Middletown Alms House

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Middletown Alms House
Middletown CT Alms House (1814).jpg
Middletown Alms House is located in Connecticut
Middletown Alms House
Location 53 Warwick St., Middletown, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°32′56″N 72°39′9″W / 41.54889°N 72.65250°W / 41.54889; -72.65250Coordinates: 41°32′56″N 72°39′9″W / 41.54889°N 72.65250°W / 41.54889; -72.65250
Area 1.3 acres (0.53 ha)
Built 1813-1814
Architect Unknown
Architectural style No style listed
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 82003772[1]
Added to NRHP April 29, 1982

The Middletown Alms House is a historic building in Middletown, Connecticut, constructed in 1813-1814. It was originally used as a poorhouse and is the oldest surviving building built for housing the poor in Connecticut, as well as one of the oldest such in the United States.[2]:6 One of the largest structures of the Federal period in Middletown,[citation needed] it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1]

History[edit]

The Town of Middletown built the Alms House in 1814 to house the town's poor. Many of the people housed there were required to work, either in the Alms House or in a local industrial business.[2]

The building at 53 Warwick Street served as a poorhouse until 1853, when the institution was moved to the Middletown Town Farms facility on Silver Street in the town's South Farms district.[2]

Shortly after, the Hubbard and Curtis Hardware Company occupied the building. This company, which manufactured tools, hardware, and wood-burning stoves, had its principal place of commerce on Main Street (359 Main Street) and manufactured its goods in this building. In the early 20th century, Fred Hodge manufactured valve wheels there. Other occupants have included the Middletown Fire Arms and Specialty Company and the Middletown Rifle Club. By 1981, C.B. Stone Inc., a home heating oil dealer, had occupied the building since the early 1930s.[2] It is currently used for offices.[citation needed]

Description[edit]

The three-and-a-half-story building is constructed in the Federal style and made of brick with Flemish bond and a brownstone foundation with an asphalt shingle roof. The architect and builder are unknown. A graphic depiction on an 1825 map indicates that the building was originally embellished by a segmental arch over the entrance door and a classical cupola.[2] A central, slightly projecting, pavilion is still discernible. The building has a structural system of load-bearing masonry with a gable roof.

Located to the north on the premises, facing Warwick Street, is a late-Victorian brick residence. This substantial structure, once owned by Mayor Leo B. Santangelo, displays intricate stickwork on the veranda, and decorative brickwork, and is in relatively original condition. The southeast section of this structure is supported by large brownstone blocks. These blocks are the remains of a jail which was built on the Alms House grounds in 1846. It was a small facility, containing only twelve cells, with the principal jail being in Haddam.

This structure, which faces north, sits on a 1.3 acres (0.53 ha) lot on the south side of residential Warwick Street. It is set back from the road behind two late-19th-century houses.[2] A large oak tree to the west shades it.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f J. Paul Loether and Janice Cunningham (August 6, 1981). "NRHP Inventory-Nomination: Middletown Alms House / C.B. Stone,Inc.". National Park Service.  and Accompanying eight photos

Middletown, Connecticut Historical and Architectural Resources. Volume IV, Card Number 276. Elizabeth Loomis. September, 1978.