styles of the period represented. Inclusion on the National Register provides protection from unreasonable destruction of historic properties pursuant to the provisions of Connecticut General Statutes. Also, homeowners of historic properties are eligible to apply for grants-in-aid (when available) for preservation activities. According to representatives from the State Historical Commission, the 40-block area constitutes one of the largest historic districts in the state.