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15 Must See Historic Architecture Around Connecticut Which Might Surprise You

By Jeff Homes posted 07-28-2014 04:32 AM


Styles and building materials -- whether brownstone from Portland or brick from Windsor -- tell only part of the story of Connecticut's architectural heritage, which stretches back even before the country was born. The structures erected, those torn down and replaced and those still standing reflect the evolving social and economic fabric of the state, from buildings clustered around a town green in Colonial times to bringing back pedestrian-friendly downtowns in the 21st century.

From dozens of the suggestions, structures in this gallery were selected, with the help of an architect Michael J. Crosbie, a professor of architecture at the University of Hartford who occasionally writes about architecture and design here. Some selections may surprise, but all were intended to give the sense of place that is Connecticut.

Avon Old Farms School

Avon Old Farms School Avon
Style: Arts and crafts
Original stone and oak architecture mirrors English Cotswold and Tudor styles using building materials from the school property and recalls the New England farming tradition. Construction supervised by Theodate Pope Riddle, Connecticut's first licensed female architect.


Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Built: 1828
Style: Gothic revival
Significance: The church's architecture by Ithiel Town exemplifies a new vigor in the Episcopal Church and the desire for a well-defined identity. Gothic revival also was favored by the Church of England, its mother church.

Connecticut State Capitol

Connecticut State Capitol

Built: 1878
Style: High Victorian Gothic
Significance: The only High Victorian Gothic Capitol in America, the Capitol's construction marked the choice of Hartford as the state's official capital city, after more than a century of sharing that designation with New Haven.

Kroon Hall, Yale University

Kroon Hall, Yale University
New Haven
Built: 2009
Style: Urban modern
Significance: The home for Yale's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has drawn international attention for its energy-conscious, sustainable design. It is a model for how a building designed to last a century can run on nearly 60 percent less energy.

Glass House

Glass House New Canaan
Ushering in the International style into American residential architecture, architect Philip Johnson's Glass House seeks to blend interior spaces seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

Ponemah Mill


Ponemah Mills

Built: 1871-1884
Style: Industrial
Significance: In the mid-19th century, the state's expanding mills often established themselves near rivers to harness them for power. Ponemah, a cotton mill, was on the banks of the Shetucket River and spawned an entire mill town. It is now being converted for apartments

Joseph Webb House


Built: 1752
Style: Georgian
Significance: Little changed since it was constructed, the home is an example of homes built by merchants who flourished as trade-based prosperity erupted in the Connecticut River Valley in the mid-18th century.

Tobacco Sheds


Built: 1930s
Style: Rural vernacular
Significance: Though rapidly dwindling in number, the remaining tobacco sheds of the Connecticut River Valley are the legacy of what was once a vital farming crop.


Armsmear, Hartford
Year: 1857
Style: Italianate
Architect: Rumored to be Octavius Jordan or H. A. G. Pomery

Trinity Church (Fairfield)

( Library of Congress / July 18, 2014 )
Trinity Church, Fairfield
Year: 1856

Trinity Church (New Haven)

Trinity Church, New Haven
Year: 1813
Style: Gothic Revival
Architect: Ithiel Town

John Clark House

( Cathy Cline/Wikimedia Commons / July 18, 2014 )
John Clark House, Canterbury
Style: Georgian

Lighthouse Point Park

( Stephen Dunn / July 18, 2014 )
Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven
Year: 1847
Architect: Marcus Bassett

Barnum Museum

( Ryan Bernat / July 18, 2014 )
Barnum Museum, Bridgeport
Year: 1893
Style: Multiple influences including Byzantine and Romanesque
Architect: A firm by the name of: Longstaff & Hurd

Yale University Art Gallery

( Ben Diep / July 18, 2014 )
Yale University Art Gallery , New Haven         
Year: 1953
Style: Modern
Architect: Louis Kahn

So there it is – I’m quite sure that you have some that you love that didn’t make this list … just put them in the comment section below!

You might also be interested in reading my other post:

24 Best Architecture Theme Websites To Watch in 2014

Jeff Homes
CLEANWRAP Interior Protection Services
Warren Epstein & Associates, Architects

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