Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

Historic Properties Exchange

To list a property, to learn more about the properties listed, or to subscribe to Connecticut Preservation News contact Jane Montanaro,  at jmontanaro@cttrust.org or 203-562-6312.

Real Estate advertised is subject to the Federal Housing Act of 1968. Neither advertisers nor the Connecticut Trust are responsible or liable for any misinformation, misprints, or typographical errors contained in Historic Properties Exchange.

THE HISTORIC PROPERTIES EXCHANGE IS BEING REDESIGNED AND WILL BE UPDATED BY FALL OF 2017!

Sperry House, New Haven

This two-and-a-half story house is located on a commercial area on a busy section of Whalley Avenue. Although the house is in fair condition, the location puts it in danger of being torn down and replaced with a commercial structure.

The house may date to the 1830s. It has a low-pitched roof with the gable facing the street. Some remodeling in the Italianate style was probably done later in the nineteenth century. The wondows are a mixture of six-over-one and six-over-six sashes, with simple, flat window surrounds. A pair of arched Italianate windows appear in the gable. The triple window on the first floor facade is a twentieth-century alteration, as is the entryway. A historical photo shows an Italianate front porch with decorative brackets.

Gay Sperry, a bookkeeper with the New Have Bank, built the house. He bought the land from the Osborn family, whose homestead was located nearby in the early nineteenth century.

The house needs updating. It contains twelve rooms, which could become attractive offices. At present, it is configured as a two-famioy residence.

Lot size: .6

Price: $399,000

Contact: Teresa Sirico 203-469-5330

Roxbury Station, Roxbury

Commercial zoning and high property values are endangering a group of historic buildings on the scenic Shepaug River in the rural Town of Roxbury. As the only commercially-zoned area in the community, the complex known as Roxbury Station has attracted the interest of developers who want to tear down the buildings. However, reuse of the structures would result in an appealing retail complex taht would fit into the picturesque surroundings along Route 67, a state-designated Scenic Road.

Roxbury Station was a stop on the Shepaug Railroad, which was completed in 1872. The line ran from the Hawleyville section of Newtown to Litchfield. In the book Country Depots in the Connecticut Hills, Robert F. Lord and his co-authors say, "The Shepaug Railroad made a host of friends and very little money as it wound its way through the beautiful Litchfield hills." After struggling to maintain its autonomy through two foreclosures and reorganizations, the railroad became part of the New York, New Haven & Hartford system in 1898. It then ran for 50 more years. Although the Shepaug Railroad wrestled with its own finances in the nineteenth century, it was a boon to a number of industries in Roxbury including quarrying, dairy, and beef.

Today, the depot appears to be in good condition and retains quite a bit of authenticity. It has lost its platform, but retains original six-over-six windows, as well as loading doors. It has vertical-board siding. One end of the building was used for freight and the other for passenger service. Where the present monochrome beige color scheme has chipped slightly, the building shows evidence of red paint with white trim from its days as a working railroad stations.

Behind the depot, built into a rise in the land, stands a large nineteenth-century warehouse. It has vertical board siding on the front and clapboard on the side. An elevated porch with a second floor entry, which appears in historic photos, is located at the northeast end of the front facade. The building has two main floors and an attic. Tracks used to run between this building and the depot.

Across a small road that runs perpendicular to Route 67 (Mine Hill), there is a nineteenth-century general store, now adapted as a residence, which is also for sale as part of the complex. This building predates the railroad. In addition, the three-and-a-half acre parcel includes a large, long lumber shed and a barn. The Shepaug River borders the property and flows over a low dam, creating a scenic waterfall.

The listing agent, Bonnie Bevans, has a love for her childhood hometown of Roxbury and hopes to find a buyer who will preserve the buildings. She is also willing to organize a consortium of interested people to buy the property and adapt the buildings for appropriate commercial uses. She would contribut $10,000 of her own money to the effort, if others would join her.

Price: $2,200,000. Contact: Bonnie Bevans, William Raveis International, 860-488-3624.

MARCEL BREUER HOUSE IN NEW CANAAN

"Breuer II" (1951) the second house Marcel Breuer designed for his family in New Canaan, Connecticut was purchased by a developer this summer and has been put back on the market temporarily. If no buyer is found the house will be demolished to make way for a new, larger house.

The 4,264 sq. ft. house has 4 bedrooms, 4 full and one half baths. It has a detached carport, pool and pool house. The single story house incorporates Breuer’s signature stone walls and extensive glazing to take advantage of the beautifully wooded site. Listing price: $2,895,000 Listing agent is Carol Pelzner, Country Living Associates, (203) 966-7800.

