The Pequot School is a former public elementary school building located at 214 Main Street in the Southport section of Fairfield. Designed by W. H. McLean and built in 1917-1918 (it opened for classes in January 1918), it replaced an earlier Pequot School building erected in 1854. The school closed in 1972 and the town’s Board of Education used the building until 1984. Local citizens, concerned about intrusive commercial development targeting the building, formed the Southport Conservany, which purchased the former school and has since leased it to the Eagle Hill School, a private school for children with learning disabilities.
The grand Greek Revival house at 750 Harbor Road in Southport was built c. 1843-1844 by Oliver H. Perry [Not to be confused with the famous Oliver Hazard Perry]. Oliver Henry Perry was the son of Walter Perry, a ship owner and merchant, and the brother of Austin Perry and Gurdon Perry, who built their own houses in Southport in 1830. Although he graduated from Yale Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1841, Oliver Perry did not practice law but instead was a shipping merchant and financier. He was elected Connecticut Secretary of State in 1854 and in the same year had a vital role in securing a charter for the Southport Savings Bank. He was was also a member of Connecticut General Assembly, serving as Speaker of the House in 1859-1860. The house, originally called “The Harborage,” has four Doric columns supporting a Greek Revival pediment. In 2007 its current owners were engaged in a legal conflict with the Historic District Commission over a large concrete sculpture on the property. The state Supreme Court sided with the Commission and the sculpture was removed.
The community of Southport in the town of Fairfield has two historic railroad stations (one eastbound and one westbound) on the New Haven Line of the Metro-North Railroad (originally a line of the the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad). The older of the two is the eastbound station, built in 1884 to replace an earlier railroad depot destroyed in a fire. It is typical of the brick stations that were built in Connecticut in the 1880s, but with more than usual attention to its decorative roof that reflects the High Victorian Gothic and Eastlake styles. No longer used as a station, the building is now home to Paci Restaurant. Read the rest of this entry »
The house at 418 Harbor Road in Southport was built in 1871 by W. W. Wakeman for Mrs. Zalmon Wakeman and her daughters Mary and Frances Wakeman. Zalmon Bradley Wakeman (1803-1865) was a prominent sea captain and ship-owner. He married Sarah Ann Fowler (1806-1873) on March 3, 1829. The Wakeman sisters lived in the house until 1913.
In 1832 two similar Greek Revival houses were built in Southport for two brothers: the Francis D. Perry House and the Henry Perry House. The latter house, located at 45 Westway Road, was left by Henry Perry (d. 1847) to his wife Henrietta (d. 1892). It was then sold to Elisha C. Sherwood in 1892. Sherwood restored the house and on the north side he added a two-story section with an ornate first-story Palladian window and a two-story bay window.
In 1861 Moses Bulkeley, a prosperous Southport merchant, had a highly detailed Gothic Revival house erected at 176 Main Street. Designed by the Bridgeport architects Lambert & Bunnell, the house has distinctively Gothic pointed arches, decorated bargeboards and lancet windows. The tower was added to the house in 1886 by Moses Bulkeley’s son Oliver. From 1922, when the porch was extended, until 1958, the house was used as an inn.
The house at 564 Harbor Road in Southport was built in 1823 for Capt. Charles Perry (1795-1870), a shipowner and sea captain. His widow, Sarah Fitch Chidsey, lived in the house until her death in 1882. Their daughter Maria Perry then lived in the house until her death in 1901. A Federal-style residence, the house underwent alterations in 1889 when a rear ell was added, a two-story bay window was installed on the south side and an enclosed porch was added just above the front entrance. From c. 1915 until 1925 the house was used as the parsonage of the Southport Congregational Church.
In 1926 the house was acquired by Egbert C. Hadley, who soon hired the architectural firm of Clark and Arms to remodel the house. Under the direction of architect Cameron Clark the bay window and porch were removed and the interior of the house was altered: the original kitchen became the living room, a new kitchen was built into part of the original dining room, bathrooms were added to the second floor and two bedrooms and a bath were finished in the attic. Cameron Clark went on to become a renowned Colonial Revival architect and his partner John Taylor Arms became a leading American etcher. Very few examples survive of their early architectural partnership. Read the rest of this entry »