William E. Weld, a builder of many homes in Guilford in the nineteenth century, built the house at 88 Boston Street for Albert B. Wildman in 1852. Albert Boardman Wildman (1810-1878) was a merchant whose store was at 11 Boston Street (also built by Weld). Wildman was eulogized by Henry Pynchon Robinson in Guilford Portraits (1907):
ALBERT BOARDMAN WILDMAN.
June 2, 1810—May 2, 1878.
He stood uprightly tall and manly fair,
And wore on his smooth face the higher air
Of honor and proved probity, unswerving.
It seemed quite natural nor needed nerving
From sermon or from motive practical;
The gift, its own reward, more actual.
He was a merchant, of an older time,
When six pence passed by candlelight for dime.
Tuttle he knew and loved and linked the name
With his; merchants of good report and fame,
Successful through their dealing days and lives.
Not such as bold and meritless connives
To seize and turn the common weal to woe,
But sought by willing suffrage he did go
And added Guilford to the common sense;
Then through the war he served by son and pence.
His manner frank and fair and mild and genial,
As fellow man, well would treat a menial.
A father of the town, he walked our ways
And then from life retreated, full of praise.
In 1851 Israel Stowe Spencer purchased an iron foundry on Fair Street in Guilford. The company Spencer founded, I. S. Spencer’s Sons (his sons, Christopher and George B. Spencer joined him in 1857), added a brick foundry to the property in 1869. It was enlarged in 1880. The company produced cast iron products, such as legs for school desks, lamp pedestals and bicycle parts. Frederick C. Spencer, I. S. Spencer‘s grandson, built the tower at the south end of the building in 1910. The company ceased operations in 1982. The building was converted into condominiums in 1987. Its former address was 20 Fair Street and is now 18 Fair Street.
At 85 Boston Street in Guilford is a colonial saltbox house, believed to have been built around 1735 by Thomas Burgis, Sr. for his eldest son. Thomas Sr. was a shoemaker and tanner, originally from Yorkshire, who exported shoes from Guilford to the West Indies. In 1735, Thomas Burgis, Jr. married Hannah Dodd. Their son, Thomas III, graduated from Yale in 1758 and for a time was schoolmaster in North Guilford. He married Olive Dudley in 1769 and lived in the house for many years. It remained in the Burgis family until 1844. The house acquired its saltbox form around 1800, when a rear lean-to was added. The house also has a later Federal-style doorway. Restoration of the house began in 1956, when it was purchased by Helen Pigott. Additional work has been done by its present owners.
Abraham Coan, a Guilford builder-architect, built his house at 29 Broad Street on the foundation of the earlier Chittenden House. Its design was influenced by the work of builder-architect Peter Banner, who was designing the house of Yale’s president and other buildings on the Yale campus at the time. Banner later designed the Park Street Church in Boston. Coan had a joiner’s shop near his home. The house was purchased by Simon Chittenden in 1857 and named “Mapleside.” The entrance was then moved from the front to the west side of the house.
The former Boston Street School, at 103 Boston Street in Guilford was constructed in 1905-1906. It was designed by architect Charles A Willard. The builder was George W. Seward. The hip-roofed building’s trim and stickwork were originally painted a different color which made them stand out more. There was also a different gable-roofed front porch which has since been removed. By the 1940s the school had closed, although it reopened briefly when local schools became crowded after World War II. It was later the office of architect Victor Lundy and in 1984-1985 was converted into three condominiums.
The Nathaniel Johnson House is a large saltbox house with a later Greek Revival doorway. Built in 1730, it is located at 58 Fair Street in Guilford. The leading Episcopalian in town, Johnson helped to establish Christ Church in Guilford. He was the brother of Samuel Johnson, an Anglican clergyman and the first president of King’s College (later Columbia) in New York.
The Guilford Free Library, at 67 Park Street in Guilford, was built in 1933 on land donated by Frederick Spencer (he had originally bought the land, which was near his home, in order to move a feed, grain and coal store from the property because the noise was bothering his wife!). Architect Archer Quick designed the Colonial Revival building to fit in with the historic architecture of the neighborhood. Many residents objected to a plan to replace it with a modern building in the 1970s. An addition was later built, designed by Gilbert Switzer and John Matthew of New Haven. The entrance to the library was moved to the addition and the front stairs and door of the original building were replaced with a large window and balcony.