High, Church & Gould Street
High, Church, & Gould Street Historic District
The High, Church and Gould Streets Historic District is a densely-settled neighborhood in which the built environment depicts one hundred years of residential development. Styles from Greek Revival to Colonial Revival are represented. Many are vernacular expressions in which period details are applied to gable-end, side entry or side-gable, center-entry house forms. Several high-style homes designed by prominent architectural firms from nearby Providence, Rhode Island are also present.
Located in the north-central section of the Town of North Attleborough, High, Church and Gould District comprises most of the parallel-oriented High and Church Streets between North Washington Street and Broadway and a portion of Gould Street which runs perpendicular to the south of Church Street. The district is on the western side of the village of North Attleborough (now North Attleborough center), which is situated at the foot of Mount Hope Hill (also known as Ten Mile Hill) to the east, reputed to be the highest elevation in Bristol County.
The district evolved in correlation with the commercial, institutional, and civic areas along North Washington Street to the east and with the development of North Attleborough's manufacturing enterprises, many of which are within walking distance, located in factories on the periphery of the village. The district, bounded on the west by Broadway, rises in elevation slightly in that direction. The northern end of the district is bounded by the back lot lines along the north side of High Street between Grove Street and Broadway. The southern boundary of the district is more irregular, following the back lot lines of the southern side of Church Street beginning at 54 Church Street (Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church; Map Number 32) and dropping farther south along Gould Street to the lots of 14 (Map Number 54) and 17 Gould Street (Map Number 55).
The district is distinguished from the vicinity by the consistency of the quality, scale, maintenance and period of its properties. Houses south of High Street on Broadway are single-family homes that date from the mid-twentieth century. Houses immediately north of High Street on Broadway are larger, multi-family, frame dwellings. Housing in neighborhoods to the north and south of the district is more modest and varied in use, style, maintenance and quality of preservation. Properties at the lower ends of High and Church Street are mixed-use and multi-family in nature.
North Washington Street is a segment of the oldest transportation routes in the Commonwealth. Originating as a native trail, it became part of the Bay Path, the principal colonial overland thoroughfare between Boston and Providence, and was incorporated into a late eighteenth-century post road and the Norfolk Bristol Turnpike (1802). As one of the oldest roads in the area, it had a formative influence on the physical as well as economic development of the vicinity.
High Street, running perpendicular to the west from Washington Street, was laid out in the early nineteenth century as a course to the adjoining town of Cumberland, Rhode Island. By mid-century, Broadway, delineated but unsettled, defined a section of High Street already platted and occupied by several dwellings. It is here that the earliest surviving houses in the district are located.
Occupation of Church Street did not occur until the 1870s. Gould Street did not appear until the 1890s.