Self Guided Walking Tours of Historic Manchester, MA
The West Walk
Central Street, Bridge Street, Ashland Avenue, Bennett Street
Starts at the Town Common and includes the First Parish Congregational Church (1809) as well as several of the buildings that comprised Manchester’s original commercial center. The houses from Bridge Street to Ashland Avenue reflect the emerging affluence of the town and include outstanding examples of Greek Revival architecture. Along Ashland Avenue, there are several “stunning Victorian houses, and Bennett Street, the oldest ‘byway’ in town, was once an important thoroughfare to Beverly and points west.
The East Walk
North Street, Washington Street, Union Street
The North Street houses provide a glimpse of architectural styles ranging from Queen Anne to Georgian to Second Empire. Washington Street, the old road to Gloucester, valued for its views of the waterfront, is lined with fine 18th and 19th century houses and the 1661 Cemetery. Union Street boasts the Abigail Hooper Trask house, built in 1823 and now serving as the headquarters of the Manchester Historical Museum; houses of varying sizes and styles; an early 1900s commercial building; and the handsome HH Richardson Romanesque style public library (c. 1887).
The North Walk
School Street to Rosedale Avenue
Beginning with commercial buildings on either side, the majority of the tour includes houses that are real historic and architectural gems. Also included are the Union Cemetery, established in 1845 and containing graves of some of Manchester’s leading citizens, and the granite Crowell Chapel, built in 1902 and designed to look like an English Gothic church.
Booklets describing these three walking tours of historic Manchester are available at the museum.