Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

Making Places Grants for Historic Industrial Properties Awarded


Historic mills and factories in many of our Connecticut communities present economic and physical challenges. While hundreds have been adapted to new uses, thousands are vacant, underutilized or distressed. Distressed mills can contribute to urban blight, but they can also be opportunities for revitalization of neighborhoods and local economies.

Making Places is the Trust’s pilot program to survey and provide financial incentives for underutilized historic industrial places.  Funded by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) through the Community Investment Act, it is part of a larger State initiative to spur a return to productive reuse for historic industrial sites. DECD also funds environmental assessment, remediation and reuse planning through its Historic Brownfield Revitalization Program 

A total of $350,000 in Making Places Grants for strategic planning and pre-development activities have been awarded, on a competitive basis, to nine projects presented below. The funds support one or more steps in the complex process of adapting a historic mill complex to new uses. Some of the Making Places awards build upon support funding from other DECD programs.

Making Places Grant applications are not presently being accepted, however limited scope professional services in the form of Technical Assistance Consultancies (TACs) are available. More information can be found: HERE

U. S. Rubber Company, 45-55 Bartholomew Avenue, Hartford (1912)

The Hartford Rubber Works Company was established in 1881 to manufacture bicycle and, later, automobile tires. The United States Rubber Company took over in 1905 and expanded the facility in 1912 with support buildings including the concrete boiler house and brick tire storage building, both vacant since 1996.

Hands-on-Hartford (, a 501(c)3 social service nonprofit organization that serves Hartford’s neediest residents in the areas of food, housing, and economic security, was awarded up to $50,000 to prepare construction plans and specifications for the reuse of these buildings as supportive housing.

Gardiner Hall Jr. Company, 156 River Road, South Willington (c.1870)

The Gardiner Hall Jr. Company mill complex was built largely between 1870 and 1916, and was a family run spooled thread operation through 1954. Conant Brook was impounded to create Hall’s Pond.

The Mill Works ( offers office and studio space for creative professionals in half of the complex. In partnership with Windham Arts, the Friends of the Mill Works was awarded up to $15,000 to comply with a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection mandate for development of an emergency plan and annual inspections for the on-site dam.

Ball and Socket Manufacturing Co., 493 West Main Street, Cheshire (1850, with additions through 1917)

Founded in 1850, the Cheshire Manufacturing Company located its facility along the Farmington Canal and New Haven Northampton Railroad (both now defunct). Renamed Ball & Socket Manufacturing in 1901, it produced buttons and clothes fasteners until 1994. Since then, only a small portion of the dozen building complex has been occupied.

The 501(c)3 nonprofit Ball & Socket Arts Inc. ( was established to transform the facility into a creative arts complex. The Connecticut Trust awarded up to $50,000 for a strategic study to identify the potential market and audience demand and inform planning. (If you would like to participate in a survey made possible by the grant, please visit: The project has also received $400,000 for environmental activities from DECD through the town.

Belding-Corticelli Mill, 107 Providence Street, Putnam (1872)

The Belding-Corticelli Thread Company mill was built as the Powhattan Mill in 1872. Located along the Quinebaug River, the underutilized mill is the northern anchor of the Industrial Heritage Overlay District. Worker housing historically associated with the mill remains nearby on Powhattan and Mohegan Streets.

The Town of Putnam Redevelopment Agency ( has been awarded up to $49,000 to support a National Register of Historic Places nomination, condition assessment, and redevelopment pro-forma. DECD’s Historic Brownfields Revitalization Program awarded $300,000 to support environmental remediation at the site.

Hendey Machine Company, 105 Summer Street, Torrington (1896 with expansions through 1931)

Started in 1870, the Hendey Machine Company manufactured lathes, shapers and innovative quick-change gear boxes. Only a small portion of the facility is now in use. The site currently comprises two legal parcels; the Connecticut Department of Transportation has proposed developing a bus maintenance facility at part of the site.

The Torrington Historic Preservation Trust (, a nonprofit committed to the preservation of Torrington’s diverse historic resources, was awarded up to $50,000 for a market feasibility analysis and redevelopment recommendations for the Hendey Machine Company complex.

Turshen Mill, 495 Church Street, Hebron (1927)

Built in 1927 by Ira Turshen with salvaged materials, the quirky structure has housed a grain mill, Ellmore Silver Co., a silver plating operation, and most recently an antique shop, but has been vacant since 2010. Adjacent to the Air Line Rail Trail, it is within the Amston Village District, a targeted redevelopment zone.

The Town of Hebron ( was awarded up to $35,500 for National Register documentation, condition assessment, Phase I Environmental Assessment, redevelopment pro-forma and public outreach activities.

UniRoyal Warehouse, 6 Rubber Avenue, Naugatuck (1954)

Rubber manufacturing began in Naugatuck with Charles Goodyear’s 1844 invention of the Vulcanization process. US Rubber (later UniRoyal), which grew out of nine local rubber companies, was the leading industry and largest employer in Naugatuck. The underutilized warehouse is the industry’s last surviving structure.

Art6 LLC has been working with the Mayor’s office and the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation to redevelop this facility into artist live/work space. An award of up to $27,750 was made to the Borough of Naugatuck ( for a market feasibility study and federal and state historic tax credit applications.

Granite Mill, 196 Yantic Street, Norwich (1837)

The proposed Uncas Leap Heritage Area sits along the Yantic River in Norwich and includes Yantic Falls and the Granite Mill, long unused and the oldest contributing mill structure in the Yantic Falls Historic District. The site is important to the Mohegan Nation, but was also a manufacturing center for nails, cottons, woolens and paper since the early 1800s.

Up to $23,000 was awarded to the Norwich Community Development Corp. ( for structural analysis and construction specs for the stabilization of the Granite Mill and its possible reuse within the heritage area. The city also received $300,000 funding for environmental assessment through the Historic Brownfields Revitalization Program.

Shoreline Electric Railway Power House, 2-20 Ferry Place, Old Saybrook (1908-10)

Visible from the I-95 Raymond Baldwin Bridge over the Connecticut River, the Shoreline Electric Power House supplied current to run trolleys between New Haven and Old Saybrook, New London and East Lyme, and to operate the Connecticut River (rail) Bridge from 1910 to about 1920.

The Town of Old Saybrook was awarded up to $49,750 for a market feasibility analysis and preferred development option for this underused structure on proposed Mariner’s Way, the area connecting the town center to Ferry Point and subject of a town revitalization plan.