At 455 West Avenue in Norwalk, at the corner of Butler Street, is a former church that was later converted into a retail store. It was built as the First Church of Christ, Scientist. The first services were held in the building on October 28, 1935 and the church’s dedication services were held on December 29, 1935.
Episcopal services in Fairfield were first held by visiting ministers starting in 1705. Trinity Parish was established in 1725 and its first church was built on Mill Plain in Fairfield. A new and larger church was built in 1737 in the center of Fairfield. During the Revolutionary War, the church was burned during the British raid on Fairfield in 1779. Trinity’s third church building was erected after the war on Mill Plain Road in 1790. In the early nineteenth century, the Borough of Southport in Fairfield was flourishing. The first Episcopal services in Southport were held in 1828 in the house at 95 Main Street. As attendance grew, services were held at the Old Academy. Eventually Trinity constructed its next building, affectionately called “The Old Church on the Hill,” in 1829 on Rose Hill Drive in Southport to serve the growing community. The first Southport church burned down in 1854, so it was replaced by a new church on Pequot Road in 1856. That same year, parishioners in the center of Fairfield, who felt that the Southport church was too far away, established St. Paul’s Parish. Trinity’s fifth building survived until it was destroyed in 1862 when a tornado caused the steeple to crash down through the roof. The current Trinity Episcopal Church was quickly built on the foundations of its predecessor and dedicated on December 11 of that same year.
In 1728, the first Congregational meeting house to be constructed in New Salem (a parish established in 1725 from sections of Lyme and Colchester; it is now the Town of Salem) was built on what is now called Music Vale Road. In 1763 the building was destroyed and a new one erected on the corner of what is now Witch Meadow Road and Route 85. Another building later replaced it on the same site. It was later demolished and the materials were reused in the construction of the current Congregational Church of Salem, built in 1838 and located on the Salem Town Green.
The Second Congregational Church of Manchester was formed and its first house of worship was built in the northern section of town in 1851. A new church was built on the same site, 385 North Main Street, in 1889. It is a Shingle style edifice on a high rusticated brownstone foundation. Read the rest of this entry »
The first Congregational meeting house in what is now Bridgeport (then called Statfield) was built by 1695 at what is today Park Avenue and Worth Street. It was replaced by a new meeting house c. 1717, located on the northwest corner of Park and North Avenues. The third meeting house, located on Broad Street, was dedicated in 1807. The powerful influence of the Second Great Awakening led to a division of the congregation in 1830, with a new Second Congregational Church being built at Broad and Gilbert Streets. The old church was called North Church and the new church was called South Church. A new North Church was built (on the same site as its predecessor) in the Gothic Revival style in 1850. A new brick South Church was also constructed (on the same site as its predecessor) and was dedicated in January, 1862. In 1916 the North and South Churches merged and planned to erect a new united church on the site of the old North Church, which was demolished. Construction was delayed by the First World War and then, when the former site of North Church was deemed to be too small, a new lot was purchased on the corner of Park Avenue and State Street in 1924. The new United Congregational Church was completed and dedicated in 1926. A Georgian Revival edifice, it was designed by Allen & Collens of New York.
The original Warburton Chapel once stood at 61 Temple Street in Hartford, between Market and Front Streets. The Chapel began as the Union Sabbath School, started in 1851 as a mission of Hartford’s Center Church to residents of the city’s East Side. It occupied various quarters until Mary A. Warburton endowed a permanent home for the school and mission chapel on Temple Street in memory of her husband, John Warburton. The Warburton Chapel was dedicated on June 28, 1866 and rapid growth led to the construction of an addition in 1873. By 1916, the neighborhood around the Warburton Chapel was primarily Italian, and the building also served as the home of the First Italian Congregational Church. In 1948, Center Church decided to sell the Chapel and relocate its programs to the Center Church House on Gold Street. The Warburton Chapel was acquired by St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish, which converted it to serve as its new social center, named the Casa Andrea in memory of Rev. Andrew J. Kelly, who served as pastor of St. Anthony’s Church for 29 years. The chapel was demolished in 1960 to clear space for the building of Constitution Plaza.
The Charter Oak Community Church, an interracial interdenominational church, was established in 1942 and held its services in the community building of the Charter Oak Terrace public housing project. In 1954, the Hartford Housing Authority agreed to the sale of land at the corner of Brookfield Street and Charter Oak Avenue to the Trustees of Warburton Chapel for the construction of a building for the Charter Oak Church. Funds from the sale of the old Warburton Chapel were used to erect the new building, known as the Warburton Community Church. Designed by E.T Glasse, Jr., of Farmington, the new church at 420 Brookfield Street was dedicated on May 6, 1956. Read the rest of this entry »
Methodism first came to Norwalk in the 1780s. The first Methodist church building in town was constructed in South Norwalk in 1816. A new church was built in 1843 and enlarged thirteen years later. Two years later, the congregation divided with the formation of a new Methodist Church in Central Norwalk. In 1898 the congregation of Norwalk’s First United Methodist Church moved into another new church at 39 West Avenue. The cornerstone of the yellow brick and white marble building, designed by architect M. H. Hubbard of Utica, New York, was laid 11 June 1897. It was completed the following year. The church was deconsecrated on Sunday, May 25, 2008 due to declining attendance and for a time the building was on and off the commercial real estate market. Macedonia Church recently purchased the building. Read the rest of this entry »