In 1909, a massive fire destroyed the original Shannon Building in downtown Norwich. It was a large commercial and apartment building, built in 1892 by a local Irish businessman and real estate developer named James B. “Big Jim” Shannon. It was rebuilt the following year as a fireproof structure. In 1988-1989, the Shannon Building was restored by the Norwich Savings Society, the owners of the building. Read the rest of this entry »
The building which is now the Norwich Grange Hall was built in 1869 as the West Town Street District School. It replaced an earlier public school on the same site, which had no longer met the needs of the growing school population. Before that, the Bean Hill Academy of 1792 had stood on the site. A private school for thirty years and then a public school, that building had been demolished in 1831. In the 1920s, with the building of the Samuel Huntington School, the 1869 building was sold to the Norwich Grange.
The substantial Victorian house at 83 Washington Street in Norwich was built about 1870. Today, the house is the Herman Belli Liberty House for men, run by the Southeaster Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependance.
The feeling that its helpfulness to the community would be increased by removal to the suburban district near the Academy led to marked differences of opinion with the majority of his parishioners, and in 1874 Dr. Dana resigned and, with one hundred and five of his old members, formed the Park Congregational Church.
The house at 313 Main Street in Norwich, next to the Buckingham House, is a well-preserved example of the French Second Empire style. It was built for William H. Cardwell, a grocer, in 1880, a date that can be ascertained from the following sentence in Biographical Review Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of New London County Connecticut (1898), “The family live in the large brick residence, 313 Main Street, which was built by Mr. Cardwell eighteen years ago. As described in The Leading Business Men of Norwich and Vicinity, Embracing Greeneville and Preston (1890):
Were we asked to name half a dozen of the most prominent grocery houses in this section of the State, one of the first enterprises we would mention would be that conducted by Mr. W. H. Cardwell, for this was inaugurated fully thirty years ago and has long been looked upon as a representative undertaking of its kind, both as regards the methods employed in its management and its exceptional popularity throughout the community. The proprietor is a native of Montville, Conn., and has been identified with his present business since 1859, originally as a member of the firm of Cardwell & Tracy, later as Cardwell & Wait, and since 1883 as sole owner. He certainly needs no introduction to our Norwich readers, and his enterprising business methods have made him known by reputation at least, throughout this vicinity. The premises utilized are located at Nos. 3 to 9 Market street, and are so spacious as to admit of the carrying of an immense stock, composed of fancy and staple groceries in almost endless variety. This stock is as exceptional in quality as it is in magnitude, and it is generally conceded among consumers that goods obtained at this establishment are sure to prove entirely satisfactory. Mr. Cardwell does both a wholesale and retail business and is prepared to fill the most extensive orders without delay and at positively the lowest market rates. He employs four experienced and efficient assistants and every facility is at hand to ensure the prompt handling of goods.
His store was located in the Rockwell Building in downtown Norwich (featured in yesterday’s post). The Cardwell family owned the house into the twentieth century. Today, it is a halfway house for men run by the Southeastern Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
The Rockwell Building is a distinctive flatiron-type structure at 97 Main Street, with storefronts facing Main and Market streets in downtown Norwich. Associated with John A. Rockwell, a lawyer who lived with his family in the Wauregan Hotel, the Rockwell Building was built around 1860 in the Romanesque Revival style. It has an impressive cast iron addition, designed by C. H. Preston in 1895. In 1890, when the building was home to the Snell Business College, it was described in The Leading Business Men of Norwich and Vicinity, Embracing Greeneville and Preston as follows: “This is a handsome building, made of Philadelphia pressed brick, with white granite casings, situated in the very heart of the city, commanding a perfect view of the harbor and the city’s principal thoroughfare.” Read the rest of this entry »
The 1911 Thames National Bank building is at 16-20 Chelsea Harbor Drive (formerly Shetucket Street) in downtown Norwich. As described in A Modern History of New London County, Connecticut, Volume 2 (1922):
The Thames Bank was the second institution of the kind chartered in Norwich, with a capital of $200,000, in 1825. By its charter the bank was obliged to purchase the stock of the Norwich Channel Company, and “maintain a depth of at least ten feet of water in the channel of the Thames river at common and ordinary tides.” The charter also permitted the bank to collect toll from all vessels coming to Norwich. These provisions of the charter were complied with so long as the bank operated under its State charter. The bank was also obliged to receive deposits from the State school fund, ecclesiastical societies, colleges and schools, at par, and pay on such deposits such dividends as were paid to their stockholders. The first bank rooms were on Main street
[...] Prosperity made it necessary to add to the facilities of the bank in order to properly meet the demands of increasing business, and in 1862 the bank erected enlarged quarters on Shetucket street. In 1864 the Thames Bank was succeeded by the Thames National Bank [...] Its National Bank charter was renewed in 1884 and again in 1904, the home of the bank centering in the same quarters on Shetucket street until 1911, when the present building begun in 1910 was finished and occupied.