Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Washington Green Historic District

CAFE ON THE GREEN (R) AND WASHINGTON GREEN POST OFFICE (L)

Welcome to the Washington Green section of the town of Washington, where the post office and what just might be the only restaurant share a building. You're probably familiar with Washington, even if you've never heard of it; its town center, called Washington Depot (as well as other areas of this and nearby towns) served as inspiration for the fictional Stars Hollow in the TV show Gilmore Girls. I have never seen so much as one minute of one episode of Gilmore Girls, yet I'm well aware that for many people across the country and beyond, this little slice of Litchfield County is Connecticut.

Washington Depot is relatively busy; it, like New Preston, is a sweet, old-fashioned commercial center for the region. (My favorite place to visit in Washington Depot is the Hickory Stick Bookshop, and I admit that's as much for it's rounded brick building as for the books inside.)

Washington Green, on the other hand, is quieter. The library is here, and the aforementioned post office, as well as the private Gunnery School, established in 1850. The green itself is unusual - there are no memorials or monuments here, and no distinct grassy rectangle or oblong. Instead, this town green resembles a series of lawns and pathways, bisected by local roads and decorated with impressive 18th- and 19th-century buildings (plus a few newer additions.)

The visual effect is pure New England, from the perfectly pointed steeple of the First Congregational Church to the surrounding buildings which are almost all painted white, as if to ensure year-round picture-book status. (This didn't happen by accident - if you're interested in how Washington Green came to look so pristine, and how it stays that way, peruse the website of the Washington Green Society.) This part of town is frequented by locals more than tourists - which, of course, is what makes it worth visiting, even if you're only passing through to see how reality stacks up to TV.

WASHINGTON CLUB HALL

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH MEETING HOUSE, 1801



...AND HERE IS THE STEEPLE...

JUDEA PARISH HOUSE

GUNN HISTORICAL MUSEUM (WILLIS HOUSE, 1781)

GUNN MEMORIAL LIBRARY, 1908

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I must pay a visit and take my daughter to see if she recognizes Stars Hollow :-)

    ReplyDelete

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