Linstead & Funck Blocks (1889)

January 14th, 2017 Posted in Bristol, Commercial Buildings, Romanesque Revival

At the corner of Main and Prospect Streets in Bristol is a four-story Romanesque Revival red brick commercial building called the Linstead Block (238 Main Street). It was built by William Linstead, an English immigrant who, according to Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders in Business and Professional Life in and of the State of Connecticut (1898), “erected many of the large buildings in Bristol all of which compare favorably with the best work of their kind, and are a credit to the town and their builder.” Two storefronts on the Main Street side of the building have been altered, but those on the corner and on the Prospect Street side retain their original cast-iron columns. Trinity Episcopal Church was moved from Main Street around the corner to High Street to make way for the construction of the Linstead Block. The church burned down in 1945 and a new one was erected on Summer Street.

Attached to the Linstead Block and continuing along Prospect Street is the Funck Block (13 Prospect Street), also constructed in 1889. It was built for C. Funck & Son, a furniture company that also made coffins. The undertaking business was located further down Main Street until an addition made to the Funck Block allowed it to join the furniture store in 1930. While the earlier section of the building has cast-iron columns like the Linstead Block, the addition at the end has a Tudor Revival storefront. Ten years later the undertaking business (now Funk Funeral Home) moved to the George W. Mitchell House on Bellevue Avenue. The furniture part of the business was absorbed into the Bristol Furniture Store, which continued for some years on Prospect Street.

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