Archive for the ‘Meriden’ Category

All Saints Episcopal Church, Meriden (1893)

Sunday, July 30th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Meriden | No Comments »

As related in An Historic Record and Pictorial Description of the Town of Meriden, Connecticut AKA A Century of Meriden (1906):

A[l]though the present attractive edifice of All Saints’ Protestant Episcopal Church, was not occupied for services until Ash Wednesday, 1893, some eight years or more previous it became evident that the erection of a church was definitely contemplated for that section of Meriden. The first service was held in the dwelling house, 273 West Main street on December 13, 1885[.]

A women’s sewing circle began raising money to build a church. Their funds were augmented by a bequest of $10,000 by Mrs. Phoebe A. Hallam, in honor of her late husband, the Rev. R. A. Hallam, D. D., at one time rector of St. Andrews Church in Meriden. All Saints Memorial Church was built at 215 West Main Street and consecrated on November 17, 1893. In more recent years, as the parish faced declining attendance, they began meeting at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Hanover Street. The old church building on West Main Street was sold in 2009 and bought by Rock of Salvation Church (Roca De Salvacion).

Martha Minerva Franklin House (1870)

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Meriden, Vernacular | No Comments »

The house at 63 Cherry Street in Meriden (built c. 1870) was the childhood home of Martha Minerva Franklin (1870-1968), one of the first people to campaign for racial equality in nursing. Franklin was the only African American graduate in the class of 1897 at Woman’s Hospital Training School for Nurses in Philadelphia. She sought to address discrimination in her profession and spent two years investigating the status of African American nurses. She organized a meeting in New York in 1908 that founded the National Association for Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) and became its first president. She later settled in New York, where she completed a postgraduate course at Lincoln Hospital and worked as a nurse in the public schools. She studied public health nursing at Teachers College, Columbia University, but retired before completing a degree. Franklin lived the rest of her life in New Haven.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Meriden (1936)

Sunday, July 9th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Meriden | No Comments »

In the 1870s, Italian immigrants began settling in the northwest corner of Meriden. For many years they attended existing Catholic churches in the city, but soon wanted to found their own parish. The Diocese of Hartford established Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in 1894. The first parish church was a wooden building on Goodwill Avenue. The current church, located at 109 Goodwill Avenue, was dedicated on February 16, 1936. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School was established in 1944 after the parish purchased the Nathan Hale Public School from the city of Meriden. In recent years, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Laurent Parishes in Meriden shared a priest. Earlier this year, as part of a reorganization throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, St. Laurent and three other parishes merged to form the new Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish, based at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

Fox Block (1905)

Monday, July 3rd, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Meriden, Renaissance Revival | No Comments »

The Fox Block, or Fox Building, at 88-92 West Main Street, corner of Butler Street, in Meriden, was built in 1905. It was designed by the Meriden architect David B. Bloomfield.

Former Meriden Y.M.C.A. (1877)

Sunday, February 19th, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Meriden, Neoclassical, Organizations | No Comments »

The building at 21-23 Colony Street in Meriden was erected in 1877 as a Y.M.C.A. The rear of the structure has a mansard roof and the front facade once had one as well, but the building was altered c. 1920 after the Y.M.C.A. moved to a new building on West Main Street. At that time the building was converted to commercial use with a new facade in the Neoclassical style.

As reported in the Daily Republican on August 1, 1877, a day after the dedication of the building:

The handsome and commodious new building is now ready for occupancy, and it has been built almost solely through the untiring energy and exertions of the president of the association, Mr. W. E. Benham. He has never faltered since he took the matter in hand, but has kept on through difficulties and discouragements which few other men would have surmounted. The association now has one of the handsomest buildings of the kind in the state. Its large and pleasant reading rooms, its gymnasium, and the pleasant parlors will furnish places of resort which cannot fail of doing much good, and Mr. Benham can certainly reflect with great satisfaction upon the good work he has accomplished.

According to The Life and Writings of W. E. Benham (1882):

Its whole internal arrangements are found to have been wisely planned for the accomplishment of its benevolent purposes. It is said to be the most elegant and best built building in Meriden, is admired by all, subscribers and citizens generally, as the right building in the right place, an attractive, convenient center, in which the public, especially young men, in large numbers, delight to resort and pleasantly improve their leisure hours in intellectual, physical, social, moral and religious culture, where, away from the evil, all the surrounding influences are good and elevating. It is estimated’that between 1,000 and 2,000 persons average daily to enter this building, for the various purposes of water, baths, hair-dressing, food, clothing, reading, singing, gymnastics, writing, arithmetic, lectures, concerts, mission schools, lyceums, religious and other meetings. In short, it is an inestimably important building for the moral welfare of Meriden, and could not be spared without an irreparable loss.

Colony Building (1922)

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Meriden, Neoclassical | No Comments »

Colony Building, Meriden

Built in 1922 on the site where a train station had once stood for 28 years in Meriden, the Colony Building (39-49 Colony Street) is a Neoclassical Revival-style structure. The original occupants of the building included Emerson & Whitney Shoe Co. and Jepson’s Book Store. The latter store later moved to 31 Colony Street. It had been founded in 1910 by Louise J. Jepson and was later run by George S. Jepson and Mildred Jepson.

Butler Paint Building (1894)

Monday, September 7th, 2015 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Meriden, Romanesque Revival | No Comments »

Butler Paint

John F. Butler (1840-1905), who was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, founded the long-lived Butler Paint Company in Meriden in 1876. The store opened on June 25, 1876, the same day Custer made his last stand at the Little Big Horn. In 1892 Butler organized a joint stock company, taking a number of his employees into the new corporation. The store was originally located in the Horace C. Wilcox Block on Colony Street. As related in An Historic Record and Pictorial Description of the Town of Meriden, Connecticut and Men who Have Made It: A Century of Meriden “The Silver City.” (1906):

With a progressive spirit always characteristic of him, Mr. Butler in connection with the Meriden Furniture Co., in 1894, built the handsome block on Colony street which the John F. Butler Company now occupy.

Located at 51-53 Colony Street, the building housed the Meriden Furniture Company on one side and Butler Paint on the other. The Meriden Furniture Company went out of business in 1965, replaced for a time by the Music Box. Butler Paint went out of the family in 2001 and finally closed in 2011.