To serve the Irish community in Kensington (in Berlin), Father Luke Daly of New Britain acquired land on Main Street for a church in 1873. Construction began in October of 1878 and the unfinished church was dedicated in May 1879. St. Paul’s became a full parish two years later. A suspicious fire destroyed St. Paul Church on March 5, 1913. Construction soon began on the current church, at Alling and Peck Streets. The cornerstone was blessed on November 2, 1913 and the church was dedicated on May 24, 1914. According to the Hartford Courant (“Bishop Dedicates Kensington Church,” March 25, 1814):
The edifice itself was built of red brick with Kentucky limestone cornices. The roof is Spanish tile. The architecture is English Gothic with a hint of Spanish mission in the tower. There are three porticos.
The Gothic Revival mansion with Italianate detailing at 36 Gardner Street at Warehouse Point in East Windsor was built in 1843 (or 1847) for Avah Gardner. The Gardener estate later became a Swedish orphanage and working farm. The property was acquired by the state in 1883 when the Connecticut General Assembly decided to create an orphanage/country home in each of its eight counties. The orphanage served children who had run away from home or were truant. Known as Gardner Hall or the Administration Building, the former mansion has two additions: a north wing built c. 1890 and a section on the east side added in 1921. The building originally had a tower which has since been removed. The state’s other county orphanages closed in 1955 except for the facility at Warehouse Point, which was renamed the State Receiving Home. It was later renamed the Connecticut Children’s Place, serving as a residential and educational center for abused and neglected children. Since 2013 has been the Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center- North Campus, a psychiatric treatment facility for juvenile males.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford was founded in 1764. The parish’s first church was erected in 1767 on land on Governor’s Hill Road purchased from Joseph Davis. The church was not consecrated until 1816. In 1834 the parish decided to erect a new church, which was presumably completed the following year. The church was enlarged and redecorated in 1878. A new parish hall, connected to the church, was built in 1963. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the second oldest ecclesiastical organization in Norwalk. As early as 1729 there appears to have been desultory Episcopal services holden in Norwalk. Rev. Henry Caner of Fairfield, was probably the first clergyman known to have here officiated. His incumbency dates from 1737, at which period the worship of the Episcopal church seems to have been celebrated in a small and temporary frame structure which stood on the extreme northeasterly portion of the present St. Paul’s grounds on Newtown avenue. This structure seems to have served the parish purpose until 1742, when the building, afterward destroyed by Tryon, was erected. [. . .]
A new church edifice rose over the ashes of the temple burned in 1779, which building stood until 1840
That third church building was replaced by a frame Carpenter Gothic structure that stood until it was torn down and replaced by the current church on Norwalk Green. The cornerstone was laid on November 12, 1927 and the church was consecrated on June 9, 1930. Visitors reach the church through its ancient burial ground (see photo) from St. Paul’s Place, a short street along the northern boundary of the Green. Read the rest of this entry »
The first Catholic parish in Union City in Naugatuck began as mission of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Naugatuck, becoming St. Mary Parish in 1907. A chapel was erected the following year and the finished St. Mary Church, located at 338 North Main Street, was dedicated on May 27, 1923. St. Hedwig Parish, Union City’s other Catholic parish, was founded by Polish immigrants in 1906. The current St. Hedwig Church and school complex on Golden Hill Street was dedicated in 1968.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 679 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford, was preceded by the parish’s original church, located on Main Street in downtown Hartford. Designed by noted New Haven architect Henry Austin during the period he had an office in Hartford, the first St. John’s Church was consecrated on April 30, 1842. The main body of the church and the lower section of its tower were constructed of Portland brownstone. The upper tower and spire were made of wood and had to be removed in 1875 due to structural decay. In 1905, the parish decided to sell its land on Main Street to the trustees of the Wadsworth Atheneum. The church was taken down in 1907 and the Atheneum’s Morgan Memorial Building was erected in its place. (You can read more about the original St. John’s Church on Main Street in my book Vanished Downtown Hartford, pp. 128-131).
Downtown Hartford had been developing rapidly as a business and commercial center at the time and many churches there were relocating to more residential areas to the west. The new St. John’s Church was built in 1907-1909 on Farmington Avenue, just across the Hartford line in West Hartford. The new church, designed by noted architect Bertram G. Goodhue, was consecrated on June 9, 1909. Due to budgetary limitations, Goodhue’s plans for an adjoining parish house were not completed until 1914-1915. The cornerstone for a new and larger parish house was laid in 1927 and at the same time the church built a cloister and outdoor pulpit. In 1928 the nave was lengthened to the north, toward Farmington Avenue, and a new entrance was built on that side (the previous entrance had faced west towards Highland Avenue). The church was extensively restored and altered inside after a fire in 1992.
The building at 30 Church Street in North Haven was built in 1887-1890 as the town’s Fourth District School. The lead-up to its erection was long delayed, as described by Sheldon B. Thorpe in his North Haven Annals (1892):
This district more frequently named the “Centre District,” has probably always had a larger enumeration of children than any in the town and less room, per capita, to educate them in. In 1872 the proposition to furnish a larger school building was brought forward but voted down. The next year the Board of Education, seeing the need, declared to the district that unless better facilities were provided, its proportion of the public fund would be suspended. This alarmed the obstructionists and their opposition was temporarily withdrawn. A new school site was purchased and proposals to build were invited, but it was impossible to get any farther. For nearly six years, delays of one nature and another were put forward and the lot remained unbuilt upon. The death of Capt. H. H. Stiles, in 1879, a member of the special building committee, rendered a re-adjustment of matters necessary, and the district voted to sell the new site at public auction, November 4, 1879. Its Cost at the time of sale had reached in round numbers, $500. It brought $157.
To appease the Board of Education and compromise with the more radical ones of the district, new furniture was placed in the old building and a tax laid to cancel the debt.
The population was increasing, and in 1884 the project to build came up a second time. It was defeated. It was defeated also in 1885 and 1886. In 1887 it came up again as usual, and in this year secured a recognition. A committee was chosen to more fully inquire into the persistency of the petitioners, and the former unanimously reported insufficient accommodations, and recommended a change of base. The report was adopted, and after a thorough examination the present location was decided upon and purchased in August 1887. It was identically the same tract as bought in 1873, with the addition of a frontage on Pierpont Park, where once stood the ancient Sabbath day houses, and later several sections of horse sheds.
The building was designed by North Haven’s prominent builder Solomon F. Linsley. The two rooms on the first floor were completed and ready for use in 1888 and a third room on the upper floor was fitted up in 1890. The fourth room remained unfinished at the time Thorpe was writing. Thrope goes on to write that
The practical working of the building has been found excellent in all respects. It is equipped with a finished basement, well, slate black-boards, bell, flag, modern furniture, and a local library. The course of study ranges from the kindergarten to that preparatory to entrance to the high school. It receives many pupils from other parts of the town, and is by far a more commodious and better equipped building than the average country town offers.
Today the building is a Masonic Hall, home to Corinthian Lodge #103, which was established in 1868. Corinthian #103’s first Lodge was located in the Northford section of North Branford. After a fire in 1879 Corinthian #103 moved into Totoket Hall in North Branford and in 1917 to Linsley Hall in North Haven. After the Town Fire Marshall ordered Linsley Hall closed because of fire hazard in 1945, the Lodge acquired and renovated the old District No. 4 School, which was dedicated as the new Lodge on November 1, 1947.
Many of the building’s decorative features and many of its windows have been removed over the years.