Fenwick, Connecticut

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Fenwick is a borough in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States, in the town of Old Saybrook. The population was 52 at the 2000 census, making it the least populous municipality in Connecticut. It is a popular summer colony.[citation needed] Most of the borough is included in Fenwick Historic District, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1995, the district included 66 contributing buildings and one other contributing site.[1]

Fenwick is set off from the town center of Old Saybrook by a large cove over a causeway. It is located exactly where the Connecticut River flows into Long Island Sound. Fenwick has two lighthouses, the Inner and the Outer. There is also a single public beach about a quarter of a mile away from the lighthouse. The Inner is at the tip of Lynde Point, Fenwick's peninsula, and the Outer is a quarter mile off shore, connected by a rough jetty. The Outer Light is the lighthouse shown on many Connecticut license plates.[2][3]


Fenwick Historic District

The Fenwick Historic District included 66 contributing buildings plus the Fenwick Golf Course. The district covers an area of 195 acres (79 ha) and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.[4]

The district is significant architecturally as "one of the state's largest concentrations of Shingle-style buildings; 17 of the district's 60 main buildings exhibit characteristics of the style."[1]:13

The district includes a large concentration of houses built using the Shingle Style architecture.

As an architectural concept, the Shingle Style goes beyond simply the use of a particular siding material. Shingle-style houses have a pronounced mass to them, a sense of heaviness and horizontality, that often was created by the use of a single large roof, such as a gambrel or hip roof, in contrast to the usual Victorian practice of equal-sized cross-gables. Dormers, where present, were usually made distinctly subordinate. Many of the buildings in Fenwick illustrate this principle. The house at 34 Pettipaug Avenue, for example, achieves the desired heavy appearance by having its gable-on-hip roof encompass the two-story side porches, thereby creating a single block, whereas in earlier Victorian styles the effect would likely have been one of a profusion of appendages.... The house at 12 Pettipaug Avenue has a similar roof, but a smaller second-story porches (Photograph 9). Nevertheless, it achieves the same effect by making the porch roofs into extensions of the main roof; indeed, the first-floor porch appears itself as a continuation of the main roof, interrupted only slightly by the second-story walls. Finally, many Fenwick Shingle-style buildings augment the effect of massiveness by giving the roof a flare at the eaves, or having an upper story swell out and overhang the lower story, or by including pent roofs over window and door openings. All three techniques appear in a quintessential Shingle-style building in Fenwick, St. Mary's-by-the-Sea (Photograph 3).[1]:13

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