The Goodwin Mansion at 1280 Asylum Avenue in Hartford was a large residence built in 1903 for Walter L. Goodwin, a member of Hartford’s influential Goodwin family. Walter Goodwin was the nephew of Rev. Francis Goodwin and the architect of the house, Benjamin Wistar Morris, was Rev. Goodwin’s son-in-law. In the 1950s the estate was sold to the state for use by the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Connecticut. When UCONN moved its Hartford branch to a new site in West Hartford the mansion was sold to the city of Hartford for redevelopment. Sadly the real estate market fell apart after the acquisition and the mansion was left vacant and in a state of disrepair. The building burned in a fire in January of 1997, but the structure was considered stable and it was not demolished. Instead the 22-room mansion was restored by the Ginsburg Development Company of Hawthorne, New York, with seven condominium units. The house is the centerpiece of The Goodwin Estate, for which has 56 new town houses were also built.
Walter L. Goodwin is described in the Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut, vol. VII (1909-1910):
Hon. Walter Lippincott Goodwin, of Hartford, Republican Senator from the Second District, was born in New York City, September 3. 1875. He is the son of James J. and Josephine S. (Lippincott) Goodwin. He attended the Cutler School in New York. St. Mark’s School at Southboro, Mass, and then entered Yale, graduating in the class of 1897. On October 19, 1899, Senator Goodwin married Elizabeth M. Sage, daughter of Dean Sage of Albany, N. Y., and they have three children, Walter L., Jr., Henry Sage and Grenville. After graduating from college, he was with the banking house of J, P. Morgan & Co., in New York. three years. In 1902, he came to Hartford, where he has since been associated with the firm of J. J. & F. Goodwin. Senator Goodwin is serving his third term as Councilman of the city of Hartford. He was an aide-de-camp on the staff of Governor Henry Roberts in 1905 and 1906, receiving the title of Major. He is a director of the State Bank of Hartford, a trustee of the Society for Savings, president and secretary of the Connecticut Fair Association, and also a member of the Taconic Polo Club, Hartford Club, Hartford Yacht Club, University Club and Hartford Golf Club, of which he has been treasurer a number of years.
This week we’ll focus on some buildings in the West End of Hartford. The Seaverns House, designed by the firm of Goodwin, Bullard & Woolsey, was built in 1917 on a rise at 1265 Asylum Avenue. It was the home of Charles F.T. Seaverns, who taught Greek and Latin at Hartford High School, and his wife Mary Hillyer Seaverns, a granddaughter of Rev. Horace Bushnell. Her mother, Dotha Bushnell Hillyer, founded the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. In 1927 the couple founded the Children’s Museum of Hartford. The property’s original landscape plan was designed by Olmsted Associates. In 1958 the former Seaverns estate became the campus of the Hartford College for Women, which is now part of the University of Hartford. The house is now Butterworth Hall, home of the University’s Entrepreneurial Center. Read the rest of this entry »
The founding members of First Congregational Church and Ecclesiastical Society of Woodbury journeyed from Statford to Woodbury in 1673. Their first meeting house was a simple structure built in 1681. A second replacement meeting house was built on the same site in 1747 followed by the third and current building, erected in 1817-1818. The new building was dedicated on January 13th, 1819.
At 8 Philip Place in the Pines Bridge Historic District in North Haven is a Gothic Revival House. The property is located on land that was owned by the Fowler family in the later nineteenth century and may be the Maltby Fowler House, built in 1873.
The building at 489-493 Main Street in Middletown was built in 1905 for the F.L Caulkins Auto Company. Known as the Caulkins Garage, it had an automobile showroom on the first floor with residences above. It was constructed when the company was expanding its automotive business from its quarters across the street, in the 1890 Caulkins & Post Building. The garage building continued to serve its original purpose throughout much of the twentieth century. The building is now home to Luce Restaurant (98 Washington St #1).
Happy Thanksgiving!!! Here’s a Colonial house in Haddam, at 95 Jacoby Road. It was built in the first third of the eighteenth century, possibly around 1720. Around that time Stephen Smith came to Haddam from West Haven. He distributed land to his four sons in 1753, this house going to Captain John Smith (1728-1808), a seafarer. His son, John Smith, Jr., was a blacksmith. According to tradition he forged the links of a chain across the Hudson River intended to interfere with British shipping during the Revolutionary War. He also shod a horse for George Washington. John Smith III was an apprentice blacksmith under his brother-in-law Elisha Stevens, who later founded the J & E Stevens Company in Cromwell. The house remained in the Smith family until 1899. In the mid- 20th century the property was home to Joseph and Mae Harrington from New York who grew strawberries and grapes that were sold at Rozniaks in Higganum. Joseph Harrington was the author of the Lieutenant Kerrigan mystery series. The house is unusual in Connecticut for having a large cellar fireplace. The property also has a barn dating to 1725-1730 and a creamery shed that was connected to the house in 1978 to become a library.
The New Haven Water Company was incorporated in 1849 as a private water utility. In 1903, the company erected an office building at 100 Crown Street in New Haven. The brick and brownstone structure was designed by architect Leoni Robinson in the Romanesque Revival style. The interior of the building was renovated by wife-and-husband owners Alex and Alexander Heonis, who opened Capture Salon in 2012.