The house at 136-138 Collins Street in Hartford was built in 1870. An impressive mansard-roofed Second Empire-style house, it was once owned by Isaac Frisbie. He was superintendent of the Hartford Alms House, which once stood on a property to the rear of his house. The Alms House and adjacent Town Farm were abolished in the 1890s when Hartford’s town government was consolidated with its city government. Today the house on Collins Street is used as a halfway house for federal and state inmates who are transitioning back to freedom. The house once had a one-story veranda–traces of its roofline can be seen along the facade of the western half of the house.
The church at 19 May Street in Hartford was built in 1929 as the Adventist Church of Hartford. Today the building is used as the food pantry run by Glory Chapel International Cathedral. Read the rest of this entry »
One of Hartford’s movie palaces was the Colonial Theater at 488 Farmington Avenue. Built in 1926, the former theater has an elaborate Federal-style facade designed by architect James A. Tuck. Like other theaters of the period, the Colonial began as a venue for vaudeville before making the transition to motion pictures. In 1961 the theater was updated for Cinerama. After the theater finally closed in 1979, the building was used for retail shops until 2000, when the building was demolished except for the facade. It then took several years before a new building, housing the Churrascaria Braza restaurant, was built on the site utilizing the old facade. Intended to spark additional neighborhood development, the restaurant eventually closed in 2012.
This post marks the Seventh Anniversary of Historic Buildings of Connecticut! That means that there has been one post a day here for seven years! Thanks to all those who follow this site and enjoy Connecticut’s great historical and architectural landmarks!
Pictured above are the bow-fronted brownstone rowhouses located at 11-17 Capitol Avenue in Hartford. Built in 1879, their construction is attributed to the Hartford builder John W. Gilbert, who also built the neighboring rowhouses (19-25 Capitol Avenue) in 1871 and the nearby Hotel Capitol (corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue) in 1875. Gilbert, himself a chess enthusiast, was married to a legendary chess player, Ellen E. Gilbert, who was the nineteenth century’s queen of correspondence chess. The couple lived at 21 Capitol Avenue.
The former seminary of the Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette is located at 85 New Park Avenue in Hartford, next to Our Lady of Sorrows Church. Founded in France in 1852, the Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette established their first North American chapter in Hartford in 1892. The seminary was built in 1894-1895 and, due to the increasing number of students, two wings were added in 1906-1907. A chapel was dedicated in 1908. In 1961, the last class graduated from the seminary in Hartford and a new seminary opened in Cheshire. The former seminary building in Hartford is now used as a retirement house for LaSalette Missionaries.
G. Fox & Company, the legendary Hartford department store, was founded as a fancy goods store in 1847 by Gerson Fox. It was later expanded into a department store under the leadership of his son, Moses Fox, and then his granddaughter, Beatrice Fox Auerbach (1887–1968). After renting space during its early years, G. Fox built the first building of its own on Main Street in Hartford in 1880-1881. Damaged during a fire in the Averill building next door in 1887, four years later Moses Fox purchased the building that had replaced the Averill for his expanding store. A devastating fire destroyed the G. Fox properties along Main Street on January 29, 1917. The store soon rebuilt, constructing a grand eleven-story building, designed by Cass Gilbert, the leading master of the Neoclassical Revival style. In the 1930s, Beatrice Fox Auerbach updated the store’s interiors in the Art Deco style and added the prominent Art Deco marquee to the front of the building. G. Fox closed its doors in 1993 but, a decade later, the building found new use as the home of Capitol Community College.
The Capewell Horse Nail Company was founded in 1881 by George Capewell, who invented an improved machine for making horseshoe nails. Located next to the old Capewell factory in Hartford is the company’s office building (60 Popieluszko Court, formerly Governor Street), built around 1900. Designed by an unknown architect, the office building features an elaborate brick, brownstone and terra-cotta façade.