Blog Archives

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church (1955)

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 Posted in Byzantine Revival, Churches, Meriden | No Comments »

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, at 54 Park Avenue in Meriden, was built in 1954-1955 and the icons were painted by Ivan Dikey in the early 1960s. Dikey was one of the only trained iconographers in America at the time. The parish was originally formed in 1911 and the first church building on Bunker Avenue, completed the following year, was later destroyed for the construction of Interstate 691.

Holy Ghost Orthodox Church, Bridgeport (1937)

Sunday, September 25th, 2011 Posted in Bridgeport, Byzantine Revival, Churches | No Comments »

In the 1890s, a group of Slavic immigrants, who had settled in Bridgeport, sought to leave the Greek Catholic Church (affiliated with Rome) and join the Orthodox Church in America. After meetings with Fr Alexis Toth (canonized in 1994 as St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre) and Bishop Nicholas of San Francisco, Holy Ghost Orthodox Parish was established in 1894. The church was dedicated on Palm Sunday, 1895, with Fr Toth celebrating the first Divine Liturgy. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia donated six bells to the church. They had been cast in honor of his coronation in 1896. Upon arrival in New York, the bells were held up in customs for payment of a large import duty, but a special bill was passed by Congress and signed by President McKinley allowing the bells to enter the United States duty free. The parish grew and a new church was built at 1510 E. Main St and dedicated on Palm Sunday, 1937. It was rededicated in 1981, with the sealing of the relics of St. Herman of Alaska, brought by His Grace, Bishop Gregory of Sitka, Alaska, replacing the missing relics of St. Barbara.

Saint John the Baptist Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church (1945)

Sunday, September 11th, 2011 Posted in Bridgeport, Byzantine Revival, Churches | No Comments »

In 1900, Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants in Bridgeport formed the Greek Catholic St. John the Baptist Church and in 1907 purchased property for use as a church at 717 Arctic Street, near Hallet Street. Beginning in the 1920s, there was tension within the church and with the Catholic hierarchy in Rome over the issue of married priests. St. John’s defended married clergy and joined in the action of a Congress of Churches in Pittsburgh that severed all relations with the Roman Catholic Church. A new Orthodox church was thus created, called the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church. Back in Bridgeport, a group of Uniates, who remained loyal to the Roman Catholic Church, sued to gain control of St. John’s church property, which they reoccupied in 1944. This Greek, or Byzantine, Catholic St. John’s Church relocated to Trumbull in 1976. The Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic St. John’s Church, now denied the property on Arctic Street, constructed a new church in 1944-1946 at 364 Mill Hill Avenue in Bridgeport. The church successfully defended against another Catholic civil suit to obtain this new property in 1947. The interior was expanded and renovated in 1956-1959.

St. Sergius Chapel (1933)

Sunday, May 8th, 2011 Posted in Byzantine Revival, Churches, Southbury | No Comments »

Russian Village is a historic district, located between Route 6 and the Pomperaug River in Southbury. It was established in 1925 by a group of Russians who had fled to America after the Russian Revolution in 1917. Count Ilya Tolstoy, the son of Leo Tolstoy, discovered the area during a visit to his translator in Southbury. Siberian novelist George Grebenstchikoff then led the establishment of a community there, intended as a seasonal cultural center for Russian writers, artists, musicians and scientists. The village was named Churaevka, after a Siberian village mentioned in Grebenstchikoff‘s works. The community, established by, but not limited to, the creative intelligentsia, remained a predominantly Russian community into the 1980s. The main building in the Village is a chapel dedicated to St. Sergius. A stone building, it was designed by philosopher and painter Nicholas Roerich, financed by helicopter inventor Igor Sikorsky, and built in 1932 – 33 with labor volunteered by village residents, including Ivan Wassileff, a stone mason. The Chapel was also intended to be a memorial to the Cathedral of Our Savior in Moscow, which was destroyed by the Soviets in 1931 and has more recently been rebuilt. Since the Chapel itself is too small to contain a congregation, there is a small amphitheater with curved stone benches just outside, facing the Chapel. In 1931, the Chapel was deeded to the Roerich Museum in New York and later to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Swedish Bethel Baptist Church (1900)

Sunday, July 19th, 2009 Posted in Churches, Hartford, Romanesque Revival | No Comments »


The Romanesque-style church on Russ Street in Hartford, which is today St. Volodymyr’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, was originally built in 1900 as the Swedish Bethel Baptist Church. It was one of several Scandinavian churches built at that time in the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

Saint Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church (1911)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 Posted in Byzantine Revival, Churches, New Britain | No Comments »


The origins of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in New Britain go back to the late nineteenth century (New Britain’s first Ukrainian immigrant arrived in 1889). Many of the Ukrainians who settled in New Britain and elsewhere in the United States (such as the coal regions of eastern Pennsylvania) were from Transcarpathia and Galicia. Transcarpathia is a region of the Carpathian mountains which includes parts of modern Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Galicia (named after the city of Halych) is the western section of modern Ukraine. Early on, in New Britain, the Halychany (Galicians) attended Holy Trinity Byzantine Catholic Church, a Ruthenian Church, whose leadership and clergy were dominated by Carpatho-Rusyns, also known as Uhorsky Rusyny, or Rusyns (Ruthenians) who had been living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire under Hungarian rule. Conflicts between the two groups led to a riot in the church in 1908 and the decision of the Galicians the following year to form their own parish. Initially holding services in rented space in the basement of Sacred Heart Church on Broad Street, the new parish soon constructed St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, on the corner of Winter and Clark Streets. It was built in two stages. The basement section, designed by the architects Unclebach and Perry, was dedicated in 1911. With the growth of the parish, the upper structure, designed by Clarence Palmer, was built in 1915-1917. The Eastern Basilica-style church was later repaired, after being damaged by a fire in 1973.

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, New Britain (1913)

Monday, April 27th, 2009 Posted in Byzantine Revival, Churches, New Britain | 1 Comment »


Carpatho-Russian immigrants settling in New Britain founded SS Cyril and Methodius Othodox Church, built on Beatty Street in 1902. In 1913, the old church was sold to a Greek Orthodox parish and a new and larger church building, on Washington Street, was consecrated to the Holy Trinity. The church’s missionary work in the region led to the founding of other Russian Orthodox parishes, including All Saints Orthodox Church in Hartford in 1914.