The former building of the Home Bank and Trust Company, at 16 Colony Street in Meriden, was built in 1922. Originally chartered as the Home Bank of West Meriden in 1854, the bank was first located in the Collins Block, which was later destroyed by fire (the Hall & Lewis Building occupies the site now). In 1863, the bank moved to its own building, at the corner of Colony and Church Streets. Abiram Chamberlin, president of the bank, who served as Governor of Connecticut from 1903 to 1905, lived on the second floor of the brick building. The 1863 building was moved around the corner to make way for the 1922 building, designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White. The bank became Shawmut Home Bank in 1987 and the following year was acquired by Connecticut National Bank. Today, the former bank building is home to a nightclub. Read the rest of this entry »
Meriden’s first Roman Catholic Mass was celebrated in 1843 or 1844 for the community’s growing Irish community. St. Rose of Lima became a parish in 1851. A new parish church, built on Center Street, was dedicated on July 31, 1859. The church‘s front facade once had a single steeple. It was later removed and replaced by the current facade, which has two matching towers. The church was formally consecrated in 1926. Since 1998, the parish has been staffed by by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception Province of St. Francis of Assisi.
At 41 West Main Street in Meriden is a building which is faced with limestone and has elaborate Classical detailing. It was built in 1923 for the Meriden Electric Light Company and today houses a law office and a bail bond company (the building is across the street from a courthouse).
On East Peak in the Hanging Hills in Meriden stands an Castle Craig, an observation tower in Hubbard Park. Dedicated on October 29, 1900, the tower was given to the people of Meriden by Walter Hubbard, president of the Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company, who also donated the park that bears his name. Constructed of trap rock, Castle Craig is 32 feet high and its base is 58 feet in circumference. There are different theories as to the inspiration for Castle Craig. Hubbard may have been inspired by a Norman French tower, a Turkish Tower on the Danube, or an ancient fortification (or maybe the 1814 Craigellachie Bridge?) in Craigelachie, Scotland. Castle Craig was rededicated on April 22, 1986 after restoration work was completed. A 90 ft. flag pole was erected near the tower in 1987.
The United States Post Office at 89 North Colony Street in Meriden, which has a dressed limestone facade embellished with classical ornamentation, is a notable example of Beaux Arts architecture. It was built by by James Knox Taylor, who was Supervising Architect of the United States Department of the Treasury from 1897 to 1912. Also known as the Meriden Main Post Office, the building was designed in 1907 by and was constructed in 1909 as one of only twelve post offices built that year by the U.S. Government. An addition to the post office, designed under the supervision of James A. Wetmore, Acting Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury, was completed in 1932.
The 5-story Hall & Lewis Building, at the corner of 1-3 Colony Street and West Main Street in Meriden is a Neo-Classical structure, notable for its elaborate terra cotta frieze. It was built in 1910 and has been home to many businesses over the years.
German Catholic immigrants settling in Meriden first attended Mass at St. Rose of Lima Church and later joined with French-Canadians to establish St. Laurent Church in 1880. A decade later, their numbers were large enough that an independent parish was organized. The first St. Mary parish church, built of wood on Church Street, was dedicated on December 6, 1891. Bishop John J. Nilan blessed the cornerstone of a new church on October 27, 1912 and dedicated the completed Gothic church on October 19, 1913. The church continues to have a German-American congregation residing in Meriden and other nearby towns. Its parishioners share their clergy with St. Joseph’s Church in Meriden. St. Mary School opened in 1894 and closed in 2006.