Windsor Historic District – #ThursdayDoors

You see this sign right after crossing the Farmington River.

I knew last week that this week would likely be another collection of “drive-by” doors. The temperature, the snow, the lack of daylight, i.e. winter just works that way. I probably have a bunch of doors in various folders, but file storage is experiencing a bit of a challenge of its own here at No Facilities. That’s the subject of an upcoming post, assuming I figure it out. In any case, I drive through the Windsor Historic District every day, and I was fortunate enough to have breaks in the traffic to stop and get a few photos from the driver’s seat.

According to CT-Trust’s page on local historic districts,

“Palisado Avenue Historic District is significant because it embodies the distinctive characteristics of architectural styles from the early 18th century through the early 20th century. The buildings include distinguished and for the most part well-preserved examples of several architectural styles: 18th century vernacular, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Victorian vernacular, Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, and Colonial Revival.”

Historic Districts are interesting entities. They are pretty to drive through, but the organization aspects, or perhaps the jurisdictional aspects often take the form of a double-edged sword. Depending on the district, they can prevent many good things as they work to maintain the historic appearance of the individual houses. On the other hand, the rules and regulations also prevent careless changes from ruining the character of a building which has survived over 200 years by the whims of the current owner who may only occupy the building for a relative few years.

The current rules and regulations (1993 version) appear to be a bit more lenient on the use of replacement materials. Perhaps that’s due to the availability of modern materials now being made available in period styles. Still, the replacement of siding, roofing, windows, doors, gutters and downspouts all require approval by the commission, as do any additions or structural changes to the building. The good news is, we get to see some period appropriate doors. The bad news (for the homeowners) is that repairs often take longer and cost more. However, most people who buy these houses know what they are getting into, and they do it because they love the architecture and the idea of owning a historically significant home.

Several of the houses in the historic district are also listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Today’s gallery includes some photos as well as a little information from the nomination forms. Click on any one photo to start a slideshow that will reveal the captions. There are also a few houses that are not on the NRHP. I didn’t add the ‘Part-1’ to the title, but I think we’ll be back here.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s historic blog hop called Thursday Doors. Every week, Norm puts out a worldwide call for doors of all shapes, sizes, styles and colors, and he gathers quite a gallery. If you have a door, or two, or twelve, head on up to Norm’s place. Be sure to check out Norm’s doors, and then look for the little blue frog. Click that little tadpole and he’ll let you into the master gallery of doors.


    • Thanks Mike. I wish I could go up and study each one, but I’m always leery of intruding. Still, when your house is listed in the NRHP, I think you have to expect a few looky-loos.


  1. I can see why they are part of the Historic District and I’m thrilled they’re still around today! I wish there were more houses like this down here in FL. Sorry but I can’t pick a favorite today!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s very hard to pick a favorite. There are so many nice house in this district, and quite a few outside the boundaries. There’s even a development of district-inspired homes that were built in the 80s that have the traditional front section and a more modern back half that looks like an addition.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Some true beauties in this collection. I’m not fond of the color scheme on that Victorian either but oh, the building is just gorgeous. I also love the one with the corner gazebo built into the wraparound porch. Awesome finds this week.
    Good luck with your file storage issues.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Norm. I’d love to give a more detailed account of the many houses in the district, but a snap from the side of the road is about as good as it gets, unless I ever get bold enough to go knock on a door. There is a similar Victorian, well south of this district, that has an amazing color scheme. I hope to get a good photo of it for a future post.

      I think I have the file storage figured out. I’m trying to document the ins and outs. Maybe it’s time for another blog-tech post.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a charming area, Dan. It must help make your morning drive bearable.
    I love the cute little yellow house! So you were right — someone did like it.
    I really like where you were able to show both old and new pictures of some of them. Have a thriving Thursday. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan, these homes are just amazing and aside from the one with the yellow door, which I thought was a bit out of place, I noticed the entire house and not the doors. My favourite was the yellow house at the end. It’s really pretty. I always think of Van Gogh when it comes to yellow houses and also a sense of his madness while he was living in the Yellow House with Gauguin. That said, his yellow house wasn’t all that bright and from memory was more along the lines of cream.
    Also, thought I should mention that when I read you were driving through Windsor, I automatically thought of Windsor in England and Windsor castle. That was until I saw the photos and had to back pedal quickly. I am often getting confused.
    Hope you’ve had a great week. School goes back next week. I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad for me but it certainly means shifting gears out of holiday mode and into organized, which is feeling like a pipe dream atm.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rowena. I’ve always shaken my head a bit at the fact that the people who settled New England were trying to get away from England, but named everything here as it was over there. Sometimes, they added “New,” sometimes, not. And we have these same towns in all six New England states.

