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).
Gilead Hall was erected to serve as a public meeting and gathering place for residents of the Gilead section of Hebron. Built by the Gilead Hall Association, it was dedicated on September 4, 1905. It was used as a Grange Hall until 1950. In 1978 it was converted into a residence and has a much modified interior. Its modern address is 667 Gilead Street.
The building at 945 Main Street in Manchester was built in 1909 to replace the Oak Hill Building that had stood on the site but was destroyed in a fire in 1909. Since 1897, that building had contained the dry goods store of Edwin E. House and Justus W. Hale, who quickly hired architect Isaac A. Allen, Jr. to design a replacement structure. The new House & Hale Building would be larger than its predecessor and a two-story wooden building (could it be this one?), next to the adjacent Cheney Block, was moved to the rear to make way for the structure. House & Hale, who had begun with two separate stores (begun in 1853 and 1875 respectively), soon evolved their joint businesses into a full department store which, by 1920, also had a self-serve grocery store in the basement. The department store was in business until January, 1980. The building was then converted into rental office space and is now called “One Heritage Place.”