Union Village Historic District

Manchester Town, Hartford County, CT

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The Manchester Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from copies of the original nomination documents. []

Union Village Historic District is located in the northern part of the Town of Manchester about a mile south of Interstate 84 and the border with South Windsor. A residential district that encompasses approximately 98 acres, Union Village generally is bounded on the west by the Hockanum River, north by Union Pond and the adjacent Union Park, east by Oakland Street, and south by the right-of-way of the former Hartford, Providence, & Fishkill Railroad. Union, North, and North School streets, which run north and south and are interconnected by several side streets, begin at North Main Street, the principal east-west road through the district.

The Union Village Historic District contains 177 resources, of which 149 (84 percent) contribute to its architectural and historical significance. Residential development in Union Village, almost equally divided between multifamily houses, either company-built worker housing or privately owned, and single-family residences, accounts for 78 (80 percent) of the 87 principal contributing buildings. The Union Village Historic District also includes three churches, a school, a library, two social/recreational buildings, a store, and an opera house, with the auditorium on the third floor. The rest of the contributing resources consist of a stone dam, a former store, several historic barns, and a number of period garages. Of the 28 non-contributing resources, one is a modern park, and 12 are modern residences, with at least three built on the former sites of historic houses. The remainder are modern garages or other outbuildings.

Union Mills, manufacturers of cotton textiles, owned most of village real estate in the early industrial period. Starting about 1845, the company erected several one-story cottages on Union Street for their workers. Although some have been enlarged, the original cottages have two-bay facades, central chimneys, and stone foundations. The one at 23 Union Street is the best preserved and now displays an Italianate doorhood. By 1855 the company owned at least 21 duplexes on North, Union, and Kerry Streets. These duplexes are all versions of a historic vernacular type common in Manchester, which also were built by the Cheney Bros. Company in South Manchester 20 years later and identified in the Manchester Historic District as Type A workers' housing.

Type A duplexes have a colonial form and orientation, with a ridge-to-street gable roof, twin interior brick chimneys, and facade porches. Two of the earliest company duplexes have a half-story attic with small windows under the eaves that resemble those often used on Greek Revival cottages (58-60 North Street and 62-64 North Street). They vary in height from one to two stories on Kerry Street at the north end of the village (12-14, 17, 21-23, 25-27, and 29-31 Kerry Street). The houses there are sited close to the road on lots that extend back to Union Pond at the rear. Some of the larger duplexes built by the company on Union and North streets have four-bay facades (44-46 Union Street and 94-96 North Street). The window arrangement varies, with some houses displaying a paired window over the centered entrance doors and others a blank wall. Facade porches on the larger six-bay duplexes may span the full width of the facade or simply span the twin door entrances and one window on either side (80-82 North Street and 86-88 North Street). Given the date of construction of these duplexes, it is likely that the porches were added later, perhaps after the Civil War.

While no company-built houses were erected after the early 1850s, the Type A duplex persisted in the Union Village Historic District into the 1890s. In these later versions, owners such as William Smith and Daniel Ward often lived in one side and rented out the other half (31-33 Golway Street, William P. Smith House and 12-14 Marble Street, Daniel J. Ward House). The Smith house resembles the earlier models, but the Ward house displays facade bay windows and entrance porches at the outside corners. A single wide bay window capped by a roof pediment distinguishes the much larger Richard Oralski House at 83-87 North Street, which has a two-story porch the length of the facade. Similar porches at the rear connect projecting ells on either side. A Colonial Revival style double-decker porch is found on the 1914 duplex next door, which has a hip roof and a facade dormer (93-95 North Street).

Among the few duplexes in the Union Village Historic District that employ an intersecting gable plan are the nearly identical Colonial Revival duplexes down the street, which were erected before World War I (53-55 North Street, John Brozowski House and 57-59 North Street, Charles Skrabacz House). Both have porches across the wing facades; the one built for John Browzowski in 1915 also displays a tripartite window in the facade gable.

A full range of styles is found in the single-family dwellings in the Union Village Historic District. The earliest, a c.1780 Georgian Colonial, has a substantial 1899 addition (61-63 Union Street, Charles Kellner House). Many of the other later styles appeared well past their customary time frame. For example, a Federal style house at 424 North Main Street (Sperry B. Levally House) that displays a full pediment and a shallow gable fanlight probably was not built until 1845. A Federal house down the street may have been erected after 1830 (405 North Main Street, William Newton House). The Greek Revival style is represented by the Alban M. Stone House of 1845 at 34-36 Union Street, which now displays an Italianate doorhood. A similar hood is found on the c.1875 William Golway House at 35 North Street, in which the Greek Revival temple form is elaborated with several other Italianate features, including an arched gable window and bracketed bay window.

