Renbrook School in West Hartford, a private school for children age 3 through grade 9, began in 1935 when several area families decided to start a progressive school. Originally named the Tunxis School, it was first located in a rented house on Albany Avenue in West Hartford. Within months it moved to a larger house at the corner of Farmington and Outlook Avenues and was renamed Junior School. In 1937 the school erected its own building on Trout Brook Drive. By the mid-1950s the enrollment had increased and the school needed to expand again. The next move would be to the estate called Renbrook. This was the name given to the West Hartford mansion built (c. 1931) by famed aviation engineer Frederick Rentschler and his wife Faye Belden Rentschler. Frederick Brant Rentschler (1887-1956) co-founded Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in 1925. In 1929 he purchased 80 acres on Avon Mountain and soon constructed a Tudor Revival/French chateauesque mansion on the site. After Rentschler‘s death his estate announced it would lease the mansion to a worthy non-profit. The Junior School was chosen and in 1958 moved to its new home, also taking the new name of Renbrook School. Read the rest of this entry »
William H. Cadwell (1863-1941) was New Britain’s leading architect in the nineteenth century. In 1890-1891, he designed and built his own house, at 130 West Main Street in New Britain, as a gift for his new bridge, Frances Hadley (1871-1958). The ornate Cadwell House is a Chateauesque residence constructed of yellow brick, limestone and Portland brownstone with terra cotta ornamentation and slate roofs. The house is now home to the law firm of Camp, Williams, and Richardson.
The Meriden Britannia Company was established in 1852. It produced the durable Britannia ware, which by the 1850s had replaced pewter in most American homes. Isaac C. Lewis was president of the company for fourteen years and served as mayor of Meriden from 1870 to 1872. Lewis built a mansion at 189 East Main Street in 1868. In 1950, the house was purchased by the Polish League of American Veterans and was used as a funeral home from 1998 to 2006. The house has since been vacant.
The Hotchkiss-Fyler House was built in 1897 for Orsamus R. Fyler and his family. Fyler was prominent in Connecticut politics, serving as a reforming State Insurance Commissioner, State Railroad Commissioner and Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee. Fyler occupied the house with his wife, Mary, and their daughter and son-in-law, Gertrude and Edward Hotchkiss, who were married in 1896. When Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss died in 1956, she bequeathed the Fyler-Hotchkiss Estate to the Torrington Historical Society. The Chateauesque Hotchkiss-Fyler House became a house museum and headquarters of the Society.
The Royal Arcanum is an organization created in the nineteenth century to provide health insurance to its members. A group of businessmen, who were members in Norfolk, hired architect Alfredo Taylor to design an impressive multi-purpose building in the town center. The large structure was designed to have commercial businesses on the first floor and meeting spaces for the Royal Arcanum Council and the Masonic Lodge on the third floor. It also housed the town’s post office and fire department. The style of the brick building, constructed in 1904-1906, combines Romanesque and Chateauesque elements, with decorative terra cotta panels. Today, the building continues to contain offices, shops and apartments.
The Colin M. Ingersoll House is a grand Chateauesque mansion on Whitney Avenue in New Haven. Designed by Joseph W. Northrop of Bridgeport, it strongly stands out, with its bold colors, tall hip roof, prominent tower and French medieval decoration, including fleurs de lis. The house was built for Colin M. Ingersoll, Jr., chief engineer of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. He was the son of Colin Macrae Ingersoll (1819-1903), who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. The house is now used for offices.
The Norwich Savings Society, the second oldest savings bank in Connecticut, was founded in 1824. The Norwich Savings Society building, at 162-4 Main Street, in downtown Norwich, was built between 1893 and 1895, with an addition being constructed in the 1970s. The building was designed to curve around one side of an intersection, joining seamlessly with the buildings on either side (although the building on the Broadway side has since been demolished). The Chateauesque-style Norwich Savings Society building now houses a People’s United Bank.