More From Waterbury — Thursday Doors

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

I am continuing to share photos from my walk around Waterbury. I was able to find some references to most of the buildings I’m featuring today. For the most part, I’ve added that information to the captions. There are three buildings where the information is a bit too much for a caption, so I’ve shared that below. The buildings are easy to recognize and are found in the gallery, along with some older views of them from the National Registry of Historic Places nomination form.

Waterbury’s population continued to grow until it incorporated in 1853. By 1860 its population had doubled to over 10,000. The area still known as Exchange Place, at the junction of the main east-west and north-south routes of the city, became the central business hub of the city.

Industrial buildings located in that core area but began moving to larger spaces further away from it as the city expanded and grew with them. Apothecaries’ Hall, a seven-story flatiron-shaped building constructed of marble, granite and Roman brick, built in 1894, has remained the focal point of Exchange Place. The building was recently gutted and repurposed as luxury apartments.

One photo that I kept out of my first walk around The Waterbury Green is a single-family house at 199 West Main St. I figured there had to be a story to go with this house. I found it, on Wikipedia, and rather than paraphrase that article, I’m including an excerpt here:

The John Kendrick House is located on West Main Street in Waterbury, Connecticut, United States. It is a brick Tuscan villa house in the Italianate architectural style built in the 1860s, one of the last remaining on Waterbury Green from that period, after which many of the older houses were replaced with commercial buildings. In 1982 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places individually, after having been included as a contributing property when the Downtown Waterbury Historic District was created a few years earlier.

It was built by Green Kendrick, an early industrialist, for his son John Kendrick, a lawyer who later served as a judge and a mayor of Waterbury…In the early 20th century Green’s son donated it to the local historical society. It was later used to house the Mattatuck Museum in its early years and is still owned by the museum.

The last structure I will talk about here, is the restaurant on the east end of the green, “The Brass Horse.” I knew this restaurant well, but when I was a somewhat regular patron, it was more aptly named, “Across from the Horse.” Between 1982 and 1988, I managed several consulting engagements for the firms of Peat Marwick Mitchell and Coopers & Lybrand (now KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers). Across from the Horse was a favorite place to enjoy a business lunch, or a drink and some conversation after work. The bar had only recently opened when we first discovered it. Sadly, it closed in 2008. High rents and various economic struggles plagued the restaurant. New owners changed the name and reopened several times, but it’s now listed as being permanently closed.

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133 comments

    1. That’s my favorite, Patricia. Imagine building that house as a gift for your son. My dad was good to me, but…

      I hope the museum keeps the house. It’s one of those odd situations. You want the city to prosper, but if it does, the value of this bit of land will skyrocket.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It took a while to discover why they two buildings were connected. It was so interesting to find that it’s a common elevator. I have never seen that either. I love the details in your door.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Every time I see your Waterbury posts I think… that doesn’t look so bad. But my husband tells horrible stories of the one year he lived there as a child. Hopefully it’s improved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure that it has. The area has suffered for many years as the industry died off. There is so much potential in and around that city and in the entire Naugatuck Valley, but, in many ways it’s an industrial river valley like so many others in New England. It’s going to take time, money and something to attract people to the area.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In 100 years, 200 years will people be looking back at the buildings we are building today with any kind of reference? Or will they be acknowledging the incredible resilience of the buildings built three and 400 years ago?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 300 and 400, Pam. The buildings we’re building today will have been torn down. I think they will refer to this period as “when the accountants ruled the world.” If it didn’t contribute to the bottom line, it wasn’t worth the effort or investment. It makes me sad. It really doesn’t take much to add a few decorative elements to a building.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The John Kendrick House is my favorite, with the Apothecaries’ Hall a close second. I can’t make up my mind regarding the funeral home. Love the “Wedding Cake” porches, but I can’t reconcile such a ‘fussy’ exterior with a funeral home. It would be perfect as a restaurant that caters to small weddings.

