Bristol has a remarkable historical and architectural legacy. Its buildings, constructed over a span of 300 years, represents all periods of American architectural development.
Originally laid out in 1680, the downtown grid pattern of 4 streets running north to south and 9 streets running eat to west, ending at Bristol Harbor, remains intact today. The visually rich and varied streetscapes of Bristol reflect its long and proud history of growth as a commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental, and residential center.
While the Federal and Greek Revival styles of architecture predominate, Bristol also has splendid examples of Gothic Revival, Italianate, Romanesque, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and vernacular architecture. The sophisticated public buildings and impressive public houses influenced the design of the town’s vernacular buildings. The mixture of houses, churches, school, public buildings, commercial blocks, and factories make Bristol such an extraordinary place.
Preservation of these buildings and their settings is clearly in Bristol’s best interest. Thoughtful and sensitive rehabilitation ruses the community’s infrastructure, strengthens local pride, and conserves the distinctive character and beauty that delights visitors and residents alike.