Archive for the ‘Norwalk’ Category

Old Basket Shop, Silvermine (1850)

Friday, November 3rd, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Houses, Industrial, Norwalk, Vernacular | No Comments »

The historic structure at 187 Perry Avenue, in the Silvermine section of Norwalk, was built c. 1850. It is located along the Silvermine River, just next to the Perry Avenue Bridge. Often called the Blacksmith Shop, it was used as a basketmaker’s shop in the later nineteenth century and is now a residence. Frank Townsend Hutchens, a painter, purchased the building in 1913 and it has since been owned by a succession of singers, writers, and sculptors over the years, including Tony Balcom, an etcher, painter and illustrator and a founder of the Silvermine Guild of Artists in 1922.

Lockwood-Mathews Carriage House (1864)

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 Posted in Italianate, Norwalk, Outbuildings | No Comments »

The Carriage House of the historic Lockwood–Mathews Mansion in Norwalk (both are located in Mathews Park) was built around the same time as the main house, 1864. It was completed before the mansion and was not designed by the architect of that building, Detlef Lienau. Like the main house, the Carriage House is constructed of ashlar blocks, but the simplicity of its overall architectural effect is far more subdued than that of the lavishly decorated mansion. The Carriage House has a hipped roof that was once surmounted by a cupola, or belvedere, with a widow’s walk. It is thought that the building was originally set up to have carriages in the west wing, horse stables in the east wing, and a multi-purpose work and storage area in the center pavilion, with hay stored in the second story. The City of Norwalk acquired the property in 1942 and converted the Carriage House to a police building. The stables were converted into jail cells. Later, the city planning department moved into the building. In the 1990s the former Carriage House became the home of the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, a state-of-the-art printmaking facility.

Norwalk Public Library (1903)

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 Posted in Libraries, Norwalk, Tudor Revival | No Comments »

For my 50th post for the City of Nowalk, let’s look at the Norwalk Public Library building at the corner of Mott and Wall Streets (address: 1 Belden Avenue). The Norwalk Library Corporation was founded in 1879. This subscription library constantly struggled to find sufficient funds but its leaders finally persuaded the city to take it over as a public library in 1895. The library was originally located in rented rooms near Wall and Main Streets until funding was acquired from a Carnegie grant to erect a library building. A lot for the new building was donated by Hubert E. Bishop, the grandson of Norwalk manufacturer George G. Bishop. The Tudor-style library, designed by British architects W. and G. Audsley, opened in April 1903. The original entrance was on Belden Avenue, but when a major addition was constructed in 1978-1982 the entrance was moved to face Mott Avenue. The South Norwalk Library was founded as a completely separate entity, but was merged into the new city-wide system in 1975. Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown District Schoolhouse, Norwalk (1826)

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 Posted in Norwalk, Schools, Vernacular | No Comments »

One of the historic buildings located at Mill Hill Historic Park in Norwalk is the Downtown District Schoolhouse, a one-room school erected in 1826. The schoolhouse originally stood near what was then an intersection of Willow Street and East Avenue. East Norwalk was known as the “Down Town” district until the late nineteenth century. The building was used as a school until 1876 and was later used as a residence. The building was moved several times over the years, settling at Mill Hill when Interstate 95 was built through East Norwalk.

55 Wall Street, Norwalk (1890)

Saturday, April 1st, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Norwalk, Renaissance Revival | No Comments »

The red brick commercial building at 55 Wall Street in Norwalk was built circa 1890. The ground floor has a modern storefront.

Grumman-St. John House (1750)

Monday, March 20th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Colonial Revival, Houses, Norwalk, Second Empire | No Comments »

The earliest core of the house at 93 East Street in Norwalk dates to at least 1750 (and perhaps earlier). It was built by Samuel Grumman, a carpenter and builder who came from Fairfield to erect Norwalk’s second meeting house. During the Revolutionary War, the Grumman House was at the center of the Battle of Norwalk in July 1779, when General William Tryon’s raiding forces burned much of the town. The house was damaged, but it was rebuilt in the 1780s and expanded in the nineteenth century. The current roof was added in the 1870s. In 1805, the Grumman family had sold the house to Stephen Buckingham St. John, whose descendants, including the Hoyt family, owned it until 1925. The building was subdivided into apartments in 1928.

In 2001, the neighboring Norwalk Inn & Conference Center purchased the house with the intention of demolishing it to make way for an addition to the hotel. Preservationists rallied to block these plans and preserve the historic house. Litigation ensued and in 2010, after an extended legal battle, a compromise was reached: the Inn would renovate the dilapidated building to contain extended stay suites with permission being granted to the Inn itself to expand to a third floor. The renovations were completed in 2013.

Winthrop House (1848)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 Posted in Hotels, Italianate, Norwalk | No Comments »

The building that is called Winthrop House, at 166 Rowayton Avenue in Rowayton, Norwalk, was built in 1848 by Charles L. Raymond as a a four-story summer hotel. It has had many names, being called the Fairview Hotel by the turn of the century. It was a private home around the time of World War I, but then became a hotel again under various names over the years: Colonial Inn (1926), Pleasant Inn (1930) and Rowayton Inn (1935). During the Second World War it was purchased by the Bassler brothers. At the start of the twenty-first century there were plans to demolish the building, but in 2005 the Norwalk Preservation Trust worked with developer Andrew Glazer, the Rowayton Historical Society, the Rowayton Community Association and the Norwalk Planning and Zoning Office to restore the exterior to its nineteenth-century appearance. The interior was converted into three luxury condominiums.