Episcopalians in Bristol separated from the dominant Congregational church in 1747. They built a church in 1754, located on the site of the later Thomas H. Patterson School (now Patterson Place Apartments). This early church closed during the Revolutionary War in the face of strong anti-Loyalist feeling. After the war, the dilapidated church was sold to be used as a barn (it later burned in a fire). A new Episcopal church, called Trinity Church, was built in 1834 on Maple Street. This building was sold and moved to Forestville to become the a Methodist Church. It was later destroyed in a fire. The next Trinity Church building was constructed on Main Street in 1862. It was moved around the corner to High Street, across from the Bristol Public Library, in 1889. When this church was destroyed by fire in 1945, Dudley S. Ingraham donated land on Summer Street–the site of a house that had been destroyed by fire–for a new Trinity Church, which was dedicated on Easter Day, 1949. The church’s rose window, facing Summer Street, was given by Ingraham in memory of his son, Dudley, Jr., who was killed in action during World War II. The church’s tower and parish house were added in 1954. At the start of the twenty-first century, Trinity Episcopal Church became one of the “Connecticut Six,” a group of Episcopal churches whose orthodox beliefs conflict with those of the state’s Episcopal hierarchy. Threatened with a lawsuit by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, the congregation vacated the church building on Summer Street in 2008 and became Holy Trinity Anglican Church, affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a mission of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
The Bristol Public Library first opened in 1892 in cramped quarters in a building on Main Street. In 1896 it moved to the Charles Treadway house at the corner of Main and High Streets. On this site a new library was built in 1906 and dedicated the following year. A Colonial Revival building, it was designed by Wilson Potter of New York, who specialized in academic buildings. A Children’s Library wing and an Auditorium were later added on the north side of the building, but these were razed in 2006 for a new addition, which better reflects the original Colonial Revival architecture.
The Curtis Building is a blonde brick commercial building at 255 Main Street in Bristol. It has apartments on the upper floors and shops on the first floor that still have their original fronts with cast iron columns.
The Case Block, at 22-28 Spring Street in Bristol, was built as row house block of four apartments by the builder/architect Joel Case. It was constructed a year after Case’s Castle Largo, located on nearby Center Street, which is also built of brick. Case had laid out Spring Street and, after the Case Block, proceeded to build the other houses on the street. After many years of having its original Italianate style obscured by the loss of its exterior decorative elements (including its front entry porches) and many layers of paint, the Case Block was later restored to its original distinctive appearance.
The Harry Bartholomew House, at 341 Main Street in Bristol, was designed by architect Joel Case. There is a local story, according to which Bartholomew was already building the Italianate house when he met Joel Case outside. Case told him the house needed a tower and Bartholomew immediately had the workers begin building one. The entire house, though, is very much in Case’s style of architecture.
Before manufacturer William E. Sessions built his mansion Beleden in Bristol in 1910, he lived in an adjacent house built in 1878. The house then passed to his son, W. K. Sessions. Like Beleden, the 1878 house once had a two-story music room with a pipe organ, but this was later removed when the house was converted into a multi-family dwelling. A few years ago the house, which is located at 36 Bellevue Avenue, was in a boarded-up state, but it has recently been restored and prominently displays its elaborate stick style exterior decoration. Read the rest of this entry »
The oldest house in Bristol is located at 14 Daniel Road. It was built in 1729 by Benjamin Buck, from Southington, and his wife Mercy Parsons. They lived in the house until 1736. The house was once thought to have not survived, until it was discovered in 1951 hidden behind overgrown trees and brush!