Monday, October 30, 2006

220 Main Street

The Savings Bank of Danbury was established in 1849 as the first mutual bank in Danbury. It originally operated out of the Main Street home of its first treasury secretary, George White Ives. The building shown here was built in 1909, and still houses the main branch. (Danbury. Danbury Museum and Historical Society. From the series Images of America.)

I don't believe the front door is ever open these days. The main entrance is around the corner, in the newest addition. Hmmm, "White Ives"? After 30+ years of living here, I'm beginning to understand why we see these two names so often.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

238 Main Street

"The Danbury Gas-Light Company was incorporated in 1854 and went into operation in 1857 at the Danbury and Norwalk Railroad Depot. In 1913, the Danbury and Bethel Gas and Electric Company purchased this building and electrified its exterior. Built in 1891 by Danbury designer Joel Foster, the terra-cotta Victorian was sold to the Zuccas in 1965."

from Danbury. (2001) Danbury Museum & Historical Society. Arcadia Publishing. (p53)

If and when the city achieves Certified Local Government status and acquires some of those National Park Service dollars, this building would be my candidate for the first restoration project. Actually, I'd like to see this happen even sooner. Twenty or thirty years ago would have been a good time. I confess that I know nothing about construction costs for a project like this, and nothing about the state and local building codes that would have to be satisfied. Nor do I know who owns the building today. But it's still a beautiful building and worth saving, in my opinion.

Here's a closer look at the art deco script in the window.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

90 White Street

Page B1 of today's Danbury News-Times has a story on a city project to achieve Certified Local Government status under a National Park Service program.

"That status will allow the state Commission of Culture and Tourism to add the library [the Old Library at 256 Main Street, that is] to its state list of historic buildings. It will allow the city to set up its own Historical Commission. And it will make the city eligible for U.S. Park Service funding..."

The Old Library was one of the first entries I made in this blog. What I did not show were the murals that were painted by Bethel artist Charles Federer in the 1930s. (Possibly as a WPA project?) Unfortunately the murals are not pictured in the on-line edition of the story, so if you do not already have a copy of today's paper, I bid you visit the library tomorrow and see the photos. Better yet, visit the Danbury Music Centre offices some day and see them first-hand.

One of the buildings mentioned by Mayor Boughton as being historically important and worthy of preservation is the Meeker Hardware Building, pictured above. White Street is named for the same White family that donated the land and money to build the library at 256 Main Street. And, just because I like it so much, here is another photo of the Old Library.