The first meeting house of Norwalk’s First Congregational Church was erected in 1659 at the corner of East Avenue and Fort Point Street. The current building, at the corner of Park and Lewis Streets, faces Norwalk Green from the west. It was built c. 1924, replacing the 1848 church on the site that was destroyed by fire in 1917. The meeting house on the Green before that was burned by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. In 2012 a hive of honey bees that had nested in church’s steeple were rescued.
Known as “The Ledges,” the Colonial Revival house at 845 Worthington Ridge in Berlin was built circa 1930 for George E. Prentice. An immigrant from England, Prentice trained in the New Britain hardware industry. In 1912 he founded the Prentice Manufacturing Company, which produced metal fasteners.
The house at 30 Warren Way in Watertown was built in 1917 for Arthur G. Evans, purchasing agent for Chase Brass and Copper Company of Waterbury. According to the nomination for the Watertown Center Historic District, the house’s design, which represents a phase of the Colonial Revival style that sought to accurately duplicate the form, massing and detail of Colonial houses, has been attributed to Cass Gilbert. The plans may also have been drawn by another member of his firm or been outlined by Gilbert and completed by an apprentice. (The nomination‘s listing of structures in the Historic District gives a date of 1917 for the house, while the text for the District’s Architectural Significance gives a date of 1929).
The Loyal Order of Moose is a fraternal and service organization. The Moose Lodge in Norwalk built Moose Hall at 68 South Main Street in 1932. The Moose Lodge had already occupied an earlier building on the same site. The building was purchased by Corinthian Lodge No. 16, F&AM, in the summer of 1995. The Corinthian Lodge sold the building to the City of Norwalk in 2014. Plans are for Moose Hall and its neighbor, the former Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building at 70 South Main Street, to be resold for mixed-use development. This past August, the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency requested proposals to make Environmental Site Assessment reports on the two buildings to evaluate their condition and estimate costs of rehabilitation.
In 1879 Rockwell Keeney established the Somersville Manufacturing Company, a textile mill located in Somersville, a village in the town of Somers. The company specialized in heavy woolen cloth, with which it supplied the military during both World Wars. The mill prospered, first under Rockwell Keeney and his sons and then under his grandsons, until the 1960s when rising labor costs and the effect of the Clean Water eventually led to the company’s closure in 1969. Ralph Denison Keeney (1882-1960), Rockwell’s grandson, served as president of the company from 1927 to 1960. In 1912 a Colonial Revival house was built for Ralph Keeney at 87 Main Street in Somersville. Its columned front porch was enclosed when the house was later converted for use by commercial tenants.
The Chester Savings Bank was formed in 1871. The bank constructed its building at 6 Main Street in Chester in 1902. It was the only bank in town until the Chester Trust Company was established as a commercial bank in 1914. For many years the two banks shared the same building and the same staff (they eventually merged in 1977). The Savings Bank later moved out and the building has since been used for commercial purposes, most recently as a vegan restaurant that opened in 2012 (and restored a clock to the face of the building) and closed in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »
Today is The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum 35th Annual Holiday House Tour! One of the houses on the tour is 223 Terry Road in Hartford. It was built in 1922 to plans by architect Russell F. Barker (1873-1961). Home to several prominent Hartford families, including the Einsteins and Bonees, the house has been restored by its current owners who bought it in 2011.