Another type of Greek Revival is represented by the cube-form Patrick Moriarty House, also built after the Civil War, which features a broad frieze, wide corner boards, and a typical Greek doorway (54 North School Street). The 1899 William J. Foulds House is a very late expression of the Italianate style at 454 North Main Street. Utilizing the cube form of this style, it also features a Queen Anne style porch with scrolled brackets. A more fully developed Queen Anne veranda is found on the William R. Shaw House, which was erected in 1892 at 25 Edward Street. Elaborated with a spindle course and brackets, the porch also has scrollwork in its pediment. The latter feature and the main end gables are sheathed with fish-scale shingles.

Among the several Foursquares in the Union Village Historic District is the Oren G. Hollister House at 28 Marble Street, which modifies the customary cube form with a projecting bay and utilizes concrete block, cast to look like rusticated stone, at the first floor. The Edwin Paisley House, another substantial example at 457 North Main Street, has a partially enclosed Colonial Revival porch as well as a bay window, both fitted with diamond-paned casements. A large associated carriagehouse/barn is located at the rear of the property.

A fully elaborated gambrel Colonial Revival, with round-arched dormers and a tripartite window capped by a large fanlight in the facade gable, was built about 1895 as the parsonage for the Second Congregational Church (387 North Main Street). Other expressions of this style in the Union Village Historic District are often limited to the porch, as shown in the 1900 remodeling of an older one-story house at 40-42 North School Street (Annis-Sweet House), or in combination with other styles. For example, a Free Classic duplex erected at 9-11 Golway Street about 1930 features a dentil course above the second-floor bay window and Shingle style treatment of the second story and first-floor porch skirting (Wojnarowicz-Stevenson House).

The first of three churches, the North Methodist Episcopal Church, was erected at 447 North Main Street in 1851. A long rectangular building with an Ionic-order colonnade, it rests on a random ashlar foundation. Triple-hung, 12-pane windows are evenly spaced along the long side elevations. The church is now sided with vinyl and its three-stage belfry tower has been removed. In 1889, the Congregationalists built a new Shingle style church on a high rusticated brownstone foundation near the center of the village (385 North Main Street). The second church on this site, it features a cross-gable plan anchored by a prominent offset entrance tower, which is square in plan, with narrow round-arched windows, and capped by a pyramidal roof with eyebrow dormers. The shingled walls are now covered with aluminum siding. The Colonial and Gothic Revival styles are combined in the St. John's Polish National Church at 23 Golway Street. Constructed of brick on a concrete foundation, it features a facade entrance tower detailed with pointed arched doors and a tripartite window. Pointed arched windows with key blocks are found on the sides of the tower and the elevations of the main block.

Among the several institutional buildings in the Union Village Historic District dating from the early twentieth century is the North District School of 1914 (45-65 North School Street). Now the south wing of a much larger structure, the school was constructed of brick with a shallow stepped parapet and concrete copings and rests on a concrete foundation with watertable. The slightly projecting entry pavilion is detailed with a cast-stone surround, drip molds, and pinnacles. Across Main Street to the south is a brick institutional complex dating from 1931 that faces south towards the original path of North Main Street, which is bordered by the railroad tracks. (The present North Main Street passes by the rear of the buildings.) The centerpiece of the complex is the Doric-order Greek Revival Minor White House, which has a full colonnade, now joined by a two-story hyphen with an arcade to the Young Men's Christian Association Building to the east (78 North Main Street). The YMCA features a classical pilastered entry pavilion with a full pediment and paired windows with keyblocks. The Whiton Memorial Library, a detached brick building at the west end of the complex, has a similar form but slightly different features (100 North Main Street). The entrance pavilion there is detailed with Ionic pilasters with a broken-arch pediment over the door, while the flanking windows have round arches with radial muntins.


Union Village Historic District, the first viable industrial community in Manchester, is historically significant as the embodiment of the development of textile and paper manufacturing in central Connecticut. Evolving from a pre-industrial mill site into a "company town" by the mid-nineteenth century, it flourished into the first half of the twentieth century as an ethnically and industrially diverse working-class village. All the stages of development are represented by a large body of vernacular domestic architecture, which includes a generally well-preserved collection of workers' houses, as well as significant representative examples of institutional architecture in the Greek Revival, Shingle, Gothic Revival, and Colonial Revival styles.