      Back to school? I know your seasons are reversed, but that seems weird to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We also have an area known as New England up Northern NSW around the town of Armidale. We have the same issue here with people bring out their English culture and even in my parents generation people would call England “home”, even if their family had been out for a few generations. These days they wouldn’t dare. They’d be told “go back where you came from”. Well, at least they should.
        Our school year runs from around 1st February until the end of December and we have our long holidays over Christmas. I like this because when you start the new year, you really are starting a new year and you have about a month to let those resolutions perculate through before the rubber really hits the road. It also allows you to put off those horrible resolutions like losing weight until February. Another month of indulgence suits me just fine, except I often forget by the time February comes around.
        I struggle with time management and have quite an elaborate system of hard copies and my phone and a family calendar to keep us on track. Even then, there are no guarantees. However, my creative mind wanders and wonders off so easily, I need some strong railroad tracks to keep me in line.
        That said, I’d much rather be out photographing doors and just about anything else instead.
        Best wishes,


  5. What a collection of homes today. I just love the little yellow house, but I don’t like the yellow door on the Sweetland house. It seems out of place. The Victorian house is a knockout. Isn’t it amazing that even painted in that hideous color, it doesn’t take away from the beauty and craftsmanship of the building. Also love the gazebo on the Ellsworth house.

    It’s fun seeing the ‘then’ and ‘now’ photos. I really enjoyed this post Dan. It’s a testament to the home owners that these beauties are maintained in such pristine condition.

    Don’cha just want to explore inside all these homes?! I do!

    It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there!! Lol.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. I worked inside one of these houses when I had my cabinet shop, and it had serious issues. The kitchen floor dropped about 14” from one side to the other. Trying to find the right material was hard and expensive. The house was charming, but I wouldn’t want to own it (although we considered it at one point).

      I do like the house with the gazebo at the end of the porch.

      A couple people commented about the yellow door. I was surprised to see it not that color in the older photo.


  6. Lovely doors and houses, Dan. I agree with regulations regarding historical properties. Thirty to forty years ago, here in Ireland, a lot of shops in lovely old towns and villages had ghastly ‘modern’ signage and fittings. Nowadays, in many places the local councils have rules regarding shop fronts and exterior colours, even for residential buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a mixed bag, Jean. The new regulations seem reasonable, but in the early 80s when I did some work on one of those houses, the owners were denied an affordable solution to a problem that was damaging the foundation. They also denied structural repairs to the roof that meant that what should have been a 40-50 year roof, would fail in about 20.


  7. There is so much to love in here, Dan.

    First, I’m ooo’ing and ahhh’ing all over your photos until I realize what it is that’s really captured my attention – the sunshine!!! After so many days of gray gloominess, seeing photos bathed in sunlight is a real treat!

    I love the addition of old photos to complement the current ones – especially the Horace H. Ellsworth house. Yes, I know the old Victorian has a turret, but the Ellsworth house has a wraparound verandah and a gazebo on the side! I’m not normally a fan of boxy houses and flat roofs, but it works here. Love, love, love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanne. I’m glad you enjoyed this. I love finding the historic pictures as they are often way better than what I can get. This was the last day for sun and snow. Warm rain melted all the snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a seriously charming set, right there! I looove the last yellow house, of course! That weird ochre yellow on the Victorian, though, not so much. Kinda reminds me of sickness. I feel like Victorians should be rich and stately or bright and cheerful, no in between
    I love the simple design of the 1700 pink house, the first one. I love the whitewasbed brick house, and wonder if it’s as pretty when the setting is green. Really appreciate Mr Ellsworth’s gazebo feature on such a linear home. Nice contrast.
    Great architecture and doors.
    May I also say what blue skies you had that day? Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! We had two very nice (cold) sunny days. I love these houses, but I wish I could get more/better pictures. I’m self conscious about private property.

      I love the gazebo. If I had room, I’d build that.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Only my husband truly understands how I can love the cute yellow house, yet not like the yellow door on the historical house. I am passionate about history and architecture, yet love art and bold statements. Great doors, Dan. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the pictures you added to this post. That lovely yellow house is my favorite. Yellow has lately become my favorite color. You know when I was creating this logo for Travel India Destinations I spent weeks on how to create a good logo. So, I went through tons of design sites and color psychology sites and I finally created this. So, whenever I showed my new logo to my friends the most common question was: Why Yellow? Even Sarah asked me why did you chose yellow/black combination because yellow/black is normally associated with a cab in India. I said exactly, that’s why I chose yellow/black because psychologically yellow is the most attention grabbing color. My initial designs have saffron and green colors which symbolizes the Indian flag colors, but being a new blog I want audience’s attention more than patriotism and hence yellow.


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