Entering Silk City

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Manchester, Connecticut is the next subject in my exploration of the area in which I live. It’s only a few miles from Hartford, but I have spent very little time in the “City of Village Charm” – as its motto states. Like many of the Hartford suburbs, I tend to only visit Manchester to shop.

Silk City is the name that the Cheney Brother’s Silk thread and fabric mills earned the city, beginning in the early 1800s. Woolen mills, sawmills, paper mills and silk mills, powered by several branches of the Hockanum River helped Manchester become a world-renowned manufacturing region.

I went to Manchester in search of those mill buildings. Most have been transformed into apartments and lofts. Preservationists in the area have established three historic districts, one for the city, one for Main Street and one for the Cheney Mills. I also discovered the National Registry of Historic Places nomination forms for all three districts. This leaves me with a lot of research to complete. In the meantime, I have a collection of interesting buildings that I saw on the way to and through the area. You might see some of these again (I’ll try to avoid that) but for today, all I know is that I like them (and their doors). Once again, thank you for viewing these doors and the ones contributed by the other participants. Each week, we collectively present well over 100 doors and many beautiful buildings from around the world. That’s not hyperbole, it’s true.

I am trying one of the Block Editor galleries today. I think they have fixed most of the problems. You can still click to see a slideshow, and the captions will be visible.

If you are in a hurry and don’t wish to scroll through the comments, click to Jump to the comment form.


    • Thank you for letting me know that, Hugh. I have several followers who prefer reading in email (it’s why I don’t use the ‘more’ option). Perhaps I’ll go back to the classic block for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. If these buildings are any indication, those nomination forms will indeed provide some serious research. What great stories must lurk behind all these doors! I’m a little puzzled by that amazing yellow house; it has two different styles of windows, and of course I prefer the witches’ hat style, but some are just rectangles. I can see that the witches’ hat wouldn’t fit everywhere, but do you think they are installing boring modern windows because maybe they aren’t crazy about their heating bills? I can’t imagine heating those monster houses, but I sure love looking at them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the color (painted?) of the stonework on Second Congregation Church. And that last yellow house is gorgeous. Some of the windows and trim work are outstanding. Would love to know what that “oddball” building is!

    St. Bridget is eye catching with its beautiful arched doors and windows. Last, but not least, the balcony and wraparound porch on that one building made me swoon!

    Great gallery Dan. Clearly the Hartford area believes in maintaining its past and I applaud all who are responsible. No wrecking balls need apply here! 😵‍💫

    Be still my heart. At 6 am it’s 60*! 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    • I drove by the Congregational Church, Ginger and I think that color is natural. The stone is rough and I doubt they could get a consistent color with paint. I wanted to get a close up, but it was pouring at the time, and it’s a fairly busy street.

      I was so glad to see that they had preserved the various districts, including Main Street. I might have to go back and walk around to get photos there,

      Maddie and I just got back from a nice walk. No seeing our breath, bot gloves, no coat. I think it’s going to rain, but I like this day so far. I hope you have a nice easy ride into the weekend.


    • The textile mills began shutting down during the Depression. I’m guessing some enjoyed a bit of a revival during WWII, but after the war, this town was more interesting as a suburban escape from Hartford.

      I love the buildings you featured. Many of New York’s brownstones were built with stone harried from Portand, CT, about 15 miles south of Hartford on the east side of the river.. I’m glad they preserved a few of those townhouses.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. On that last one it looks like they couldn’t quite make up their mind what style of windows & frames they wanted and a standard door on that odd shaped building looks a bit incongruous. Maybe it should have a Star Trek style (original series) triangular door that opens automatically as you approach it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The no-idea-structure is quite interesting. It would have been nice if you also had a photo from a different angle. Is it half of a regular polyhedron with 52 faces? Or is it something else. Interesting that they attached an ordinary door to it, not a strange pentagonal door which opens from the center outwards (or something equally odd).


    Liked by 2 people

    • It did seem to have a regular shape. I cropped it out of a few other photos as it looked a bit out of place. I’m glad your photos were delayed a bit, and we got to see a bit more of the detail of that building.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting. Across town, it has been non-stop development for years. A huge shopping mall, big box stores, apartments and other retail. I’m glad they preserved these portions, The historic society jokes about the dichotomy on their webpage.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your photos and the presentation as well. The structure in the third photo is so peculiar! It looks too high-tech for such a door. I wonder what is going on in there. I also like that the church is red underneath, and the last scene is a beauty.

    I’m having a bit of anniversary over here. Have a look. https://manjameximexcessive6.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/day-14-thursday-doors-first-two-weeks-of-tuscany/#Tuscany#Tuscania#poetry#dog

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Manja. I’m not sure the presentation will last. Apparently the email version is awful. I wish I had a better close up of the red stone foundation of that church. It is stunning.

      Happy anniversary. I’m loving this movie your staring in :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The two houses in the ‘fun’ neighborhood–they are wonderful! Imagine growing up in a house with all those stairways and doors…a kid’s idea of heaven! I like this gallery a lot, Dan. Looks nice and tidy on the page.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “Silk Road” sounds so exotic that I thought maybe you’d taken a quick trip to the Orient. But alas… :-) However, I really enjoyed these buildings and doors, although the geodesic dome is a bit jarring amongst all the stately structures. My favorite is that last one because I really like the color.

    Put on your life preserver today and don’t get stung for my trio: https://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/thursday-doorswhen-a-lock-is-a-door/#barginginFrance#waspsnest


    Liked by 2 people

  8. The person who built that multifaceted building showed a lot of creativity but left it unfinished by putting on a very common door. The large eyebrow over the entry door of a house is a very interesting detail.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I like the red brick foundation on that church as well it’s lovely. The yellow house is so cute and frilly, and the houses look like the neighborhood is definitely a good one or was. I bet there’s lots of wonderful unique and original wood, siding, and moulding in those homes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sorry I’m so late, I have been having Internet issues. Grrrr! With the exception of that odd looking building, they’re really quite majestic aren’t they. I’m not sure I would be comfortable living in anything so… Grand? I’m not a grand sort of person. I am more homie and cluttered but I do love the detail on some of these places.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Natalie. I like this style gallery but it’s not working well for email readers 🙁

      I loved seeing the birdhouses in with your other lovely photos. Thanks for linking here.


  11. I’m always amazed by the details of the structures. St. Bridgets is beautiful, as is your whole collection. Thank you, Dan… Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think yellow is a tricky color for a building. I have seen a few yellow pubs, mostly in historic (by US standards) districts.

      You have a very nice collection of doors today.


  12. Some great doors (and windows, etc.) this time out, Dan. I like the columns on that Maranatha Ministries building. St. Bridget’s is also a favorite. Sure, it’s your basic church, for want of a better term, but it’s a handsome one. And the yellow with white trim on that house at the end there is pretty eye-catching.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I especially enjoy seeing these old churches that have survived as a church. Most towns had too many, because they were built when travel was much more difficult. They all cant survive, but the ones that do are special.

      I love that yellow house, but I would not want to have to paint it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good point, Dan. It certainly is nice seeing those old churches still functioning as churches, yes. And I imagine that yellow house takes a lot of work to maintain. Certainly glad they do it.

        Liked by 1 person

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