The house at 44 Church Street, across from the Green in West Haven, was built in 1897. It served until around 2005 as the rectory of Christ Episcopal Church, during which time it was named the Samuel Johnson Memorial Rectory in honor of the parish’s first rector, Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson (1696-1772). The nomination form for the West Haven Green Historic District mentions John Barnett, who had close association with the church, under its listing for this house. He may have been the original owner. In 1905, Martha J. Prudden purchased the former home of Catherine Sherwood to give to the parish in honor of Dr. Samuel Johnson. This may be the same house at 44 Church Street or an earlier rectory.
At 519-529 Campbell Avenue in West Haven is a three-story Tudor Revival commercial building erected in 1900. It was built by the brothers (or father and son?), Alonzo Felton Wood and James P. Wood, who operated a drug store on the first floor.
The oldest surviving building in West Haven is the Ward-Heitmann House at 277 Elm Street. It may have been built as early as 1684 and was certainly on the site by 1725. The house was built by Ebenezer Clark, who sold it in 1730 to John Humphreville, who had married Clark’s sister Rebecca. The house remained in the Clark family until 1788, when it was purchased by sea captain Thomas Ward (d. 1839). It remained in the Ward family until George Ward sold it to Susan Perrin in 1861. She eventually sold it to Louisa Ward Heitmann, George Ward’s sister, in 1868. Her daughter, Henrietta Heitmann, inherited the house in 1897. She was engaged in various business ventures and also added the north wing to the house and used it as a dame school. The house passed out of the Ward-Heitmann family when Charles Elliott Pickett purchased it in 1910. In the twentieth century the house had a number of owners and for a time housed an antiques store and later a tearoom. The Milano family owned the house from 1949 to the early 1990s and left it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which sold it to the Ward-Heitmann House Museum Foundation in 1995. The house was then restored to become a museum.
The former National Guard Armory at 511 Main Street in West Haven was built in 1932-1933 and remained an active military facility through the late 1970s. Designed by the architectural firm of Fletcher & Thompson, it is an Art Deco structure–the first armory building in Connecticut to break with the earlier castellated Military Gothic style. The armory was later converted into apartment units.
Christ Episcopal Church in West Haven, the second oldest Episcopal parish in Connecticut, was established in 1723, supported by the missionary work of Rev. Samuel Johnson of the state’s oldest parish in Stratford. A wood frame church was constructed in West Haven by 1740. A traprock Gothic Revival church was built on Church Street, across from the West Haven Green, in 1906 and consecrated in 1907. It was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue of Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson. The church is connected to the Parish House, built in 1916. In 2006, Christ Church merged with another Episcopal church, St John’s by the Sea, to form the Church of the Holy Spirit. The former church building of St. John’s by the Sea, built in 1953 on Ocean Avenue in West Haven, was secularized in 2008 and sold.
West Haven’s Union School is a former school building at 174 Center Street. Built in 1889 to 1890, when West Haven was part of the town of Orange, it served as a grammar school and for thirty-five years as a high school. It replaced a series of earlier wooden school buildings. Union School is a brick structure with terra cotta and East Haven red-sandstone trim. It was designed by Leoni W. Robinson, a leading architect in New Haven. An addition to the building, identical in plan and detail, was built to the rear in 1914. The former school is now used for senior housing.