E. Thorp House (1792)

July 1st, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Fairfield, Houses | No Comments »

E. Thorp House

The house at 52 Main Street in Southport, known as the E. Thorp House, was built in 1792. The historic residence suffered damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011 when a beech tree in the front yard split and crashed through the roof on the left side, damaging three floors. The house was restored by Sterling Building & Restoration using antique lumber materials and carefully recreating historically accurate trim, windows and doors.

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Seth Bishop House (1796)

June 30th, 2015 Posted in Federal Style, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

Seth Bishop House (1796)

The house at 64 Fair Street in Guilford was built in 1796 by Seth Bishop. He soon mortgaged the house to brothers Joel and Nathaniel Griffing and sold it in 1801 to Captain Joel Griffing (1762-1826). His brother, Judge Nathaniel Griffing (1767-1845), lived in a similar house nearby at 6 Fair Street that Joel had previously owned. From 1802 to 1825, the south chamber on the second floor of the Bishop House (which has a ceiling a foot higher than the other rooms) and two adjacent rooms, were used for meetings of St. Alban’s Lodge No. 38, a Masonic Lodge that now meets in Branford. A history of the Lodge indicates that on several occasions, meeting were canceled so as not to disturb a sick member of the Griffing family.

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Bishop Building (1935)

June 29th, 2015 Posted in Art Deco, Commercial Buildings, Gothic, Norwalk | No Comments »

Bishop Building, Norwalk

While some sources (including the nomination for the Wall Street Historic District) date the construction of the Bishop Building, a two-section commercial building at 64 Wall Street in Norwalk, to 1935, an article in The Norwalk Hour, “New Woolworth Opens Friday” (September 5, 1940), provides a different timeline. According to the article, the first section of the building was constructed by William Bishop in 1928 (or was it 1923?) on the site of the old Bishop Homestead. He was born in the Homestead, which he inherited and tore down for his building, which originally had 35 offices and three stores on the first floor. It was the first office building in the city to have a passenger elevator. In 1938, Bishop was approached by the F. W. Woolworth Company to open a branch of their five-and-dime stores in Norwalk. He purchased the adjacent Ambler Block and remodeled it to become part of an enlarged Bishop Building, in which the Woolworth store opened in 1940. Woolworth would later move to another location on Wall Street. Many other businesses have been located in the Bishop Building, including WNLK radio station and Kiddytown toy store (closed in 1995). It is now home to My Three Sons.

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St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church (1902)

June 28th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Glastonbury, Victorian Eclectic | No Comments »

St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Grove Street in Glastonbury was the home to a diverse immigrant community that included Germans, Poles and Ukrainians. Many residents worked nearby at the Williams Brothers Silver Company. A German Lutheran Church, built on Grove Street in 1902, became St. John The Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1925. The area was redeveloped in the 1970s and the church was in the path of a new road linking Main Street and the New London Turnpike. In 1973, developer David MacClain was given approval for a residential project to be built across from his Glen Lochen Marketplace (completed 1975). His proposal included providing a new home for the church at the corner of a new Grove Street. He only charged the church for moving fees that were within the $45,000 the Redevelopment Agency had paid for the building. The church was moved to its current address at 26 New London Turnpike early in 1974.

Sources: “Ukrainian Church, a Landmark, Seen Surviving Redevelopment,” by George Graves (Hartford Courant, August 19, 1973); “Redevelopment Agency Vows To Keep Church,” by George Graves (Hartford Courant, September 28, 1973); “Ukrainian Church Expected To Be Relocated This Week,” (Hartford Courant, February 10, 1974).

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Elisha Stevens House (1863)

June 27th, 2015 Posted in Cromwell, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

385 Main St., Cromwell

The Italianate house at 385 Main Street in Cromwell was built circa 1863 and once had a stuccoed brownstone exterior that was incised to resemble dressed masonry. The house has many high style decorative features. The front veranda dates to the later nineteenth century. The house was built by Elisha Stevens, who founded J. & E. Stevens with his brother John in 1843. The company produced toys and hardware and Elisha Stevens became very wealthy. In 1869 he started a new company with toy designer George W. Brown called Stevens & Brown. The company failed in 1874 and a bankrupt Stevens had to sell the house. In 1875 it was acquired by Osbourn Coe, a Middlefield farmer, who occupied it until his death in 1899. The house is currently part of a large health care facility and is connected to modern additions.

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Alfred W. Woodbridge House (1897)

June 26th, 2015 Posted in East Hartford, Houses, Queen Anne | No Comments »

Woodbridge House

The house at 1422 Main Street in East Hartford was built in 1897 by Alfred Ward Woodbridge. He owned land nearby and sold off building lots along what would be called Woodbridge Avenue.

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Somers Inn (1804)

June 25th, 2015 Posted in Greek Revival, Hotels, Somers | No Comments »

Somers Inn

The Somers Inn, 585 Main Street in Somers, originally opened in 1804 as the Kibbe Hotel (some sources indicate 1768, which may have been an earlier building on the site). It was run by Warren Kibbe and then by George Kibbe. The building started as a Federal-style structure with a hip roof, but it was remodeled around 1860 as a Greek Revival building. In 1931 it became Ye Olde Homestead Inn, run by Alphonse and Hilda Joerg and George and Emily Schiessl. In the early 1960s was renamed The Somers Inn. The historic property, which has not offered lodgings in many years, has been a popular restaurant. It was recently sold and reopened in April as the Cooper House Tavern.

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