Essex: An architectural guide was created and published by the Essex Community Heritage Organization (ECHO) in 1986. This forty-seven page brochure contains a map showing all of the buildings on ECHO’s historic walking tour of Essex, New York, as well as descriptions of fifty-one historic buildings and sites listed in the tour.
Essex, New York, architecture and history is summarized in the introduction to Essex: An architectural guide. An important maritime town in the early 19th century, the commercial importance of Essex slowly declined (along with its population) as railroad transportation displaced shipping (pg.2). And yet, Historic Essex has managed to preserve the character of its past.
“Essex, New York… [boasts] one of the most intact ensembles of pre-Civil War village architecture in America. The village of Essex was placed, in its entirety, on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The surrounding rural town contains other National Registry listed buildings and many striking examples of early- and mid-nineteenth century building.” (ECHO)
Many of the historic buildings in Essex are designed in Federal or Greek Revival style, though Victorian, Georgian, and other architectural influences can also be observed in some buildings. Federal styles is the earliest confirmed architectural influence preserved, and as the years passed and new architectural ideas influenced the area some of these buildings have received additions and renovations in those later styles.
Essex: An architectural guide describes most of the architecturally notable buildings in Historic Essex including brief overviews of each building’s history, unique or prominent architectural features and, in most cases, a photo.
“The once flourishing spirit of commercial enterprise left in its wake a visible heritage that can be read in the buildings and streets of Essex.” (pg. 3)
Visit ECHO’s website to learn more about the organization.