On December 31, 1894, a fire in Southport destroyed the commercial/tenement building at the corner of Main Street and Harbor Road in Southport. Known as the Hall Block (possibly built in 1874), it was soon rebuilt in the Italianate style, with shops on the first floor and apartments above. The building, located at 252 Main Street with a flatiron form, was later altered converted in the Colonial Revival style into condominiums.
Happy Easter! Granby‘s South Congregational Church was organized on Salmon Brook Street in 1872. Originally called the Congregational Society of Salmon Brook, it met in a hall on the second floor of a building erected for the Granby Library Association in 1869. This structure, later also used as a Town House, burned down in 1917. While one newspaper editor suggested that it was time for the South Church to merge with Granby’s First Congregational Church, this notion conflicted with local beautification plans aimed at developing Salmon Brook as an ideal New England village. The Church and the Town worked together to erect a complex of four community buildings in the Colonial Revival style: the new Church, the Church’s Community House (also available to local groups not affiliated with the Church), a schoolhouse and a library. The 1918 Church was designed by the H. Wales Lines Company of Meriden. The gable-roofed, transverse section at the rear, designed by Carl R. Blanchard, Jr. of New Haven, was added in 1950.
The earliest core of the house at 93 East Street in Norwalk dates to at least 1750 (and perhaps earlier). It was built by Samuel Grumman, a carpenter and builder who came from Fairfield to erect Norwalk’s second meeting house. During the Revolutionary War, the Grumman House was at the center of the Battle of Norwalk in July 1779, when General William Tryon’s raiding forces burned much of the town. The house was damaged, but it was rebuilt in the 1780s and expanded in the nineteenth century. The current roof was added in the 1870s. In 1805, the Grumman family had sold the house to Stephen Buckingham St. John, whose descendants, including the Hoyt family, owned it until 1925. The building was subdivided into apartments in 1928.
In 2001, the neighboring Norwalk Inn & Conference Center purchased the house with the intention of demolishing it to make way for an addition to the hotel. Preservationists rallied to block these plans and preserve the historic house. Litigation ensued and in 2010, after an extended legal battle, a compromise was reached: the Inn would renovate the dilapidated building to contain extended stay suites with permission being granted to the Inn itself to expand to a third floor. The renovations were completed in 2013.
The late Victorian/Colonial Revival two-family house at 117-119 Center Street in Manchester is a typical example of the many such houses erected in town at the turn-of-the-century. It was built c. 1897.
The building at 870 Prospect Avenue in Hartford was built in 1915 as a single-family home to designs by architect Charles O. Whitmore. For many years the house was home to Grace Hall Wilson, widow of John C. Wilson, president of Colt Firearms. Today it is Grace Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The current City Hall of Norwalk (125 East Avenue) was built in 1938 as Norwalk High School. Its original entrance, since altered, faced East Avenue. It and other buildings in Norwalk contain one of the largest collections of WPA Depression era murals in the country (45). Twenty-three of the City Hall murals were restored in the 1980s. Others were brought to the building bringing the total on display there to thirty-one (now thirty after the recent removal of a controversial painting). The High School moved to a new building in 1971 and the 1938 building became City Hall in place of the 1912 City Hall in South Norwalk (which became home to the Norwalk Museum until 2011).