Historical Background and Significance

The Hockanum River, a major tributary of the Connecticut River, was an important nineteenth-century source of waterpower for the region, serving Vernon (Rockville), Manchester, and East Hartford. More than 20 mill sites were developed along its length, then the largest concentration of waterpowered industry in the state. Among the first of many industrial villages that sprang up around these sites was Union Village in Manchester, then still part of East Hartford. Samuel Pitkin built his textile mill there in 1794. One of the earliest cotton mills in Connecticut, it was designed and operated by John Warburton, who brought the technology to manufacture cotton yarn from England. A small-scale operation, initially the mill had little impact on the development of Union Village. By 1810, when Pitkin's mill was one of only 12 cotton factories in the state, there were only seven dwellings in the district and fewer than 150 residents in all of North Manchester. When Pitkin died in 1819, his sons sold the mill to David Watkinson of Hartford, who became the head of the newly incorporated Union Manufacturing Company, locally known as Union Mills. The sale included the dam and water rights, and all the real estate, which included much of the land in the district east of the river above North Main Street, and an existing Pitkin house, possibly the Colonial on Union Street. After Manchester was incorporated as a new town in 1823, the deeds were also recorded there. Within two years Watkinson built a new three-story stone mill, which had to be rebuilt nearby on more stable ground. The sandstone probably came from the Buckland quarries, northwest of Union Village. By 1845 Union Mills, with 3500 spindles and 90 looms, turned out 600,000 yards of cloth and 30,000 pounds of yarn annually and employed 179 people: 59 men, 117 women, and three children.[1]

Since the first generation of workers' houses, the cottages on Union Street, was no longer adequate, Union Mills began to build its larger two-family duplexes on Union and Kerry streets, and along the newly laid out North Street. The absentee mill owners had local managers in place to run the operation. Company agent Alban Stone resided in a Greek Revival house at 34-36 Union Street by 1850. William Newton, superintendent of the mill, lived in a late Federal style house on North Main Street. Union Mills continued to grow. By 1860, a new dam (Union Pond Dam) supplied additional power for a new brick mill, as well as the other specialized buildings used for the various processes involved in the manufacture of cotton textiles. With a workforce that may have reached 500 prior to the Civil War, the company was the largest single employer in Manchester.

Much of the company's antebellum growth can be attributed to the arrival of the railroad in 1849, which ran through the northern part of town, with depots at Union Village and Buckland. The route, which bypassed the old town center in South Manchester, where the Cheney Bros. silk company was just getting established, also spurred development of the paper industry and creation of a number of small mills and factories throughout North Manchester. By 1850 the population of Manchester, which had almost doubled since incorporation, stood at 2456; perhaps as many as a third lived in the northern part of town. As the principal village in Manchester served by the railroad, the district began to develop a commercial and civic identity, quite separate from the older colonial center in the southern part of town. Within a decade, new business sprang up around the depot at the intersection of North Main and Main streets, known as Manchester Station or Depot Square, and the lower part of North School Street was first developed. The post office was relocated from Manchester Green (a crossroads village to the east), soon followed by an Adams Express office next to the depot.

A substantial commercial building, known as the "Stone Store," was erected on Union Street by George Parkhurst (since replaced by a house). The first village school was built about 1860 near the foot of North School Street, then a lane that ran through Weaver Farm. Erastus Weaver had built a hotel across from the depot on the corner with North Main, which later was owned by Clinton Cowles. Cowles, who erected his new house after 1870 on the former school site (48 North School Street), installed a sewer system that served the hotel, his house, and those of his immediate neighbors. Among them was Charles Annis, who apparently served as the local constable (40-42 North School Street). In 1869 he paid the town $100 for the right to put up a "workhouse, station house and lockup" behind his house at the southwest corner of his garden. Some of his "customers" may have frequented one of several saloons then operating in the village. In 1871 Samuel Sweet, a machinist from Rhode Island, acquired the house, which was remodeled by his son, Frederick A., about 1900 and still remains in the family. Patrick Moriarty also bought his lot from Cowles. The house he built at the corner of Golway Street, a cube-form Greek Revival, was owned by his descendants until 1972 (54 North School Street).