    The Northrop and Hitchcock apartment buildings are a real eye catcher.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and I are in lock step this week, Ginger. I was certain that that funeral home was going to be a restaurant / dining hall as I was walking up to it. I guess it was someones idea of a great funeral home. The John Kendrick House is also my favorite, but I was so happy to see that the Apothecaries’ Hall has been preserved and will anchor that area for many years to come. I’ve never seen anything like the Northrop and Hitchcock apartments.

      I hope you’re having a great week. Take care.

      Like

  4. I hope the ‘off campus’ kids can appreciate where they are staying. What a beautiful building. After being in one of these old building with their high ceilings, I walk inside my house and feel like the roof is caving in on me. Such beauties this week, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mmmmmm, delicious doors! So many corner ones, so much gorgeous detail! Why are funeral homes so fancy? The two here in Corydon are NOT fancy, but so many are. I wish my house had turrets or round bits, but the closest we came was a small bay window in the vestibule. Ah, well, can’t have everything, eh? I only have one door this week, and one picture illustrating why. https://marianallen.com/2021/03/why-only-one-thursdaydoors/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I first saw that building, with the “Wedding cake” porch and curves, I thought it was a shame it had become a funeral home. Then I read more about it and it seems it was built to be a funeral home. What a waste of round.

      Great door – good reason.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We share the same favorite, Jean. There’s always hope that a restaurant will reopen with a new “horse” name, but not until they can open full. Your doors are lovely this week.

      Like

  6. I was about to ask about the free standing elevator. Never saw one of those before. In the winter it would have been a freeze standing elevator. Followed by a nah let’s take the stairs ! Curious and curiouser.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, this is a marvelous stroll, Dan. Thanks so much for sharing all the photos. The personal tidbit about The Brass Horse (what a cool name!) brought it to life.
    I love rounded shapes in buildings, so that funeral home is gorgeous to me. I’ve also always been fascinated with “corner” buildings, so I enjoyed those too — and the bay windows… Okay, I’ll just hush now. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s OK, Teagan, you can go on. I have one more visit to Waterbury, before I move on, and if yo like round shapes, you’re going to like it. I’m sad that the bar is closed. I had thought about going there after my tour was over, for old time sake. Thanks for stopping by today.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a delightful journey, Dan. I particularly love the John Kendrick House. How stately, but it seems they all were back-in-the-day. Thank you for the refreshment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The John Kendrick House is my favorite one today, Gwen. Sitting there in the middle of the high rise district, I only hope it can stay. I love the old apartment buildings.

      Like

    1. That house seems better suited to so many other things, Janet. People should be able to party on that big round porch.

      I asked my wife about buying the building you featured. I got a very strange look. I’ll take that as a “no.”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Snow really becomes your photos. You should have it all year long. (Ha!) And it seems you find Tuscany-inspired architecture all over, excellent. Also interesting to compare present-day with historical photos, but sorry to hear of everything closed.

    I start a new series today, from the Last Day I Went to a New Place, October 30th 2020, and the town is Torre Alfina. Welcome:
    https://mexcessive.photo.blog/2021/03/18/thursday-doors-18-3-21-torre-alfina-1/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wouldn’t recommend vacationing in downtown Waterbury, but it was fun to walk around for an hour or two. I always love seeing the contrasting elements they work into brick and stone buildings.

      Thanks for sharing some very nice doors with us today.

      Like

  10. You always give such details about your buildings. It feels like a history lesson, a much appreciated one🙂. I noticed the Brass Horse building is the same architecture as the the one next to the Chamber of Commerce. Pretty cool downtown they have there in Waterbury. A good post Dan.

    Pat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you enjoy the history. I can’t always find much, but when I can I like to share. I always hope I’m not boring people to death.

      I know from your posts, that history doesn’t bore you ;-)

      Like

  11. The apartment building with red circular windows are similar to a renovated third floor apartment in the 60s that I lived in with two roommates in NH.  Loved that windowed room.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve grown comfortable in a home of my own, but if I were interested in an apartment, that would be a very cool place to live.

