The building now known as the Jordan Park House was originally built in 1928 as the Waterford Public Library. A gift of Mrs. Edward C. Hammond, it was located on Great Neck Road in Waterford, but was moved in 1961 to make way for a new railroad overpass. A new library on Rope Ferry Road opened in 1966. The old library building was transferred to Jordan Park, where it would soon be joined by other relocated historic structures: the 1740 Jordan Schoolhouse and the 1838 Beebe-Phillips House. The Jordan Park House was home to the offices of the Waterford Recreation and Parks Department until 1984 and since then to the Waterford Historical Society.
As an industrial village in the nineteenth century, Baltic, in the town of Sprague, became a regional center for the Catholic Church in eastern Connecticut. Buildings constructed for Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish (founded in 1886) include St. Mary Convent, built in 1888, and the Academy of the Holy Family, built in 1914. The Georgian Revival-style church was built in 1911.
Continuing the theme of the last few days of Catholic institutions in and around West Hartford, today we feature the former Mount St. Joseph Academy at 235 Fern Street (now One Hamilton Heights Drive). It served as a Catholic Girl’s School, run by the Sisters of Mercy, from 1906 to 1978. The Sisters of Mercy also run the nearby St. Mary’s Home for the Aged. The cornerstone of Mount St. Joseph Academy was laid in August 1905 and the school opened for the Fall term in September, 1908. The building was designed in the Georgian Revival style by John J. Dwyer of Hartford and built by William F. O’Neil. In the frieze of the entrance portico are inscribed the words BONATATEM ET DISCIPLINAM ET SCIENTIAH DOCE ME DOMINE (“Teach Me Goodness and Discipline and Knowledge, O Lord”), the school’s motto. When the Sisters of Mercy started St. Joseph’s College in 1932, classes met at the Academy for several years before being transferred to its own campus in West Hartford (now the University of St, Joseph). The former school was renovated in 1996 to become an assisted living facility called Atria Hamilton Heights.
On West Main Street in the village of Baltic is a former town hall for the town of Sprague. A brick structure in the Colonial Revival style, it was built in 1911. The current Town Hall, built in 1955, is located at 1 Main Street. Read the rest of this entry »
The Georgian/Colonial Revival mansion at 325 Woodbury Road in Watertown was built in 1926 for Theodore Lilley, son of Connecticut Governor George L. Lilley, who served from January 6 until April 21, 1909, when he died in office. The land for the house was purchased from Dr. Charles W. Jackson, who ran a sanatorium on Hamilton Avenue. Theodore Lilley (1888-1967), a graduate of Yale who became a developer in Waterbury, was married to Sylvia Page Lilley (1890-1970). The house has recently been restored.
The Bristol Public Library first opened in 1892 in cramped quarters in a building on Main Street. In 1896 it moved to the Charles Treadway house at the corner of Main and High Streets. On this site a new library was built in 1906 and dedicated the following year. A Colonial Revival building, it was designed by Wilson Potter of New York, who specialized in academic buildings. A Children’s Library wing and an Auditorium were later added on the north side of the building, but these were razed in 2006 for a new addition, which better reflects the original Colonial Revival architecture.
The first Catholic parish in Wethersfield was Sacred Heart parish, organized in 1876. In August of 1938, the parish’s church on Hartford Avenue was devastated by fire. Rev. George M. Grady, pastor of Sacred Heart, soon purchased an extensive tract of land on the Silas Deane Highway for the construction of a new church. Many parishioners assumed that the new church was to replace the one lost in the fire, but it was decided to make the new building a mission church of Sacred Heart. Named Corpus Christi, the new church was designed by architect John J. McMahon (1875-1958) in the Georgian Revival style to reflect Wethersfield’s colonial background. It is built of Harvard red brick with limestone trim. The church was dedicated on November 26, 1939 and Corpus Christi was officially established as a separate parish on September 27, 1941.
In July of that same year, the church’s pastor, Rev. Patrick T. Quinian, received a letter from Bishop Ambrose Pinger of Shantung (now Shandong), China. A photograph of the Wethersfield church in the Catholic Directory of 1941 had captured the bishop’s imagination and he asked to be sent plans for the church so that its design might be copied for the new cathedral in Chowtsun (now Zhoucun)!