Some of the residential development in this period was generated by the paper industry. For example, Henry Marble, listed as a paper maker in the 1850 federal census, had built his duplex at 448 North Main Street about 1845. Several neighbors were also in that business, including James Wood, who lived with his son, Orin, farther east on this street (404 North Main Street). These men, along with a number of women, worked at one of the two paper mills operating at that time: the Butler Paper Mill founded in 1784 on the Hockanum River downstream from Union Mills, later known as Keeney & Wood, which employed 13 men and 24 women; and the 1842 Hudson Mill in Oakland, a village to the northwest, which was taken over by the Cheneys in the 1860s.

The most significant development, however, was the establishment of four village churches, largely by former members of older congregations in South Manchester. The first was erected by the Episcopalians, who, once they discovered that many of their faith lived in the northern part of town, abandoned their first house of worship on the Green in South Manchester to build a new church on North Street in 1846. Now shorn of its tower, the building serves as a residence (17 North Street, Strickland-Cunningham House). There had been talk of another ecclesiastical society to serve the Congregationalists who lived in North Manchester as early as 1840, but it was not established until 1850. Drawing from the membership of First Church, the new parish built its sanctuary in the village in 1851. The present Shingle style building is the second church on the North Main Street site (385 North Main Street). The Methodists, many of whom were Scots or Scotch-Irish, followed suit that same year. Seventy-seven members of Center Church withdrew to found the North Village Methodist Church, a new Greek Revival edifice on upper North Main Street (447 North Main Street).

The process was essentially reversed for Irish Catholics, who began to arrive in Manchester in the late 1840s. Their first parish was located in Union Village. Mass was served by a mission priest from St. Bernard's in Rockville in several workers' homes owned by Union Mills, which may have caused some local controversy.[2] Eventually land was purchased for St. Bridget's Church, which was built in 1858 on the east side of lower North School Street (no longer extant). It served the entire Roman Catholic community of Manchester until St. James' was erected in the center in 1875. The first resident priest, the Reverend James Campbell, served both parishes until his death in 1890. The present St. Bridget's on Main Street (southwest of the district) was erected in 1888.

Since the plantation economy of the Deep South was a major market for the cotton industry, as well as its major supplier of raw material, many cotton mills went out of business during the Civil War. Although Union Mills survived, there were signs of the company's decline and eventual failure in the 1870s. At that time the firm began to sell off some of its vacant land in the village. Among the purchasers of company house lots were William Golway and Patrick Tuohy, both Irishmen. Golway built his Italianate house at 35 North Street about 1875; the Tuohy House on Union Street (no longer extant) was a two-family duplex, which also housed John Farrell, a carpenter, and his wife, Kate, both Irish-born. Several deeds of sale were signed in Brookline, Massachusetts, by Thomas F. Plunkett, president and treasurer of Union Mills by 1872.

Apparently in need of capital, in 1883 Union Mills mortgaged all its assets with Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance of Hartford. Included in the mortgage were 80 acres of land, two major mills for spinning and weaving, 11 other industrial buildings, 41 houses, and six barns. In retrospect, refinancing was the first step in a major fraud, since Plunkett, also president of Hartford Silk Company in Tariffville, embezzled from both firms in 1886 and left the country. Although Union Mills went into receivership two years later, it remained in business until a French Canadian firm, Hormel Bros., wool scourers and fullers, bought the plant. Eventually Cheney Bros. bought the mill and water rights for electric power generation; the stone mill was dismantled and used for the foundations of the company's two new silk mills in South Manchester. When the insurance company sold off the village real estate, one of the major buyers of company houses was Levi Drake, once a clerk in Parkhurst's Store who now owned his own grocery business. His investments included 47 Union Street and 58-60 North Street, and also several residential lots. One parcel at 31-33 Golway Street was sold to William Smith, a painter, who built a duplex there in 1891.

Census data confirms that the loss of Union Mills had little effect on the village economy. In fact, with the paper industry in full swing and new industries in place, by 1900 virtually every adult had a factory job or was self-employed. All the houses were fully occupied, with two and even three families, often with the same ethnic background, in the village duplexes. There were boarders in most households, single men and women, and many married women worked at factory jobs. Local employment opportunities included Lydall & Foulds, paper box makers at Depot Square, and the Hudson-Cheney Paper Mill (later American Writing Paper) on the Hockanum River just west of the district. With a trolley system in place, others commuted to jobs in Oakland or Highland Park, the latter the site of Case Bros., or at the Peter Adams Company. Smaller firms such as William J. Foulds Company, manufacturers of lithographic paper, also developed in this period. Foulds, an English immigrant, built his Italianate house in the district in 1899 (454 North Main Street).

