New Bedford Pathways Tour #3: Downtown New Bedford

This tour decribes the development of the Central New Bedford Business District and the subsequent urban renewal of the historic buildings.

New Bedford Pathways Tour #3: Downtown New Bedford

New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740, United States

Created By: New Bedford Preservation Society

Tour Information

The Central New Bedford Historic District possesses many buildings of architectural significance reflecting the wealth and prosperity of the thriving textile industry in New Bedford at the turn of the 20th century. Although commercial areas are susceptible to change many of the buildings in the business district have kept their distinct characteristics in the variety of 19th and 20th century architectural styles. Interspersed within the district are older buildings such as the City Hall and the New Bedford Free Public Library. Revitalization efforts in the last 25 years in this area have ushered in innovative use of commercial spaces and helped to realize the formation of the creative economy in the city.

Tour Curated by Bruce Barnes

Tour Produced by: Patricia Daughton

Photo credits:

Steve Gladstone

Spinner Publications

New Bedford Whaling Musuem

New Bedford Free Public Library

Patricia Daughton

This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

169 William Street, First Universal Church, Gallery X, 1855,  Italianate Style The church at 169 William Street was constructed in 1855 by the First Universalist Church, which was organized in 1835. The Universalist Church occupied the bui... Read more
149 William Street, First Baptist Church, The Steeple Playhouse, 1829, Greek Revival Style The First Baptist Church congregation was founded in 1813. It constructed this white wood frame meetinghouse in 1829. Its roots go back to the time o... Read more
613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford Free Public Library, c. 1838,  Greek Revival Style The current building at 613 Pleasant Street was built c. 1838 as the New Bedford City Hall. The City Hall was upstairs and downstairs was a public market p... Read more
133 William Street, New Bedford City Hall,  1850, Italianate Style The original building at 133 William Street,  the Free Public Library, was a square building designed by  Solomon K. Eaton (1806-1871) In the 1850sThe architect was Samu... Read more
        628 Pleasant Street, Odd Fellows Building ( the Duff Building), 1889,  Romanesque Style Odd Fellows were a national fraternal organization with a chapter in New Bedford. The upper level of building was beautifully designed wit... Read more
       Whaleman Statue Sculptor: Bela Lyon Pratt (1867-1917). Installation: 1913. The Whaleman Statue is a gift of distinguished citizen William W. Crapo (1830-1926) to the City of New Bedford as a memorial to the Whaling Industry. Cr... Read more
      608 Pleasant Street, The Textile Trust Building (Anthony S. Catojo Jr. Building), c. 1918, Classical Revival The Textile Trust Building is a neoclassical style designed by Thomas M. James and was constructed around 1918 by E. A. ... Read more
      Lewis Temple Memorial Sculptor: James C. Toatley  (1941-1986). Installation: 1987. This statue was commissioned by the City of New Bedford in 1985 to honor Lewis Temple (1800-1854), a free black man and proprietor of a local bla... Read more
      555 Pleasant Street, Union for Good Works - Union Boys Clubhouse and the Standard-Times Building, 1894, Classical Revival The building at 555 Pleasant Street is a five story classical revival style designed by Nathaniel Smith. Th... Read more
211 Union Street, The Masonic Building, C. 1925 This building built by Sterns and Peabody and served as the Mason’s office building.  The unique part of the building is its metal ornamentation metal. Using metal as ornamentation was unsu... Read more
     194 Union Street, The Eddy Building, 1889,  Renaissance Revival The Eddy family were merchants and retailers. George Eddy Sr. operated a very successful retail business on this site in the mid-19th century. His sons, George Eddy J... Read more
       174 Union Street, New Bedford  Institute for Savings, 1896, Classical Revival Style This bank building which resembles a temple from ancient Rome was designed by the Boston architect Charles Brigham (1841-1925). He is responsi... Read more
    715 Purchase Street,  The Star Store (UMass Dartmouth CVPA), 1913, Neoclassical Style Designed by Architect Louis E. Destremps (1875-1919), this neoclassical building is detailed in Indiana limestone a popular decorative building ma... Read more


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