David Field House, Madison

This classic New England saltbox dates from the first half of the eighteenth-century. It has a center chimney and a symmetrical facade. The exterior is sided with narrow clapboard. Both the foun­dation and the chimney are constructed of fieldstone. Most of the windows have eight-over-twelve sashes. The center window above the front door is narrower with a six-over-nine arrangement. The entry vestibule is a later addition. The house is of post and beam construction. Physical evidence in the roof framing suggests that its saltbox form developed as a result of a lean-to added at the rear, rather than as an integral part of the original structure. Although the interior is in neglected condition, it contains a number of notable early features, such as raised-panel doors, wide-board floors, and a paneled wall next to the parlor fireplace. The Field House is listed on the State Register of Historic Places. It needs extensive restoration. The Field family had many distinguished members, including Stephen J. Field, who served the nation as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The owner will consider selling the house on site at a price to be determined or will allow it to be moved elsewhere for restora­tion. Local preservationists hope that it will stay in its original location or, at least, within Madison. For further information contact the owner, Michael Montanaro, at 203-246-7340 or Jane Kuhl, president Madison Historical Society at 203-421-3050.

David Field House, Madison

This classic New England saltbox dates from the first half of the eighteenth-century. It has a center chimney and a symmetrical facade. The exterior is sided with narrow clapboard. Both the foun­dation and the chimney are constructed of fieldstone. Most of the windows have eight-over-twelve sashes. The center window above the front door is narrower with a six-over-nine arrangement. The entry vestibule is a later addition. The house is of post and beam construction. Physical evidence in the roof framing suggests that its saltbox form developed as a result of a lean-to added at the rear, rather than as an integral part of the original structure. Although the interior is in neglected condition, it contains a number of notable early features, such as raised-panel doors, wide-board floors, and a paneled wall next to the parlor fireplace. The Field House is listed on the State Register of Historic Places. It needs extensive restoration. The Field family had many distinguished members, including Stephen J. Field, who served the nation as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The owner will consider selling the house on site at a price to be determined or will allow it to be moved elsewhere for restora­tion. Local preservationists hope that it will stay in its original location or, at least, within Madison. For further information contact the owner, Michael Montanaro, at 203-246-7340 or Jane Kuhl, president Madison Historical Society at 203-421-3050.

St. John’s Rectory, Bridgeport

The large, stone rectory of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bridgeport is in need of extensive repairs. The church has applied for a demolition permit, because it is unable to spend the money to do the necessary work and the building is not essential to its needs. However, the church would prefer to find a way to keep the building standing. As yet, the right solution has not emerged and the 90-day demolition delay for historic structures has expired. Finding an organization or individual that would agree to rehabilitate the building in return for a lease at a nominal fee would be the preferred solution, as long as the proposed use of the building is compatible with the church’s mission. Time is of the essence.

The rectory is part of an important religious complex, which is located in a key position just on the edge of Bridgeport’s downtown commercial core. Along with St. John’s Church and the other buildings in the complex, the rectory is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. James Renwick, Jr., architect of the renowned St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, designed St. John’s Church in the Gothic Revival style. Renwick was one of the country’s leading architects in the nineteenth-century. The church was completed in 1875.

In 1900 the widow of a former rector left the church a bequest to build a stone rectory in the same style as the church. Local architect Guy C. Hunt designed the substantial Gothic Revival building, which was finished in 1903. The two-and-a-half-story rectory is located on the northeast corner of the church property and oriented toward Park Avenue. A gabled pavilion projects from the front façade, and a crenellated parapet tops a stone porch. The interior was most recently used as offices. A large central hall is finished in Flemish quarter-sawn oak with a beamed ceiling. Fine detailing exists throughout.

Urgent repairs, including fixing the leaking roof, are estimated at $210,000. A second phase of necessary work is estimated at about $900,000. A third phase could bring the total project to $1.5 million depending on the amenities required. The church will consider a 99 year lease at $1 a year for the right applicant. Contact: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 203-335-2528.

HPX Update: Sovereigns Trading Company Building, New Britain

The five-story Sovereigns Trading Company building, a key structure in downtown New Britain, will be rehabilitated as luxury condominiums and a restaurant. The upper floors of the building have been vacant since the early 1960s. The last ground floor tenant was a women’s clothing shop, which closed in 1999. The building was listed in the March/April 2004 issue of the Exchange, when the city was seeking proposals for its rehabilitation and adaptive use. A team, which included representatives from the New Britain Chamber of Commerce, the New Britain Downtown District, and Banknorth, selected MRC Construction and Restoration of Dumont, New Jersey to take on the project. The New Britain City Council approved the choice. The project is expected to cost 1.4 million dollars.  MRC will restore the exterior of the building. The interior will be reconfigured for eight condominium units on the four upper floors, with retention of some original features. An upscale restaurant is expected to occupy the ground level. Work will begin in mid-August and should be completed by the winter of 2005-2006. The project will further the continued revitalization of downtown New Britain and will contribute to the historic streetscape.The Sovereigns Trading Company building was constructed in 1904 of yellow brick with limestone trim for the, a local dry goods grocer. Designed by New Britain architect William Cadwell, the facade features two vertical rows of bay windows made of pressed tin. The windows have egg and dart trim. The cornice began to fall off about ten years ago and was removed, but the name, Sovereigns Trading Company, and the date of 1904 still appear in limestone at the top of the building.