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.
Next to the William Albertson House, on Vauxhall Street in New London, is a Greek Revival house built by Thomas Fitch in 1846. Fitch was a developer who laid out streets and sold house lots in the Post Hill area of New London. In 1862, Fitch sold his house to Hiram Willey, who served as mayor of New London from 1862 to 1865. Willey sold the property in 1875 to Thomas M. Waller, who also served as mayor (1873-1879) and later as Governor of Connecticut (1883-1884). While Waller owned the house, the front door facing Channing Street was moved to face Vauxhall Street. Further alterations (in the Colonial Revival style) were made to the house in 1913 by Waller’s son, Charles B. Waller.
Frederic S. Newcomb was a New London dry goods merchant. His Shingle-style house on Vauxhall Street was built in 1896-1897 and was designed by G.W. Dietrict of New York. The pink granite for the ground floor was quarried in Maine and brought by barge to New London. In 1953, the house was converted into a convalescent hospital called Beechwood Manor.
Joseph Skinner, one of the developers of Prospect Street in New London, erected the Greek Revival house at 7 Prospect sometime between 1838 and 1842. It is possibly the work of John Bishop, a notable local builder. The house’s bay window, bracketed window hoods and front porch are later additions.