Edinburgh Crescent, at 431-449 Washington Avenue in Bridgeport, is a row house block built in 1889. The Richardsonian Romanesque building was constructed by developers Edwin G. Sanford and Mrs. Lucien W. Shephers and was designed by architects Longstaff & Hurd, who also designed the building which is now the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport. In the 1990s, the dilapidated Edinburgh Crescent was converted to serve as low income housing.
Across from Old North Cemetery, on Main Street (formerly Windsor Avenue) in Hartford, are a pair of three-story brick buildings constructed in 1864-1865. Known as the Widows’ Homes, they were built for charitable purposes (housing Civil War widows) through a bequest by Lawson Ives, a manufacturer and member of the Pearl Street Congregational Church (since demolished). Plaques on the exterior of each of the two buildings memorialize Ives’ gift. According to the Annual Reports of the Board of Charities to the Governor for the Years Ending September 30, 1905 and 1906 (1907):
The Widows’ Homes at Nos. 210 and 216 Windsor avenue were established in 1867 by the will of Mr. Lawson C. Ives, an honored citizen of Hartford. The two Homes are under the management, respectively, of the pastors and prudential committees of the Farmington Avenue Congregational Church and of the Park Congregational Church, who were incorporated for that purpose by the General Assembly of 1867. Each Home contains twelve apartments of three rooms each, and all occupants who are able to do so, pay a monthly rental of $2 for front and $1.50 for back rooms. The inmates do their own work and enjoy a degree of homelike privacy not found in a large institution.
The Belden is a Colonial Revival/Neoclassical Revival apartment building at 1545-1555 Main Street in Hartford’s Clay/Arsenal neighborhood. designed by the firm of Bayley & Goodrich and built in 1898, it occupies a prominent position at the corner of Main and Belden Streets. A fire destroyed part of the north section of the building, but it was restored and partially rebuilt in 1983.
With a commanding location overlooking Washington Square at the intersection of Church, Main, Water and Washington Streets in Norwich is the Beriah S. Rathbun House and Apartments. It was built about 1869 at 6-8 Church Street by Beriah S. Rathbun, a carpenter who lived in the building and took in boarders. He came to Norwich in 1840 and built a house in the winter of 1841-1842 which he sold in 1868 when he constructed his house/apartment building. In Norwich he was one of thirty-seven people who organized the Central Baptist Church, constructing the stairs of the original church building..
Rathbun (see pdf) married Martha D. Coburn, his second of three wives, in 1846. She was a soprano in the choir of the Central Baptist Church. One Sunday in 1849, Ithamar Conkey, organist and choir master at the church, became very irritated that Mrs. Ratbun was the only member of his choir to show up for the morning service. After playing the prelude, he closed his organ and went home in disgust. Later he felt remorse for having walked out. Reflecting on one of the hymns to have been sung that morning to John Bowring’s text, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” Conkey decided to write a new tune for the text and named it Rathbun, in honor of the faithful soprano (see pdf).
To the left of the Rathbun Building is a house built around 1737 by Captain Joseph Kelley, one of Norwich‘s earliest shipmasters.
Today, all that remains of the Goodwin Building, on Asylum Street in Hartford, are the outer walls, with their striking English Queen Anne facade utilizing ornamental terra cotta. Built in 1881 as an apartment building by the brothers, James J. Goodwin and Rev. Francis Goodwin, it was designed by Francis Kimball and was modeled on buildings Rev. Goodwin had seen being constructed at the time in England. Kimball, of the firm of Kimball & Wisedell, was the architect for the Day House in Hartford, which also has an English Queen Anne design. The Goodwin Building was expanded in 1891 to Ann Street and in 1900 to Pearl Street. It was a very prestigious address at the time, with even J.P. Morgan living there during his visits to the city of his birth. In 1985-1986, the building’s Arts and Crafts style interior was gutted to prepare for the structure’s incorporation into a new office tower, Goodwin Square, completed in 1989. That same year, the Goodwin Hotel opened in the former apartment building. The hotel closed in 2008 and last year Goodwin Square went into foreclosure.
Jacob Arbus was a furrier in Rockville. In 1886 he established his own store, doing business at various locations until 1893, when he had a Mansard-roofed building constructed at 74 Union Street to serve as his store and residence. On an 1895 Bird’s-eye view of Rockville, the Arbus Block is listed as “63. Jacob Arbus, Furrier, Hats, Caps and Gents Furnishing Goods.”