The Black Rock National Register District includes the remains of the village of Black Rock, third most important seaport in Connecticut after the Revolutionary War and important shipbuilding center in the years immediately preceding the Civil War. It includes examples of every major American architectural style from the late Medieval of the seventeenth century to the Italianate of the mid-nineteenth, as well as some resort and suburban styles of the later Victorian era.
Black Rock was made a Port of Entry for all of Western Connecticut in 1790. The Black Rock Harbor Lighthouse was built at the mouth of the harbor in 1807, and a turnpike laid out to Danbury in 1812 to carry goods to the ports. By 1830, however, Bridgeport begins to surpass Black Rock's place as the center of eastern Fairfield County commerce. At this time the village turned to ship and carriage building as a means of livelihood. Black Rock was originally a part of Fairfield and was not joined to Bridgeport until 1870.
First occupied in 1644 by the Wheeler family as a trading settlement several years after the Pequot War, Black Rock major developments began around 1760, when a causeway bridge across Ash Creek was constructed and shipyards were opened. Three commercial wharves were built and residential building lots laid out. There were at least ten houses constructed by the time of the Revolutionary War.
There are two historic districts in Black Rock, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first one was listed in 1979 and includes houses and other structures. This district is known as the Black Rock Harbor Historic District. The other is Black Rock Gardens Historic District. It has 12 buildings built for workers during World War I.