      You have a nice collection today.

      Like

  12. It’s so hard to decide how to maintain these properties………….and expensive. But, I hate it when the big houses are made into apartments and other stuff….I guess I prefer to keep things as they once were and enjoy that period of time….
    but for most cities it is better to tear down and rebuild. Atlanta has been experiencing this for many years and the folks are complaining……some buildings are not even twenty years old and are being torn down again. I like keeping the little neighborhoods too! From the looks of some of the photographs compared to the postcards, they have done a good job in preserving some of the city! Cady

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The entire green has been added to the NRHP – that doesn’t mean they can’t tear things down, but it makes it harder. The Apothecarie’s Hall was made into apartments, but it had been offices, So I’m OK with that, but I agree, when single family homes are carved up, I think it’s sad.

      Like

  13. The first two buildings are wonderful. The first for its stone and brick and marvelous details, and the second colonial is WOW!! I love the round patios and all the details on them as well. “Wedding Cake” like appearance. Fitting description. 😀 The two corner buildings are lovely. What a great place with so many neat buildings, and history.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Those buildings on acute angled intersections look wonderful: Apothecaries’ and the nameless yellow one. A pity that the road has been realigned so that you can no longer take a shot down the angle that the old road made with the Apothecaries’. The old postcard’s view showed off that building very nicely.

    I’m sure there’s a story about the horse.

    I’d been staring at the same doors for a year, and had lost steam until I began to travel again (unfortunately, just as the second wave peaks). But this week I have a newly spotted door: https://anotherglobaleater.wordpress.com/2021/03/18/village-kolakham/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you liked this. I could have gotten better photos, but the snow that had been plowed from the intersection only had openings in a few places. Getting from corner to corner was a time-consuming trek, and I was trying to get to that tower I shared last week. I love intersections like “Exchange Place” where streets come together and you can almost feel the history of commerce.

      You shared some wonderful doors today. I’m glad you can travel a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Dan – I enjoyed seeing the before and after photos – and to read the snippets of history; I’ve always loved those ‘bridges’ that connect block to block … and who knows what will be built now after Covid -life is changing. Can’t say I enjoy seeing the snow! But fun to see the centre of town … enjoy the weekend – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Dan, sorry I’ve missed a few weeks; got busy and couldn’t find worthy doors to do a blog so I just let things slide. But I’m back this week. Great post, makes me want to visit that town to see those buildings in person. That funeral home was certainly stately looking!

    Here’s my contribution for this week:

    https://undiscoverdimagesamongstus2.wordpress.com/2021/03/20/thursday-doors-3-18-2021-erfoud-morocco/

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I want to live at 292 West Main Street. The craftsmanship is outstanding. I really think the lost art of architecture has much to do with 1) kids feeling they have to go to college in order to succeed 2) few hands-on activities that are open ended and self directed for kids (cheers to Legos and blocks) and 3) screen time. Okay… rant is over.

    I love the building that forms a triangle at the intersection of two roads. And there is something about the Northrop and Hitchcock buildings that immediately took me to “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton. The house was in between two such buildings as time was passing and the city was growing around her. I must look at the illustrations in the book.

    Thank you for another wonderful doors post on Waterbury. Thank goodness the Kendrick House is standing tall and proud. It has a wonderful backstory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the brick work at 292, Jennie. It’s an apartment building, but they made it beautiful. I think you might be onto something. Go Legos!

      I have so much fun learning about these buildings. I’m happy people like to follow along.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They absolutely made it beautiful. And I do think I’m on to something. 🙂 Thank goodness you are giving us important history and architecture, Dan. A ton of bloggers like to follow along.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Indy is much more successful. I guess that means there has been more pressure to replace the old with the new. I do like finding clusters of the old buildings. It’s almost like walking back in time.

      Like

    1. I do love the architecture, Kirt. Especially the buildings that were built as apartments. To put that much detail into making the buildings look good from the street really shows a different approach to construction.

      Liked by 1 person

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