Dr. John Bagg Griggs was a general practitioner in Farmington, from 1897 to 1899 living with his wife, Mary Ellen Bolter, at 41 Main Street, where their son, Dr. John Bolter Griggs, was born. After next living at 101 Main Street, they moved to Stamford in 1903. After his first wife died in 1905, Dr. Griggs married again and moved with his wife, Valina D. Griggs, to Hartford in 1907. Dr. Griggs practiced as an internist until 1917 and was involved in the first X-ray laboratory in the city, established at Hartford Hospital in 1910 under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Heublein. Completed in 1918, the Griggs residence at 1380 Asylum Avenue in Hartford was designed by architect Edward Thomas Hapgood.
By 1996 the house had been owned by the State of Connecticut for nearly fifty years. Once used as offices but then left vacant and considered to be “surplus property,” the house was bought at auction by Peter and Diane Valin, who lovingly restored the much deteriorated house to once again become a grand West End residence.
Built c. 1913, the house at 1414 Asylum Avenue in Hartford was the home of insurance executive William C. Scheide. His son, Lester Beach Scheide (1897-1953), became an architect. The house was designed by architect Edward Thomas Hapgood.
Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford was first established in 1863 as a mission chapel of Trinity Church on Sigourney Street and became an independent parish in 1912. Part of the original church, consecrated on November 11, 1868, survives as the central section of the current church building. That building’s entrance and belfry faced New Park Avenue. A ten-foot addition was added to the front of the original 50’x 22′ chapel in 1908-1909. The building, located at 55 New Park Avenue, was further enlarged in 1966-1967, when the nave was lengthened to include the present choir loft and the sanctuary was also expanded. The entrance was moved to the south side, which also included a new bell tower, and the Chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham was added on the north side. The chapel was rededicated in 2006 with the installation of a new icon, to St. Martin, Grace Church’s patron saint. The church has a connected parish house designed by George Keller. Read the rest of this entry »
On the other side of the street from the City Mission building (yesterday’s post) is the former Ados Israel synagogue at 215 Pearl Street in Hartford. Designed by Milton E. Haymon, the Georgian Revival structure was erected in 1924 for the First Unitarian Church. Hartford’s First Unitarian Society was formed in 1844 and had two previous churches/meetinghouses: the Unitarian Church of the Saviour (1846), which stood on Trumbull Street, and Unity Hall (1881) on Pratt Street. In 1962 the Unitarians sold the building on Pearl Street and in 1964 dedicated the new Unitarian Meeting House on Bloomfield Avenue.
Congregation Ados Israel, Hartford’s oldest Orthodox Jewish congregation, was first organized by Eastern European Jews in 1872. In 1898 the Congregation built a synagogue on Market Street. This architecturally impressive building was demolished in 1963 to make way for Constitution Plaza. Ados Israel then moved to the former Unitarian building on Pearl Street. Ados Israel was Hartford’s last synagogue when it closed in 1986.
The City Mission Building (also known as the City Missionary Society Building) is located at 234 Pearl Street in Hartford. The Hartford City Mission (also called the City Missionary Society) was founded in 1851 by the city’s six Congregational Churches to provide for the welfare of Hartford’s poor through Sunday schools, cooking and sewing classes and charity work. Designed by architect William D. Johnson, the building on Pearl Street was constructed in 1890-1891. It is a three-story structure with a tower on the side adjacent to the Goodwin Building. An illustration of a different design for the building appeared in August of 1890 in the Hartford Times and the Hartford Weekly Times. A clipping of this article was placed in the scrapbook kept by the architectural firm of Cook, Hapgood & Co. I am not sure why this design was not used.
An article in the Hartford Courant on August 14, 1890 (“Some New Buildings; Pearl Street Will Become a Busy Thoroughfare”) described “the new and handsome building of the City Mission, which when completed will be not only one of the prettiest but one of the most substantial buildings on the street.” The article mentions that “The second floor will contain a hall capable of seating two hundred and fifty people and a large room for the meetings of the City Mission board, and the ladies of the City Mission Association.” City Mission Hall was a meeting place for various events, including the golden wedding celebration of lawyer John Hooker and his wife, Isabella Beecher Hooker, a women’s suffragist and sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The City Missionary Society sold the building in 1910, relocating to another building they had erected six years earlier on Village Street. The old organization no longer exists, but a new Hartford City Mission began serving youth in Hartford’s North End in 1998. The building on Pearl Street was later used by the Italian-American Home and then served as the offices of a family of attorneys. The building has recently been on the market.
Today is The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum 35th Annual Holiday House Tour! One of the houses on the tour is 223 Terry Road in Hartford. It was built in 1922 to plans by architect Russell F. Barker (1873-1961). Home to several prominent Hartford families, including the Einsteins and Bonees, the house has been restored by its current owners who bought it in 2011.