Archive for the ‘Gothic’ Category

Bristol Armory (1928)

Friday, May 19th, 2017 Posted in Bristol, Gothic, Military | No Comments »

By 1927, community leaders in Bristol had long lobbied the state to build an armory for the city’s National Guard units, which had been utilizing inadequate rented facilities. That year, armory supporters finally acquired funding and hired Payne & Keefe of New London to design an armory at 61 Center Street. Opened in 1928, the Bristol Armory is a Military Gothic style building that faces the intersection of Center and Valley Streets. An unusual feature is that the Armory’s drill shed floor is on the second level of the building. In 1978 a military museum opened in the building. The museum moved to the Bristol Historical Society building in 2008. More recently the state has sought to sell the building.

Most Holy Trinity Church, Wallingford (1887)

Sunday, April 30th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Wallingford | No Comments »

The first Catholic Mass in Wallingford was celebrated on December 22, 1847 in the home of James Hanlon on Main Street. Wallingford became a mission of St. Rose of Lima Church in Meriden in 1851. Services were soon held in Union Hall. As described in the 1895 Souvenir History of Wallingford, Connecticut:

The necessary funds for building of a church were soon after raised, the subscription list being added to liberally by the Protestants of the town. The first church was a building forty by sixty feet in dimensions, the corner stone of which was laid November 23, 1857 the ceremony being performed by Rev. Thomas Quinn. Before the building was completed, during the saying of mass, part of the unfinished floor gave way, resulting in the injury of several persons and causing great confusion.

The church was completed in 1859, but the new Holy Trinity parish would again become Meriden’s mission because of the decrease in members with the outbreak of the Civil War. Holy Trinity was restored to full parish status in 1867 and the cornerstone of a new church (68 North Colony Street) was blessed on September 24, 1876. Quoting again from the Souvenir History:

In 1875, the old church having become too small for the growing membership, ground was broken for a new edifice. On account of the scarcity of funds, progress was slow in the building of the new church, and while in an uncompleted state, in the summer of 1878, the old church was completely demolished by the tornado visiting Wallingford at that time, thirty members of the congregation being included among the citizens who perished thereby. The following year the new church had become so far completed as to admit of services being held in the basement, the present edifice, however, was not completed until 1887. The church property is among the finest of the State. The church is of cuneiform shape and a brick structure, 148 feet in length and 104 feet in its extreme width. From the floor to the apex of the roof the height is nearly 50 feet. The windows of the edifice, presented to the church, are marvels of art. Connected with the church is a handsome parochial residence[.]

St. Mary’s Church, Simsbury (1936)

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Simsbury | No Comments »

The first Catholic Mass celebrated in the Hopmeadow Street area of Simsbury was on October 5, 1902. Simsbury Catholics had previously been traveling to St. Bernard’s Church in Tariffville. The Church of the Immaculate Conception was soon built on the north side of Plank Hill Road and dedicated on May 29, 1904. The parish, organized in 1921, eventually outgrew this wood frame structure and a new brick church. Located at 940 Hopmeadow Street, it was dedicated to St. Mary on February 23, 1936.

I Am That I Am Ministries (1906)

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 Posted in Ansonia, Churches, Gothic | No Comments »

The church at 23 Franklin Street, at the corner of Arch Street, in Ansonia was built between 1900 and 1906: it does not appear on the 1900 Sanborn insurance map, but does appear on the 1906 Sanborn map, where it is labeled “Swedish Church.” In recent years it was the Evangelical Baptist Church (founded in 1958). It was placed on the market in August 2015 and was sold last July. It is now I Am That I Am Ministries Inc.

First Congregational Church of South Windham (1902)

Sunday, March 5th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Folk Victorian, Gothic, Queen Anne, Windham | No Comments »

The early religious history of the village of South Windham (part of the town of Windham) is provided by Richard M. Bayles in his History of Windham County, Connecticut (1889):

The only church of this village is an offshoot from the Congregational church of Windham. For twenty-five years, more or less, services have been conducted here on occasional Sabbaths or on week-day evenings. The old Fitch school house is used for religious services. This is a building once intended for a private school, and is rented of private owners for religious services. It stands near and is connected with the Warner House, a hotel of commodious size standing near the depot of the New London Northern railroad. It is now owned by Alfred Kinne. For a few years back religious services on Sunday have been omitted, but in March, 1888, a Society of Christian Endeavor was formed here, and in the following December a church was organized, which now numbers eighteen members. During the winter a revival occurred. Since December 7th, 1888, preaching services have been held every Sunday afternoon by the pastor of the old church at Windham Centre. A Sunday school is also maintained here.

