City and State: Cohasset, Massachusetts
Type of district: National Register historic district, Massachusetts State historic district, local historic district
Main Intersection: North Main Street and WB Long Road
The Cohasset Common Historic District surrounds the Town Common in central Cohasset, which is anchored by the First Parish Meetinghouse of 1747. The Town Hall and Second Congregational Church face the Meetinghouse, while St. Stephen’s Church closes the Common at its southern end. The remaining buildings facing the Common on the east and west were built as residences, and most continue to be used as such today.
Most of the houses are Georgian or Federal in style, reflecting their dates of construction and the relative architectural conservatism of Cohasset’s inhabitants. Later houses were built in the many popular Revival styles (e.g. Colonial, Gothic, Greek), as well as Queen Anne and Second Empire. Most of the houses were built by local housewrights rather than architects. Located near a harbor, most of the early residents were merchants, fishing fleet owners, or shipbuilders, and their relative affluence is reflected in the scale and detailing of the houses. In 1937, the townspeople instituted restrictive covenants to protect the historic village center, whose earliest house dates to 1713.