Others in the village found work at Orford Soap, makers of Bon Ami, just outside the district. Orford Soap, which was founded by J.T. Robertson in Glastonbury in 1885, relocated in Manchester in 1891. When the first factory burned, the company moved into the old mill on Hilliard Street previously occupied by Mather Electric Company, producers of dynamos. When that firm began to manufacture light bulbs, Edison Company sued for patent infringement. An injunction to stop production in 1892 put the company out of business.

A large number of women and girls commuted by train or trolley to work at Cheney Bros., the largest employer in Manchester with more than 4000 workers by the 1920s. Somewhat surprisingly, few men in the village worked there. Among the notable exceptions was James Ward, a silk weaver, who came here from Ireland in 1870 and lived in a former Union Mills duplex at 44-46 Union Street. His daughter and two nieces also worked at Cheney Bros. Anton Sverick and his brother, Joseph, velvet weavers who emigrated from Russian Poland in the 1890s, occupied one of duplexes on Kerry Street.

New side streets were laid out for residential development in the 1890s. Daniel Ward was one of several upwardly mobile Irish who moved into these mini-neighborhoods. A foreman at Lydall & Foulds, Ward built his Type A duplex at 12-14 Marble Street, which had been developed by Oren Hollister. A carpenter/contractor, Hollister had erected his own Foursquare there in 1891 (28 Marble Street). Homer Gager, a carpenter, probably was responsible for his own cross-gable duplex at 47-49 Edward Street about 1890, one the first houses there. He was joined by William Shaw, an Irish-born machinist, who built his Queen Anne in 1896 (25 Edward Street).

By 1910 the majority (76 percent) of the 13,000 residents in Manchester were first or second-generation immigrants. Although Second Congregational Church was able to claim that most of its membership was "native born," the ethnic composition of Union Village had changed dramatically. A predominately English-Irish community before the turn of the century, with a scattering of Germans and Russian-Poles, now the village was home to immigrants from Eastern European countries. The institutions created by these new arrivals reflect those origins. Lithuanian Hall, a social center, was located at 24 Golway Street by 1931; the following year St. John's Polish National Church was erected right across the way (23 Golway Street). By then the Polish Grocery Company occupied Turn Hall at 69 North Street.

Much of the new house construction that took place after 1920 also can be attributed to this group. For example, Alexander Kwiatowski owned or occupied a new Colonial Revival double-decker at 41-43 Edward Street by 1923. His neighbors, William Bober (52 Edward Street) and Stephen Lukasz (54 Edward Street), both owners of single-family residences, worked at Case Bros., and Anna Kripartis, a widow, was employed at Orford Soap (42 Edward Street, Anna Kripartis House). New dwellings also appeared on the few remaining vacant lots on the older streets. John Brozowski, a grocer with a store on North Main Street, built a his house at 53-55 North Street by 1915. His neighbor, Charles Skrabacz, also a grocer, owned the duplex next door (57-59 North Street). Victor Waichen, another papermaker, had a Foursquare at 19 Golway Street by 1922. Some of the older workers' houses changed hands as well, including 47 Union Street, which was purchased by Stanislaus Bakulsky in 1923 and remained in his family until 1952, when it was sold to Stella Parciak.

A demand for services and recreational opportunities in the district was met in a truly unusual building, the Opera House (35 Oakland Street) erected in 1888 by B.C. Apel. Apel, a German immigrant who came to Manchester in 1875, was a cabinetmaker as well as an undertaker, so his three-story brick commercial block served several purposes. The opera house, which was located in an auditorium on the third floor, was used by travelling vaudeville and minstrel shows, amateur theatricals, local school graduations, and even boxing matches. The first moving picture show in Manchester was held there in 1899. The second floor served as Apel's furniture showroom and his offices were located on the first floor. The undertaking establishment occupied the basement, with a carriagehouse out back for the hearses.

Four major institutional buildings were added to the district in the early twentieth century. The first was the Eighth District School, which has been substantially enlarged over the years (45-65 North School Street). It is now known as the Robertson School, which, like the neighboring municipal park (Robertson Park), was named in honor of the Bon Ami inventor. An unusual Depression-era complex was created around the Minor White House on North Main Street in 1931, with funds donated by local philanthropists. Businessman Willie E. Norton bequeathed funds for the Young Men's Christian Association Building, which contained a gymnasium, bowling alleys, meeting rooms, and caretaker's apartment. Dr. Whiton, a local physician, left part of his estate for a library to be built within the Eighth District. Prior to that time the village library was housed in the school.

