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 Loyal Order of Moose is a fraternal and service organization. The Moose Lodge in Norwalk built Moose Hall at 68 South Main Street in 1932. The Moose Lodge had already occupied an earlier building on the same site. The building was purchased by Corinthian Lodge No. 16, F&AM, in the summer of 1995. The Corinthian Lodge sold the building to the City of Norwalk in 2014. Plans are for Moose Hall and its neighbor, the former Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building at 70 South Main Street, to be resold for mixed-use development. This past August, the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency requested proposals to make Environmental Site Assessment reports on the two buildings to evaluate their condition and estimate costs of rehabilitation.
Adjacent to the Congregational Church in Andover is the Congregational Chapel. According to the nomination for the Andover Center Historic District, it was built c. 1860, but the Town of Andover’s website calls it the Conference House and explains that it was built not long after the neighboring church, which was erected in 1833. The Conference House was constructed with timbers and other materials salvaged from the church’s first meeting house, built c. 1748. A versatile building, it was used for public meetings, elections and the local court until the Town Hall was built in 1893; as the town’s library from 1882 to 1927; as a town schoolhouse from 1888 to 1903; and as a meeting place for The Grange and other local organizations.
In 1908 the Salvation Army constructed a Military Gothic-style Corps (church) building, known as the Citadel, at 661 Main Street in Manchester. The Salvation Army ministry in Manchester had been established in 1887. In 2001 the church planned to demolish the building and construct a new one. There were objections from local preservationists, who did not want to see the building, unique in the state, destroyed. The Salvation Army then came up with a new plan that would renovate the existing Citadel and attach a modern addition for a chapel. The cost was doubled, but the Citadel was saved. The new chapel was opened in 2003.
Riley Ives and his son Edward produced uniform buttons during the Civil War in Plymouth Center. After the War they switched to the production of parts for mechanical wind-up toys. They assembled their toys in several shops in the village. In 1868, Edward Ives founded his own factory on Maple Street. Called the Ives Manufacturing Company, he soon moved it to Bridgeport where it became the largest manufacturer of toy trains in the United States from 1910 until 1924. His father continued to make toys in Plymouth. In 1921 an Ives factory building, built c. 1870, was moved from Maple Street to 694 Main Street to be used as the Plymouth Grange Hall. Plymouth Grange, No. 72, was organized on December 7, 1887. As described in the History of the town of Plymouth, Connecticut (1895), compiled by Francis Atwater:
The grange now own the building on Main street next to the post office, in Plymouth Center, and have a well furnished hall where meetings are held every alternate Wednesday evening. One prominent feature at each meeting is the “lecturer’s hour.” This is composed of select readings, essays, and discussions on farm topics, recitations, music and debates. In fact, anything that pertains to the household or the farm. This gives the farmer and his family an opportunity for social intercourse and intellectual improvement, which, owing to their isolated vocation, were it not for the grange, they would be deprived of. “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity,” is one of the underlying principles of the order.
The building now houses businesses.
The building at 20 Broad Street in New Britain was erected in 1923 as the Rialto Theater. The owners went into receivership in the late 1920s and the building was foreclosed in 1930. Nest 88 of the Polish Falcons of America acquired the building in 1934. The Polish Falcons are a fraternal benefit society headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nest 88 was chartered in 1907 after a first meeting in Lee Hall on Lafayette Street in New Britain. The organization has an emphasis on physical fitness, but in the early twentieth century it also trained volunteers to fight for the independence of Poland. 300 recruits from New Britain were among the 20-25,000 Polish men from North America who went to fight in the War as part of Haller’s Army (also called the Blue Army), which was composed of Polish immigrants and fought under French command in Europe. The building in New Britain has retail space on the first floor while the entire second floor is dedicated to Nest 88, with the Club Office, Club Bar, two halls, a kitchen and meeting rooms.
Orange Hall, at 72 East Center Street in Manchester, was built in 1902. It has a meeting hall above first floor commercial establishments. It was built by the Loyal Orange Lodge, an Irish Protestant fraternal organization. In the early twentieth century, Orange Hall was a meeting place for seven different fraternal organizations. Read the rest of this entry »