Downtown district maintains Greenfield's rich history


Preserving the past: This home sits on one acre at 117 Grant St. It is filled with antiques and features cement pineapple gate markers. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

Heart and soul: A view of the historic district along Greenfield's Main Street near the James Whitcomb Riley home. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

This is the first in a series of stories this week on Greenfield's downtown historic district.


GREENFIELD — At first glance, the houses surrounding downtown seem like little more just that – houses, a neighborhood like any other. But what these quaint cottages, low-slung bungalows and candy-colored Queen Annes don’t reveal with a passing glance is a rich history, architectural significance and the ties to some of the very people who formed the city that’s built up around them.

For that reason, more than 300 homes and 200 other features of downtown Greenfield’s residential district were added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places last year. The homes and other structures within the district tell the story how Greenfield really came to be, gaining from its situation along the National Road and the money brought in by the Gas Boom – still evident in some of the district’s finer homes.

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