This early chapter in Manchester's industrial history presents a different model for development, one which diverges from the more traditional mill village concept in several ways. Unlike the family-based, single-product model exemplified by the Cheney empire in South Manchester, a combination of outside investment and local private enterprise created a more diversified and decentralized industrial base. In the process, the initial mill owner-worker nexus inevitably gave way to a more organic pattern of residential development. More importantly, although expectations ran high, the location of the railroad in the community did not lead to the ascendancy of Union Village as the new civic center of Manchester, as it did in so many other nineteenth-century industrialized towns. Although unable to supplant the older colonial center because of the overwhelming success of the silk industry there, North Manchester's civic leaders actively resisted the political and institutional control of the Cheney family. In fact, Union Village, with its own separate and parallel institutions, remained largely autonomous for most of its history.

Architectural Significance

Union Village Historic District encompasses a notable collection of historic domestic and institutional architecture, which represents almost 150 years of development. Characterized by a relatively limited but representative stylistic range, subtle changes in building orientation and form over time, and a random street pattern, the Union Village Historic District coheres as a well-defined and significant architectural entity, one that fully expresses its industrial origins and historic evolutionary character.

A close reading of the densely settled historic streetscapes reveals an architectural range and spatial distribution fully consistent with the village's organic development. Even today, the parameters of the original mill village are readily apparent. Generally well-preserved, these vernacular workers' houses are clustered together along the first streets in the village. Through their limited setback and utilitarian character, they convey their antebellum function and origins. Of interest is the fact that these company houses not only set a standard for later workers' duplexes in the district but also were built in large numbers by Cheney Bros. Spreading out from this initial core, village houses exhibit more clearly defined but still limited levels of style, whether they are located on the more spacious lots of North Main Street, or in the mini-neighborhoods almost hidden away on the side streets in the early twentieth century. In fact, it is this architectural homogeneity that so clearly evokes the district's predominately working-class origins. The hierarchical organization that characterized many industrial villages was virtually absent. The few factory owners or supervisory personnel that lived in the village occupied relatively modest houses.

An important role is played by individually significant institutional buildings in the village. Not only do these quite stylish architectural grace notes reinforce a sense of historical continuity, they generally define the period of significance of the district. In their level of style and characteristic forms, the earliest surviving churches reflect the growth of the village in the 1800s. Although the integrity of the former Methodist Church is somewhat diminished by residing and the removal of the belfry tower, its temple form and fully developed Greek Revival colonnade proclaim its mid-century date of construction (447 North Main Street). The Shingle style Second Congregational Church, built almost 50 years later, displays the radically different asymmetrical massing common to the late Victorian era (385 North Main Street). Unfortunately, the original shingled surface is now hidden beneath modern siding, but stylistic indicators, such as the rather whimsical eyebrow windows at the base of the pyramidal roof, still remain. St. John's Polish National Church is the best-preserved example of ecclesiastical architecture in the district (23 Golway Street). Its well-integrated design, almost severe in its execution, nevertheless successfully combines Gothic elements with the Colonial Revival style.

The 1930s institutional complex on lower North Main Street, which represents the epitome of style in the Union Village Historic District, is an early and effective example of adaptive reuse of a historic building. Leaving the Greek Revival house in place with the Whiton Memorial Library (78 North Main Street) and YMCA (100 North Main Street) as complementary yet independent elements was an inspired decision. It would be fortunate if the grand, almost continuous facade were more readily visible to passersby. Given the totality of the overall design and the similarities between the 1930s buildings, it is likely that the complex was designed by the same architect, as yet unknown. With the tripartite division of their facades and the elaborated entrance pavilions, they reflect the strong classical influence in institutional Colonial Revival architecture. Of the two, the library is the more sophisticated interpretation, as it combines a traditional colonial broken pediment within a classical enframement. The interior has wood-paneled walls and a fireplace (as does the 1937 Mary Cheney Library in Manchester Center), demonstrating how the more domestic aspects of the Colonial Revival style still prevailed in public buildings in this period.


  1. "Statistics of Industry, 1845" in Mathias Spiess, The History of Manchester, p.92.
  2. It has been said that some of the Irish tenants involved were evicted by the company, but there is no documentary evidence to support this story. Prejudice against the Irish ran high in Manchester Center, however, especially after St. James Church was built, when there was considerable vandalism to the building.


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Street Names
Edward Street • Golway Street • Kerry Street • Main Street North • Marble Street • North Street • Oakland Street • School Street North • Union Court • Union Street • Wood Lane

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