Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (1957)

March 19th, 2011 Posted in Bloomfield, Commercial Buildings, Modern

Built in 1954-1957, the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company’s headquarters in Bloomfield (now known as the Wilde Building, for company president Frazer B. Wilde), was a pioneering example of an International Style suburban corporate structure. Designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, it was conceived as a modern campus with sophisticated amenities in a bucolic area. The skills of interior designer Florence Knoll and sculptor Isamu Noguchi were also called upon in the building’s creation. In 1982, CG and INA Corporation joined to form CIGNA, which proposed to demolish and replace the building with a new development in 1999. Preservationists acted to oppose these plans and the building was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2001. CIGNA eventually decided to remain in the building and rehabilitate it.

  1. 13 Responses to “Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (1957)”

  2. By litdreamer on Mar 23, 2011

    My dad used to work for Connecticut General. He said the owner really cared about his employees. When CIGNA took over, they destroyed the company. Not surprising that they’d want to destroy the building, too.

  3. By litdreamer on Mar 26, 2011

    Correction: Frazer B. Wilde was company president and CEO of Connecticut General, not the owner. He also wasn’t president at the time of the merger.

  4. By Craig Weber on Mar 3, 2012

    Litdreamer:

    I was an agent for CG until they merged and became CIGNA. I waited a few months until I was vested, then resigned and went out on my own.

    I was with the Los Angeles Branch My fahter Gerald F. Weber one of CG’s biggest producers retired being with them for over forty years

    CG was the good old days of the agency system. I miss it!

    Craig Weber

  5. By jo serbiak on Oct 10, 2012

    I’m trying to find out who was president of CG in 1960 and 1961. worked for CG and Can’t remember his name.

  6. By Mary on Nov 28, 2012

    Henry Roberts was President back then.

  7. By Brendan Morrison on Feb 10, 2013

    I worked for CG Equity Sales from 1977-1980 but we were in the ‘North’ Building across the street. Heard that it was torn down. Does anybody have any info? I have great memories, and pictures of that building, especially when I put my 6 month old son in the automated mail cart that traveled the building on an invisible line on the floor!

  8. By Philip Barbour on Oct 16, 2013

    I’m searching for biographical information and a photo of Frazer B. Wilde to post on a website we’re building. Mr. Wilde served on a flight safety board with my grandfather. Anyone have any suggestions?

  9. By andy burtis on Dec 17, 2013

    my father was in Broadmoor, Colorado convention when he got an award for landing sears co. pension plan, Can anyone remember the year of that convention? His father Guy Burtis, also worked for the Chicago office at the old Morton Salt Building.

  10. By Guy Burtis on Jan 6, 2014

    Hey Andy! (In my best Gomer voice)

    I have nothing in response to your question but I saw your name and wanted to say hi. We ought to get in touch, don’t ya think? I’m living in the Hudson house these days. If you’re interested email me at EssenceOfNow@aol.com

  11. By Imogene on Jan 19, 2014

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it
    but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing
    it expand over time.

  12. By Daniel on Jan 20, 2014

    What do you have in mind?

  13. By Brad on Mar 3, 2014

    In response to Brendan Morrison’s question on Feb 10, 2013: The former North building across the street from the Wilde building (was formerally occupied by the Emhart corporation) was torn down a few years ago, and replaced with a golf course and stand-alone housing. The golf course also surrounds the existing Wilde building – a lot of the land surrounding the CIGNA campus had been sold off, along with the South building.

  14. By Debby Andrews on Aug 18, 2016

    I’m writing a piece on the kind of open-plan 21st century workplaces aimed at fostering collaboration among .com start-up entrepreneurs. In doing so, I’m reminded of my days as a PR newbie at CG in the late 1960s. The building had lots of the same features, but fostered a very different culture. Does anyone have any memories, or saved memos or guidelines (for example, for tour guides) from those days that they’d be willing to share with me? I’d be happy to hear from you.

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