West Street – Then and Now

Return visitors will recognize the above image as the banner used on this blog.  It depicts Litchfield’s West Street, likely at some point in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  Shot in black and white, it was later colorized for use on a post card.

Here is the same view on sunny fall morning in 2012:

A later post will explore the history of Litchfield’s Historic District.  But the juxtaposition of these two images is testimony to the remarkable job of preservation done in the center of town.  The most striking difference is that the street has been paved; also, it appears that West Street once featured parallel parking.  The right side of the building on the extreme right of the image is now red instead of gray.  The stores in the center of the 2012 view have painted their fronts white, which accentuates the colonnade.  Note that the signs on the building have changed over time.  In the top image, one business has a marquee-style sign, with the other businesses have prominent signage above their store fronts.  Today’s stores have less prominent signs.

Otherwise, the appearance of the street is virtually identical.  The notable architectural features – the bricks in the shapes of diamonds, peaks along the roofs, the patterns along the tops of the facades – all remain.

The historic district was created to protect the town’s colonial character.  Along West Street, however, it has been remarkably successful in preserving the character of the early 20th century.


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