City and State: Charlestown, Massachusetts
Type of district: National Register historic district, Massachusetts State historic district
Main Intersection: Harvard and Washington Streets
The Town Hill District is composed of residential and commercial structures dating from as early as 1780, when the town was almost totally rebuilt after being burned by the British during the Revolutionary War. This was done after the Battle of Bunker Hill, which was actually fought on Breed’s Hill just to the northeast of Town Hill. The dense streetscape dates from the late 18th and 19th centuries, and is small in scale. Most of the buildings are constructed of natural materials including brick, wood, and stone. The unique elliptical street plan forms a tightly delineated neighborhood; it was laid out by Thomas Graves in 1629 and is one of the few pre-Revolutionary War remnants to survive. City Square is the focus of the neighborhood, historically having been the seat of government and the market place. The earlier buildings are mostly free standing, while later houses from the mid 19th century tend to be attached.