The building at 42 Bank Street in New London was built in 1833 in the hope that it might be used as a federal customs house. In the end the building, which resembles a Federal and Greek Revival-style row house, became home to the Whaling Bank. The bank, the third oldest in New London, was founded in 1833 by a group of whaling merchants that included Joseph Lawrence. It became the National Whaling Bank in 1864 and remained in existence until 1943.
In 1879, Universalists in New London purchased land at the corner of Green and Starr Streets (formerly the site of the Stoll Marble Yard) to construct a church. Formed in 1835, the Universalist Society had previously built a church on Huntington Street in 1843-1844, which it occupied until 1849. They then purchased a former Episcopal church on Main Street, which they later sold, holding services in Allyn Hall until their new church was ready. Constructed under the direction of builder John Bishop (a member of the church who built many houses on neighboring Starr Street) and his brother Charles, the church was completed and dedicated in 1882. It was sold to the Brainard Lodge of Masons in 1896. Since 1997 it has been the Apostolic Cathedral of Hope. The windows were closed up in 1909, but have recently been restored with modern replacements.
Mary Stillman Harkness her husband Edward Harkness were philanthropists who had a mansion in New York City and a summer estate in Waterford called Eolia. Mrs. Harkness, who was a fiend of Katharine Blunt, president of Connecticut College from 1929-1943 and 1945-1946, gave the college a residence hall: Mary Harkness House, completed in 1934. In 1938 she also provided funds to build a chapel and an endowment for its upkeep. Harkness Chapel, which has a granite facade, was designed by architect James Gamble Rogers in a style he called “colonial Georgian.” Rogers was the Harkness family’s favorite architect and Mrs. Harkness was intimately involved in the details of the chapel’s construction. The nondenominational Harkness Chapel was consecrated January 14, 1940.
The former home of the Savings Bank of New London, now used as a branch of Citizens Bank, is located at 63 Eugene O’Neill Drive in New London. The Savings Bank of New London was incorporated in 1827. Offices were located in the Union Bank & Trust Company’s building on State Street until the Savings Bank built its own building on Main Street (now Eugene O’Neil Drive) in 1852. This building was expanded with two wings in 1890. The current facade dates to the period of 1903 to 1905, when the earlier building was completely enclosed by a new structure, designed by Dudley Saint Clair Donnelly, an important New London architect. The bank has an elaborately ornamented exterior of “Milford Pink” granite from Milford, Mass. The facade is slightly curved to conform with the curve in the street.
The house at 17 Prospect Street in New London, built not long after 1845, is one of several houses on the street attributed to local builder John Bishop. The design for this high-stye Greek Revival house’s columns is taken from Minard Lafever‘s pattern book, The Beauties of Modern Architecture (1835).
The upcoming issue of Connecticut Explored magazine has a picture of the building at the southwest corner of Bank and Golden Streets in New London. It was built in 1844 as the home of Captain Giles Harris and had a grocery store on the ground floor. It was built on the site of an earlier house, constructed in the later 1700s, which had been the home of Dr. Samuel Brown and his wife Sarah. When she passed away in 1794, the house was sold to Daniel Deshon and in 1844 to Capt. Harris. A number of businesses existed in the building over the years. From 1919 to 1985, the building was home to a restaurant, known after 1931 as the Hygienic Restaurant, a popular 24 hour eatery. After the restaurant closed, the building remained vacant until it was threatened with demolition in 1996. Saved by preservationists and the local arts community, the building was restored to become Hygienic Art, Inc., a center of the fine arts community. An adjacent lot was acquired in 2001 and developed into the Hygienic Sculpture Gardens and Outdoor Theater Art Park.
At 28 Channing Street in New London is a large house that is transitional from the Stick Style to the Queen Anne style. It also has an Eastlake-style porch and different types of siding for each floor. It was built in 1890 by the Bishop Brothers, a firm of contractors and builders. One of the partners was Henry Bishop, whose daughter Mary married Nathan A. Woodworth, who ran a paper manufacturing company. They were the house‘s first residents. The house was later (by 1901) the home of John B. Leahy, of J.B. Leahy & Company, wholesale liquor dealers at 36 Bank Street.