Blog Archives

Congregational Church of Plainville (1850)

Sunday, April 5th, 2009 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Plainville | 2 Comments »


The first ecclesiastical society of Plainville began in 1840, when the congregation split off from the church in Farmington to become the Second Congregational Church of Farmington. Plainville was incorporated as a seperate town in 1869. The current Gothic Revival style Congregational Church of Plainville was built in 1850 and was designed by the New Haven architect Henry Austin.

The Nelson Hotchkiss House (1850)

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 Posted in Houses, Italianate, New Haven | No Comments »


Nelson Hotchkiss was a New Haven builder and manufacturer, who also became a real estate developer. He and Henry Austin were involved in the Park Row development in Trenton, New Jersey in the 1840s. Later, Hotchkiss built three Italianate-style houses, most likely designed by Austin, on Chapel Street in New Haven. One was Hotchkiss’s own home, built in 1850. That same year a house was also constructed for his partner, William Lewis. In 1854, Hotchkiss built his second home on Chapel, but only lived there for two years before moving back to his earlier residence.

The William Lewis House (1850)

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 Posted in Houses, Italianate, New Haven | 1 Comment »


William Lewis was the partner of Nelson Hotchkiss in a company which produced sashes and blinds. The partners also developed real estate along Chapel Street in New Haven, each building a house there in 1850. In 1854, Hotchkiss built a second house down the street. The Lewis House, like the two Hotchkiss houses, may be the work of New Haven architect Henry Austin, or at least inspired by his designs.

First & Summerfield United Methodist Church (1849)

Sunday, December 7th, 2008 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Federal Style, New Haven | No Comments »


Designed by Henry Austin, the First Methodist Church, on College Street in New Haven, was built in 1849 in the late Federal style in a stylistic link with the nearby Center Church of 1814. In the ensuing years, the church was significantly altered, with many of the Federal features being removed. In 1904, after a fire, the church was repaired with a new portico and steeple, in a Federal Revival mode, designed by Charles C. Haight of New York, who also designed the Keney Memorial Clock Tower in Hartford. In 1981, First Methodist Church merged with Summerfield United Methodist Church, located in the Newhallville neighborhood of New Haven, to form the First & Summerfield United Methodist Church.

New Haven City Hall (1861)

Monday, April 28th, 2008 Posted in Gothic, New Haven, Public Buildings | 2 Comments »


Located on Church Street, across from the Green, New Haven’s City Hall was one of America’s earliest High Victorian Gothic buildings. It was designed by Henry Austin and was completed in 1861, with the addition of a similar brownstone county court house building on the north side in 1871, designed by David R. Brown. The City Hall‘s clock tower was later removed, creating a truncated appearance, but the building was restored in 1976 with a rebuilt clock tower. More recently, after many years of considering alternatives for a new government center, the rear and north portions of the original building were demolished and replaced with new additions, while the front portion was maintained.

Dwight Chapel (1842)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 Posted in Churches, Collegiate, Gothic, Libraries, New Haven | 1 Comment »


Originally constructed on Yale’s Old Campus in 1842-46 to serve as a library, Dwight Hall and Chapel was converted in 1931 to contain the Dwight Memorial Chapel, honoring Timothy Dwight. An early example of the Gothic Revival style, it was Yale’s first Gothic building and is currently Yale’s second oldest surviving building. It was designed by Henry Austin and in 1931, after the library had moved to a new building, its interior was remodeled by Charles Z. Klauder. The building is home to the organization known as Dwight Hall (formerly the Yale University Christian Association), which will be moving to a different building in 2010.

In front of the Chapel is a statue of former Yale President Theodore Dwight Woolsey.

The Hotchkiss-Betts House (1854)

Saturday, April 19th, 2008 Posted in Houses, Italianate, New Haven | No Comments »


The second house to be built for Nelson Hotchkiss on Chapel Street in New Haven was constructed in 1854, possibly to a design by Henry Austin. The facade of this Italianate house features two bow fronts, on either side of the front entry porch. Hotchkiss, of the sash and blind making firm of Hotchkiss & Lewis, only lived in the home two years before moving back to his old house. Judge Fred J. Betts lived in the house in the 1870s. By the 1970s, the house was boarded up and in disrepair. It was later restored.