This post marks the Seventh Anniversary of Historic Buildings of Connecticut! That means that there has been one post a day here for seven years! Thanks to all those who follow this site and enjoy Connecticut’s great historical and architectural landmarks!
Pictured above are the bow-fronted brownstone rowhouses located at 11-17 Capitol Avenue in Hartford. Built in 1879, their construction is attributed to the Hartford builder John W. Gilbert, who also built the neighboring rowhouses (19-25 Capitol Avenue) in 1871 and the nearby Hotel Capitol (corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue) in 1875. Gilbert, himself a chess enthusiast, was married to a legendary chess player, Ellen E. Gilbert, who was the nineteenth century’s queen of correspondence chess. The couple lived at 21 Capitol Avenue.
Here’s a building that has recently been beautifully restored: 93 Elm Street in Hartford (on the left in the image above) is part of a row of houses (93, 95 and 97 Elm Street) located across from Bushnell Park. These Italianate brownstone structures, many more of which once lined Elm Street along the park, were built in the 1860s by Andrew West, builder-architect. They were probably originally built as two double (two-family) houses (93-95 and 97) and are referred to in the Nomination for the Elm Street Historic District as the Huntington-Callender and Chapman-Taft Houses. In recent years, No. 93 had fallen into disrepair, with exterior walls actually crumbling. Owners Sara and Luke Bronin restored the house, recreating a bay window to match the one at No. 95. For their efforts, they received an award from the Hartford Preservation Alliance last year.
The Case Block, at 22-28 Spring Street in Bristol, was built as row house block of four apartments by the builder/architect Joel Case. It was constructed a year after Case’s Castle Largo, located on nearby Center Street, which is also built of brick. Case had laid out Spring Street and, after the Case Block, proceeded to build the other houses on the street. After many years of having its original Italianate style obscured by the loss of its exterior decorative elements (including its front entry porches) and many layers of paint, the Case Block was later restored to its original distinctive appearance.
James Spargo was a Bridgeport housing contractor. In 1889 he built row houses at 580-4 Kossuth Street in East Bridgeport which are interesting for their combination of Queen Anne and Richadsonian Romanesque architectural features. One of the original residents of one of these houses was Rev. Henry M. Sherman, who had been rector of Calvary Church in Colchester and Trinity Church in Torrington, the latter from 1876 to 1890.
The Charles H. Russell Block, 374-384 Atlantic Street in Bridgeport, is a four-unit block of row houses built in 1882. Based on circumstantial evidence, the building has been attributed to the architectural firm of Palliser, Palliser & Company. The block is part of a planned development of working-class housing, innovatively designed by the Pallisers on land owned by P.T. Barnum.
A block of brick row houses at 256-270 Broad Street in Bridgeport, which date to around 1879, have been attributed to the architectural firm of Palliser & Palliser and the builder W. Bishop. The houses combine elements of the Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne and Romanesque styles in their eclectic facades. George and Charles Palliser built a number of such brick row houses in different parts of Bridgeport in the early 1880s, but this style of urban housing did not catch on in the city. One of this row of houses has a sign out front indicating that it was the home of Capt. William C. Hyer, who commanded a brigantine in fighting in 1864 at Fort Moultrie, Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina.