The Farrington Building, located at 131-141 West Main Street in Waterbury, was constructed in c. 1925-1930 as an addition to the Westerly Apartments, a c. 1890 Queen Anne building. The Farrington Building is a two-story Georgian Revival retail and office structure. In 1935, the First Federal Savings & Loan Association, now known as Webster Bank, opened on the building‘s second floor. Its only employees were the company’s founder, Harold Webster Smith and a clerk. Smith started his new business during the Great Depression under the federal government’s National Housing Act, passed in 1934 to stimulate the economy and make housing construction and home mortgages more affordable. Webster Bank now has thousands of employees and numerous branches.
The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury was first established in 1877 as the Mattatuck Historical Society. Initially dedicated to preserving the history of Waterbury and its surrounding towns, the Museum‘s mission later expanded its focus to include the work of Connecticut artists. From 1912 to 1987, the Museum was located in the John Kendrick House on West Main Street. It then moved into a former Masonic Temple, located at 160 West Main Street. Built in 1912, the steel-framed Temple, with a facade of brick and limestone, was designed by Waterbury architect W.E. Griggs. The Museum’s new home comprised two distinct structures, meeting at a right angle: the West Main Street building and the Park Place auditorium building. Located between the two wings of this “L” was a former service station (144 West Main Street), built c. 1930, that had a modern retail front added in 1966. This structure was replaced, in 1986, by the Museum’s new entrance and courtyard garden, designed by renowned architect César Pelli, who also renovated the interior of the 1912 building. The materials of the new addition match the brick and limestone of the original building, while the new main entrance has a copper crown, indicating the Museum’s public function. Read the rest of this entry »
The building at 30 Church Street in Waterbury was built as a house for John Booth Burrall (1879-1920), an industrialist, in 1916, the year he married Mrs. Margaret Fallon Barber. It was designed in the Georgian Revival style by Aymar Embury II, the noted New York City architect. A wing was added to the rear of the house in 1919. Burrall died suddenly the following year while spending the winter in Palm Beach, Florida. The house later became Notre Dame Academy, a co-ed Catholic school. A modern brick classroom wing was added in 1965. Today the building is the Enlightenment School, an alternative learning program for Waterbury students with behavioral and truancy problems.
The First Baptist Church of Waterbury was organized in 1803. At first, meetings were held in members’ homes or outdoors. The first meeting house was built in 1818 at the Mill Mill Plain crossroads, two-and-a-half miles from the center of town. It had no paint, plaster or chimney and the seats were wooden benches without backs. The second house of worship was erected (after considerable financial difficulties) c. 1840 in the town center on South Main Street. It was later significantly remodeled and extended, the entrance being moved to the Bank Street side of the building (the church spire was later taken down after it was deemed unsafe). This church was later replaced by a new one, built on Grand Street and dedicated in 1883. It was destroyed by fire in 1912. The corner stone of the church’s fourth building, at 208 Grove Street (located in a primarily residential area), was laid on October 3, 1915 and the completed church was dedicated in 1917. The Baptists later moved from the building, which is now New Life of Waterbury Church.
The house at 51 Holmes Avenue in Waterbury was built in 1890 for Alfred F. Taylor, who owned a painting and decorating company. He had previous lived for about a year in the house next door at 47 Holmes Avenue. The house at 51 Holmes Avenue is now used as a law office.
Now used as law offices, the house at 80 Central Avenue in Waterbury was built c. 1885-1890 for John Mullings, a tailor and real estate speculator. In 1907, it became the home of Frank Hodson, a saloon keeper, who donated the house in 1923 to the Waterbury Women’s Club. In 1941, it was sold and converted for use as office and apartment space.
The Weisman Building (originally the Meigs Building), located at 105-109 Bank Street in Waterbury, was built in 1902. It is one of the many structures built in the wake of the downtown Waterbury Fire of 1902. This now vacant commercial building has been for sale/lease for many years.