Archive for the ‘Public Buildings’ Category

Madison Post Office (1940)

Thursday, May 4th, 2017 Posted in Colonial Revival, Madison, Public Buildings | No Comments »

The United States Post Office in Madison (781 Boston Post Road) was completed in 1940. Inside is a New Deal era mural called “Gathering Seaweed from the Sound,” painted by William Abbott Cheever in 1940. The building and mural were created using Treasury Department funds.

Union Society of Phoenixville House (1806)

Sunday, April 9th, 2017 Posted in Eastford, Houses, Public Buildings, Schools, Vernacular | No Comments »

Phoenixville is a village in the town of Eastford. At the junction of Routes 44 and 198 (4 Hartford Turnpike) is a former residence that would become the Union Society of Phoenixville House. It was built in 1806 as the home of Smith Snow (1784-1842), a mill-owner. In 1858, Snow’s heirs conveyed the house to Lydia Clark, the wife of his nephew, Albert B. Clark (1825-1903), a shoemaker. Around the turn of the century, the house was already being used as a nondenominational Sunday School, which officially incorporated in 1907 as the Union Society of Phoenixville and purchased the building. It also served as a meeting place for the local community and by the 1940s was commonly known as the Community House. The building was moved a short distance west of its original location circa 1930 to accommodate highway improvements. The building was in use until 2000, but already before that time fewer events were being held and maintenance issues had made preserving the building difficult (by the 1960s the upper floor had become unsafe). The Union Society sold the building to the Town of Eastford in 2002 and it has since been the object of preservation efforts (the roof was replaced in 2009).

Memorial Town Hall, Madison (1897)

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 Posted in Madison, Monuments, Neoclassical, Public Buildings | No Comments »

Memorial Town Hall in Madison was built in 1897 to honor the town’s Civil War veterans. Vincent Meigs Wilcox, a wealthy merchant, was donor to both the hall and another, more traditional Civil War monument, the Wilcox Soldiers’ Monument. The building originally served as a community center, becoming Madison’s Town Hall in 1938. A new town hall was built in 1995, but the old hall continues to house some municipal offices, meeting rooms, and the Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archives.

Citizens Engine Company No.2, Seymour (1892)

Friday, March 31st, 2017 Posted in Public Buildings, Queen Anne, Seymour | No Comments »

A volunteer fire company, initially called Ocean Fire Company #1, was formed in Seymour in October 1882. The following month it was renamed Humphrey Engine and Hose Company #1 and in 1884, after the purchase of a new steam engine, was reorganized as Citizens Engine Company No.2. The company’s original firehouse was replaced with a new brick building with granite trim (current address 26 DeForest Street) in 1892. The tower was added in 1897 and a concrete addition was built in 1976.

Seymour Post Office (1916)

Monday, March 6th, 2017 Posted in Neoclassical, Public Buildings, Seymour | No Comments »

Occupying a dramatic site at the corner of Main and Deforest Streets in downtown Seymour is a Neoclassical-style U.S. Post Office (address at 91 Main Street) built in 1916. It is one of the many architecturally impressive post offices and other federal buildings built across the country under the supervision of James A. Wetmore, who served as Acting Supervising Architect of the United States from 1915 to 1933.

Ivy Glenn Memorial (1847)

Sunday, February 12th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Eastford, Greek Revival, Libraries, Public Buildings | No Comments »

In the center of Eastford is a Greek Revival building called the Ivy Glenn Memorial. It was built as a Methodist Church in 1847, the same year Eastford separated from Ashford to become a new town. In 1916, Eastford Methodists joined with Congregationalists to form a Federated Church and the former Methodist Church was sold to the town for $200. The building’s basement was repaired to serve as a place for town meetings. Restoration work was completed in 1934 with funds from the Civil Works Administration. The upstairs hall was now used for town meetings and the library and town offices were located in the basement. A new Town Hall was erected in 1969 and after town offices moved to the new building, the library was able to expand in the basement of the former church. This required a new renovation which was funded by a bequest in honor of Ivy Glenn made by her husband, Wilmer Glenn, a New York stockbroker who spent summers in the Phoenixville section of Eastford. The enlarged library opened in 1972. Another renovation was made after a fire in May 1979 damaged the front of the building.

The building is centrally located in the village of Eastford (179 Eastford Road), as described in Vol. I of A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut (1920):

Eastford is one of those towns in the state where the center of population nearly coincides with the geographical center of the township. Miss Ellen Larned, in her valuable History of Windham County, tells us that “the first inhabitant was John Perry from Marlborough, Mass.; who bought 350 acres of land on both sides of Still River and settled upon it near the site of the present Eastford Village.” The grave of this rude forefather of the hamlet may be seen, if I am not mistaken, in the old grave-yard back of the Congregational Church. From the beginning the chief settlement has gathered around this original spot. The village is favorably located, with a healthful environment, a fine outlook, and excellent water power. There are six roads which unite at the village green in front of the Methodist Church; and now that the state road is constructed the facilities for travel are all that can be desired. A fresh hope for the place can be confidently indulged in. The old-time saying of one of its people is fast coming more true than ever before: “Eastford is the biggest place of its size on earth.”

Norwalk City Hall (1938)

Saturday, January 28th, 2017 Posted in Colonial Revival, Norwalk, Public Buildings, Schools | No Comments »

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).