At 601-607 Main Street in Middletown stands an impressive five-story Colonial Revival structure, built of granite, brick and concrete block. Now serving as low income housing, it was built in 1914-1915 as the Hotel Arrigoni by Frank Arrigoni, a prominent local building contractor. He and his brother, Dionigi Arrigoni, immigrants from Italy, owned the hotel and established Arrigoni & Brother, a road construction company that built many miles of highway in Connecticut. The hotel was run by the Arrigoni family until 1963. The building, later known as the the March Inn and then the Arriwani Hotel, was converted it into a rooming house. In 1995-1996, it was converted into Liberty Commons (pdf), the first supportive housing program in the state. The building also houses The Buttonwood Tree, a nonprofit performing arts and cultural center. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m presenting the New Hartford House Hotel (in New Hartford) in this post, although I still have some questions about the history of this building. If anyone has further details, please contribute to the comments! It was built in 1888 (according to this post). A former hotel (it was once painted pink in the 1970s!), it now contains a restaurant and shops on the first floor with apartments above. There was an earlier tavern at the same location that was replaced by the current building. In 1846, Elias Howe was living in this earlier New Hartford House and using the basement as a mechanic’s shop. On September 10, 1846, Howe became the first person to be awarded a patent for a sewing machine using a lock-stitch design. A Handbook of New England (1916), by Porter E. Sargent, states that “In Howe’s shop, on the site of the New Hartford House, woman first sewed a stitch on a sewing-machine.” Read the rest of this entry »
After staying at the Yankee Pedlar Inn in Torrington while he was filming The House of the Devil (2009), horror film director Ti West heard some of the ghost stories associated with the historic hotel. He was inspired to make an independent movie filmed at and revolving around the inn. Called The Innkeepers, it opened in theaters last week.
The Yankee Pedlar Inn opened in 1891 on the corner Main Street and Maiden Lane in Torrington. Originally known as the Conley Inn, it was built by an Irish immigrant named Frank Conley and his wife Alice. Designed by architect Robert Wakeman Hill, the four-story building was constructed of pallet brick, trimmed with Vermont Marble. Known for its comfort and elegance, the hotel became a popular and successful establishment. The Conleys managed the hotel until they died in 1910 and their niece, Mary Tryon, sold it two years later. It then passed through various owners and was expanded in 1918-1920. In 1940, the Yankee Pedlar restaurant and bar was added and entire hotel became known as the Yankee Pedlar Inn in 1956. Read the rest of this entry »
The Hotel Bond reigned as Hartford’s grandest hotels in the 1920s and 1930s. It was built on Asylum Street in Hartford in two sections. The first section, a 6-story block, was completed in 1913, on the site of the former Popular Restaurant. In 1921, there was a grand reopening which unveiled the attached second section, a 12-story block with an elegant 5,000 sq.ft. Grand Ballroom on the top floor. There are many dramatic photographs of the Hotel Bond during the Flood of 1936. During World War II, the Hotel Bond was a hub for servicemen passing through Hartford. By the 1950s, the Bond faced competition from the Statler Hotel, opened in 1954, and the estate of founder Harry S. Bond went into bankruptcy. In 1965, the hotel building was sold to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which used it as the Saint Francis Hospital School of Nursing. The renovated Bond Ballroom reopened for receptions in 2001 and the rest of the building became a Homewood Suites by Hilton in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »
Bacon’s Hotel, started in the 1830s, was an early hotel on Bank Street in New London From the 1840s to 1874, the hotel was run by William Bacon and his brother John. It was expanded from two to three floors and renamed the Bacon House around 1880. After the building burned down in 1897, it was replaced in 1898 by the Gavitt Building, 57 Bank Street, with the upper floors containing the Royal Hotel.
The building which is today New Britain’s City Hall was first opened in 1886 as the Hotel Russwin. Financed by Henry E. Russell and Cornelius B. Erwin, it mainly served the numerous salesmen and clients of the Russell and Erwin Manufacturing Company, makers of architectural hardware. The Italian Renaissance Revival design was created by Joseph Merrill Wells of McKim, Meade & White (Wells was Stanford White’s principal assistant). Wells was a pioneer in the use of terra cotta detailing, as displayed on the Russwin Building. The same firm was hired in 1907 for the building‘s conversion into City Hall that took place in 1908-1909. An addition to the building was completed in 1992. On either side of the Russwin are two other nineteenth-century buildings that were later incorporated into the City Hall. The building on the right/west side was built c. 1860 as the New Britain National Bank (the Bank later moved to a new building next door). The building on the left/east side was built c. 1870 as a U.S. Post Office and served until a new one was built in 1911. Read the rest of this entry »
The striking 14-story Art Deco building at 140 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport was built in 1928 as the Hotel Beach. Named for Francis E. Beach, the local merchant who owned the land on which it was constructed, the name was changed within a year to the Hotel Barnum, named after P. T. Barnum. The hotel has an interesting terraced profile and is an Art Deco design, with eclectic elements, including English brickwork, Egyptian detailing and an Italian palazzo front. The building was designed by the firm of Thomas, Martin and Fitzpatrick and was lauded in the press upon its construction for bringing a “cosmopolitan” style to the city. In later years it was a residential hotel and then became an apartment building known as the Barnum House.