North Bedford National Register Historic District
The North Bedford National Register Historic District contains approximately 400 structures on almost 60 acres. It is characterized by residential uses and reflects the popular architectural styles of the 19th century. The Federal , Greek Revival, and Italianate styles predominate in the southern section, while later styles, such as Second Empire, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival are found in the northern section. Interspersed with these grand structures is a concentration of modest workers’ housing. The district is located directly north of the Central New Bedford National Register Historic District.
The majority of houses in the district are 2-2/1 stories in height, and are wood frame construction with clapboard or shingle siding. The Federal houses retain windows set just below the roofline with 6/6 sashes and tall narrow chimneys at the building ends. The houses are side-gabled and parallel to the street. The Greek Revival houses, most common to the district, have either 6/6 or 2/2 sash windows. These houses have retained wide friezes and corner boards, many having elaborate bracketing at the gable and roofline and are normally gable-end to the street. The Italianate houses in the district represent a later period of development in the neighborhood when money was abundant and the houses were slightly larger. These homes were nearly square in dimension and also had bracketing at the roofline; perhaps with a cupola or belvedere at the roof peak.
The North Bedford Historic District is significant as the major unaltered representation of a middle class 19th century residential development in New Bedford. The juxtaposition of styles and periods was caused by infill construction as the area grew during the 19th century in response to the enormous economic growth of the city resulting from the rise of the whaling and textile industries. Throughout this period, North Bedford remained the home of such persons affiliated with support in industries such as caulking, topemaking, blacksmithing, and housebuilding.