Once this church, which was a branch of the Windham Congregational Church, was established in the village in 1888, a Ladies’ Missionary Society was also formed which began collecting for a fund to erect a church edifice in South Windham. As related in the Hartford Courant (“Church Dedication,” October 22, 1902):

President Guilford Smith of the Smith Winchester Company became interested in the project and it was very largely through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Smith that the branch society is now possessed of the beautiful church. The donations of Mr. and Mrs. Smith were supplemented by those of almost every one who resided in the village and by many who lived out of the place, but had it not been for the generous gifts of land and money by Mr. and Mrs. Smith it is not likely that the society would have realized its long cherish[ed] hope for many years.

The Courant article further concluded that “probably no manufacturing village of the size can boast of so finely appointed and convenient a church building.” The church, located at 361 South Windham Street, was dedicated on October 21, 1902.

Humphreys Building (1891)

Saturday, February 4th, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Gothic, Seymour | No Comments »

The grand High Victorian Gothic-style Humphreys Building is prominently situated at 131-139 Main Street in downtown Seymour. The building was erected in 1891 by Carlos French (1835-1903), a prominent businessman and industrialist in Seymour.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Willimantic (1913)

Sunday, January 29th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Windham | No Comments »

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 220 Valley Street in Willimantic began as a mission of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Windham in 1865. Services were held in a rented hall until 1883. The history of the church can be found in A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut, Vol. I (1920), edited by Allen B. Lincoln, from which the following details are excerpted:

In the year 1884, however, a small frame church building in Central Village was moved to the site. of the present edifice, on the corner of Walnut and Valley streets. [. . .] With the building came also the altar, the old communion set, and vestments. And thus after thirty years St. Paul’s, Willimantic, became a corporate parish, the first resident rector of which was the Rev. Isaac W. Hallam. From that time on the positions of the little mother church in Windham and her sturdy offspring in Willimantic were partially reversed; Willimantic becoming the residence of their mutual rector and absorbing the greater part of his time. [. . .] Meantime, a fund known as the Isabella Tracy Eaton Fund, was left to the parish, and from this the Missionary Society purchased a plot of ground adjoining the church property and erected a rectory thereon. [. . .]

A movement was started during Mr. Hatch’s incumbency to build a new church. A legacy of $20,000 had been left the parish by Mrs. Boardman of New Haven toward the erection of a new edifice for St. Paul’s parish, Willimantic, with the proviso that the parish should raise the needed balance. Pledges were secured for the amount, but the actual cash had not been turned in and Trinity College, Hartford, another beneficiary under the will, raised the legal technicality that the letter of the proviso had not been met, and the courts allowed only $10,000 of Mrs. Boardman’s estate to be applied to St. Paul’s legacy. This proceeding was regarded by many as a new proof that law and justice are not as close as hand and glove. As a local paper stated warmly, “Pledges as good as the Bank of England were secured,” but the law took its bland course and Trinity College was as triumphant as the cat that swallowed the canary.

However, the Missionary Society of the Diocese, deeming that the spirit of the will had been kept by the parish, added $9,500 to the $10,000 and the balance of $22,000 was raised by the people, with the consequence that the new church was built, and on September 24, 1913, was duly consecrated by Bishop Brewster.

The new structure is of gray stone, the interior finished in quartered oak. The old building was turned into a parish house, while the old chancel with its altar was enclosed and is used as a sacristy. [. . .]

Seven years after the new church building was completed, it was found necessary to partly rebuild the same as grave fundamental faults of construction had grown more and more evident. During the year 1919-1920 the work was done at an outlay of some $15,000. At the same time the parish house was enlarged and renovated. A new kitchen was built, a G.F.S. room added and furnished by the members of that society, who for the most part have shown themselves enthusiastic and conscientious church workers. The rectory was also thoroughly repaired. On Easter Day, 1920, the church was re-dedicated by Bishop E. C. Acheson.