The Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic fraternal service organization, have their headquarters in a 23-story modern building completed in 1969 at One Columbus Plaza in New Haven. Also known as the Knights of Columbus Tower, the building was designed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. The KOC was founded in New Haven in 1882 and held its early meetings at St. Mary’s Church. In 1906 the first building specifically built for the organization was dedicated on Chapel Street. From 1953 to 1969 the Knights of Columbus Supreme Office was located in the former headquarters of the New Haven Railroad.
The church at 569/579 Clinton Avenue in Bridgeport was built in 1961 as St Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church. The church was founded by Macedo-Romanian immigrants in 1924 under the name of the Cultural Society of St. Vasile. It became St. James Romanian Orthodox Church in 1928. The church acquired its first building that same year, at 150 Lee Avenue in Bridgeport. The church moved to Clinton Avenue after its Lee Avenue building burned down in 1958. In 2009 the church held its first services in a new building at 504 Sport Hill Road in Easton. The church had rented space at St. Nicholas Antiochian Church in Bridgeport for three years while the new building was constructed. The former St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport is now Iglesia Cristiana Renacer Inc.
Douglas Orr (1892-1966) was a prolific Connecticut architect based in New Haven. He designed such buildings as the Southern New England Telephone Company building and the Quinnipiack Club in New Haven, the Willoughby Wallce Memorial Library in Stony Creek and the Robert A. Taft Memorial in Washington, D.C. Orr designed his own house in the International style. Built in 1941, it is located at 19 Prospect Hill Road in the Stony Creek section of Branford. Read the rest of this entry »
Niantic Cinemas at 279 Main Street in Niantic opened in 1950 as the single-screen Niantic Theatre. It was renamed after it was purchased by the Mitchell family in 1979 and was split into three screens (later 4 and, in 2003, 5 screens).
The developer of the Whitfield Shore condominiums, built in 1985 on the site of an old restaurant named Berenice’s, 446 Whitfield Street in Guilford, asked architect Wilfred J.O. Armster to create “something wild.” Armster’s modern design has such a distinctive appearance that it has been popularly known as the “Spaceship” ever since it was built. Proposing the construction of such a futurist structure in a town filled with so many colonial and nineteenth century houses led to a heated public hearing; but the building was approved and was built with Armster himself as general contractor.
The original Warburton Chapel once stood at 61 Temple Street in Hartford, between Market and Front Streets. The Chapel began as the Union Sabbath School, started in 1851 as a mission of Hartford’s Center Church to residents of the city’s East Side. It occupied various quarters until Mary A. Warburton endowed a permanent home for the school and mission chapel on Temple Street in memory of her husband, John Warburton. The Warburton Chapel was dedicated on June 28, 1866 and rapid growth led to the construction of an addition in 1873. By 1916, the neighborhood around the Warburton Chapel was primarily Italian, and the building also served as the home of the First Italian Congregational Church. In 1948, Center Church decided to sell the Chapel and relocate its programs to the Center Church House on Gold Street. The Warburton Chapel was acquired by St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish, which converted it to serve as its new social center, named the Casa Andrea in memory of Rev. Andrew J. Kelly, who served as pastor of St. Anthony’s Church for 29 years. The chapel was demolished in 1960 to clear space for the building of Constitution Plaza.
The Charter Oak Community Church, an interracial interdenominational church, was established in 1942 and held its services in the community building of the Charter Oak Terrace public housing project. In 1954, the Hartford Housing Authority agreed to the sale of land at the corner of Brookfield Street and Charter Oak Avenue to the Trustees of Warburton Chapel for the construction of a building for the Charter Oak Church. Funds from the sale of the old Warburton Chapel were used to erect the new building, known as the Warburton Community Church. Designed by E.T Glasse, Jr., of Farmington, the new church at 420 Brookfield Street was dedicated on May 6, 1956. Read the rest of this entry »
A subscription library was started at a store in West Suffield in 1812. The Town of Suffield’s first free public library was established in 1894. Sidney Albert Kent, a Chicago businessman who was originally from Suffield and who had attended the Connecticut Literary Institute (Suffield Academy) donated $35,000 in 1897 to build a library as a memorial to his parents, Albert and Lucinda Kent. The building opened in 1899, but by the 1960s had become far too small for the expanding library’s needs. The old library was sold to Suffield Academy to raise funds for a new Kent Memorial Library, which opened in 1972. Considered to be a landmark of modernism, the new library building was designed by Warren Platner, an architect and interior designer known for his Modernist furniture of the 1960s. The library was in danger of being torn down in 2008, but residents voted in a referendum against demolishing the building and replacing it with a newer and bigger one (see pdf file: “Modernism at Risk.”). Construction will begin this summer on a handicapped-accessible addition to the existing library.