At the corner of Main and Prospect Streets in Bristol is a four-story Romanesque Revival red brick commercial building called the Linstead Block (238 Main Street). It was built by William Linstead, an English immigrant who, according to Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders in Business and Professional Life in and of the State of Connecticut (1898), “erected many of the large buildings in Bristol all of which compare favorably with the best work of their kind, and are a credit to the town and their builder.” Two storefronts on the Main Street side of the building have been altered, but those on the corner and on the Prospect Street side retain their original cast-iron columns. Trinity Episcopal Church was moved from Main Street around the corner to High Street to make way for the construction of the Linstead Block. The church burned down in 1945 and a new one was erected on Summer Street.
Attached to the Linstead Block and continuing along Prospect Street is the Funck Block (13 Prospect Street), also constructed in 1889. It was built for C. Funck & Son, a furniture company that also made coffins. The undertaking business was located further down Main Street until an addition made to the Funck Block allowed it to join the furniture store in 1930. While the earlier section of the building has cast-iron columns like the Linstead Block, the addition at the end has a Tudor Revival storefront. Ten years later the undertaking business (now Funk Funeral Home) moved to the George W. Mitchell House on Bellevue Avenue. The furniture part of the business was absorbed into the Bristol Furniture Store, which continued for some years on Prospect Street.
The connected commercial structures at 73 Main Street in East Hampton, known as the Buckland Block, were begun in the 1870s and added to over the years. Leonard Willey, a local merchant, constructed the south store section in 1871 and mortgaged it to finance construction of the north section: a hall erected in 1876. The building was soon acquired by George Buckland and housed Buckland and Barton’s dry goods store, with the south building being used as a post office. Attached at the rear of the post office is an elevator tower, which gave easy access to the P.O. for D. A. Williams, whose patent medicine business was located in the rear annex. The hall was used for town meetings and once was the site of a murder trial. So many spectators attended that the floor began to give way and the trial had to be relocated.
Later known as the Branford Block, the Art Deco-style building at 221 Montowese Street in Branford was built c. 1925-1930 by Connecticut Light & Power Company. The terrazzo entry floor has a sunburst pattern with the letters “CL&P Co.”
The building on the left in the image above is the Woodbury Town Archive Building. Next to it, on the right, is a building that was opened in 1884 as the Corner Store by G. F. Morris and Louis E. Dawson. They sold dry goods, clothing and groceries. Starting in 1889, Morris was also the postmaster, a position taken over by Dawson when Morris left for another store in Hotchkissville in 1893. The building had several additions over the years as the store continued under the management of Louis Dawson’s sons, L. Clyde and Jim Dawson. The store eventually closed in the 1940s.
Happy Halloween! The Conference House is a building in Glastonbury, built around 1830, that possibly once stood where the First Church of Glastonbury was erected in 1837. It was moved to another site down Main Street, just north of the Joseph Wright House. Called the Conference House, the church used it for meetings, lectures and concerts. Starting in the late 1830s it was used as a private school run by one of Deacon Wright’s sons. In 1894, Deborah Goodrich Keene, who lived at 2016 Main Street, the Hale-Goodrich House, bought the building and moved it across the street to its current address of 2000 Main Street. In 1911 she leased the house to Glastonbury’s first telephone switchboard. She later converted it into a private residence. Floodwaters from Hubbard Brook almost reached the roofline of the house in 1936.
The Tate Block, originally known as Tate’s Building, is a commercial block at 187-195 (aka 185) Bank Street in New London. It was built in 1890 on a site that was once the gardens of the neighboring Jonathan Starr House, built a century earlier.
At 38 Academy Hill in Watertown is a house that was erected in 1820 as a shop. It has been used for a number of different businesses over the years: first as Alanson Warren’s hat shop, then Russell Beer’s shirt factory, Dr. Walter S. Munger’s office (Dr. Munger served for many years as Watertown’s medical examiner and health officer) and finally Peter N. Lund’s tailor shop. It remained the Lund/Rose family residence for over 85 years. The interior was recently completely remodeled by a developer.