Bedford Landing -Waterfront Historic District
The Bedford Landing-Waterfront Historic District, also known as the New Bedford National Register Historic District is the only state designated local historic district in the city of New Bedford.This district, roughly bounded by Elm, Acushnet, Union, Front, Water, Rodman, and the John F. Kennedy Highway is approximately 20 acres and contains 20 buildings that are significant examples of architecture built between 1810 and 1855. These buildings are representative of structures that would be found in the commercial district of a major New England seaport of that period. In addition to the primary buildings, the district contains good examples of smaller Federal and Greek Revival buildings with shops on the ground floor and loving quarters above, and several gable-roofed warehouses of brick or stone, 2-1/2 to 4 stories in height.
New Bedford began its rapid growth as a whaling port shortly after the town’s establishment in the early 1760s. By 1840, New Bedford had superseded Nantucket as the nation’s leader in the whaling industry and maintained that position until the growth of the petroleum industry, which began in the late 1850’s, bringing American whaling to an end. New Bedford’s last whaling voyage ended on August 20, 1925.
Presently the Bedford Landing-Waterfront Historic District fits within the confines of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park established by Congress in 1996. The historic district will be expanded in the near future to match the boundaries of the National Historic Park.