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New Bedford Preservation Society presents:
Mobile tours of the city's historic neighborhoods.
Now available on Pocketsights® mobile app

Just in time for spring, New Bedford Preservation Society (NBPS) has created New Bedford Pathways, mobile tours of the city's historic neighborhoods. These tours reflect the historic scholarship undertaken by the past and present members of the Board of the New Bedford Preservation Society. For city residents and visitors these tours will give a sense of place by providing the context for the role of history and architecture in the city’s growth and prosperity. The tours are available on the app builder PocketSights®. Download the app on your smart phone, search for 02740 and scroll down to “New Bedford Pathways”, then get walking!

The New Bedford Pathways tours are:
New Bedford - More than Colonials Most of the homes on this walking tour are the result of enormous growth in manufacturing, transportation, and commerce in New Bedford from 1850 to 1900. The homes which grew up along these quiet residential ways are characteristic of the diverse architectural styles of New Bedford.

Old Bedford Village The area bounded by the Acushnet River, Union, and County Streets forms part of the original tract of land, which in 1760 defined what would become the city of New Bedford. The homes in this area built by whaling captains, who had become international merchants, still line the streets of New Bedford. New Bedford also attracted formerly enslaved men and women seeking freedom being a stop in the Underground Railroad and the presence of the Anti-Slavery Society.

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

The Historic Waterfront This tour encompasses the original ten-acre lot purchased by Joseph Rotch in 1785 from Joseph Russell’s farm to the "Ten Acre Plot.” It was the commercial hub of the early whaling industry. Many of the support businesses of the whaling industry that were in this area included coopers, ship chandlers, insurance brokers, candle house and oil factories. The New Bedford Waterfront Historic District received its designation as a 40c Historic District in June of 1981.

North Bedford Historic District _This tour describes Kempton’s Corner, now designated as the North Bedford Historic District that consists of lands north of Kempton Street, south of Clasky Park.  The upper reaches of the Acushnet River became the shipbuilding center of Old Dartmouth, and the first homeowners who came to North Bedford were the craftsmen who served this industry. Those who built homes in the North Bedford area were likely to be coopers, sparmakers, and shipwrights.

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.

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Mission: To heighten awareness, provide education and guidance and promote sensitive restoration and preservation of New Bedford’s fine historic structures and the neighborhoods in which they are located.

Background: In 1974 a group of private citizens banded together to try to halt a state plan to widen New Bedford's premier residential avenue and destroy the tall old elm trees that had arched over the street for decades. That group became the New Bedford Preservation Society, which continues its efforts to protect and preserve properties and landscapes of historic and architectural significance throughout the city. Continuing programs involve buildings from whaling mansions to triple-deckers and from city parks to shade trees along the most modest city block. } CONTINUED


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Newsletter Archive
} Spring 2014 PDF

2016 Elm Awards
Slide Show
} PDF Download

Architectural Walking Tour Brochures

Read 4 Historical News Articles

Bruce Barnes' Presentation on
Howland Mill Village, 1888-1889

New Bedford Preservation Society
Phone/Fax: 508-997-6425
15 Johnny Cake Hill
New Bedford, MA 02740
Office Hours: Tues & Thurs 10am-2pm or by appointment