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Sherborn Center Historic District

Sherborn Town, Middlesex County, MA

Historic District [1]

The area encompassed by the Sherborn Center Local Historic District remains largely as it evolved in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It has been recognized as both the functional and geographic center of Sherborn since the construction of the earliest road network and meetinghouse in the late 17th century. The core of a 19th-century New England village with an agricultural and cottage industry base has been, for the most part, sympathetically augmented and modified down to the early 20th century. The district includes the town's oldest churches; First Parish Church and Pilgrim Church (both circa 1830), The Town House (1858), Sherborn Library (1970), and the Dowse Memorial Building (1914), as well as historic monuments and several residences of architectural interest, and has always been the focus of roads connecting Sherborn to neighboring towns. The loose siting of the most important structures and their relatively large lot sizes evoke the rural character typical of a New England village. There is no surviving town common, no compact residential area, and no crossroads commercial center. The development has been essentially linear, and the heart of the local district—occupied by the First Parish Church, Town House, Library and Old Center School (now Town Hall)—is the only place where the linear pattern opens to provide a civic area. For this reason the district includes recent buildings and open land that is necessary to protect the older structures and their settings, and to reinforce the sense of place which is chiefly dependent upon the earlier architecture and landscaping.

At the present time the commercial buildings on the east side of South Main Street represent the only incongruous elements within the district. The district does not affect their continuance, but it may affect their eventual replacements, and it is important that future development here should respect the core area across the street, as well as the Pilgrim Church and its neighboring Bowen Adams House (27 South Main Street).

  1. Town of Sherborn, Massachusetts, Sherborn Center Local Historic District: Design Review Guidelines, n.d., www.sherbornma.org, accessed August, 2014.

Street Names
Main Street North • Main Street South • Maple Street • Route 16 • Route 27 • Sanger Street • Washington Street

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