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> Gallery 14 - Blocks

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Frinck's BlockA "block" has been defined as "a large building divided into separate functional units". In Willimantic, having your own block was a sort of a business success story. From the late 1800s until the early 1950s there were about 30 "blocks" in Willimantic. It is hard to keep track of the names because when a building was sold, the name often changed. For example, the Tilden Block became the Jordan Block. Before the catastrophic fire, the Jordan Block still had the "Tilden" name on the roof lettering. This photo is of Frinck's Block, one of the few owned by a woman (Mrs. Elnora Frinck). Her store sold crockery and glassware.
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Turner BlockThe Turner Block was built in 1877 by English-born merchant, Thomas Turner, who gave his name to Turner Street.
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Jordan BlockThis is the Jordan Block. It was completely rebuilt after the devastating fire of 1916.
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Walden's BlockThe Walden Block appears to be the block from 770-776 Main St. The Pic of the Week shows the occupants to be Flint's Drugstore, the Post Office and Stationery/Book Store. In 1890 there were 2 booksellers in Willimantic. One was Charles Utley (at the corner of Main and Church). The other was Sweeney and Dunn in the building pictured this week. In 1890, the address was 170 Main. Sweeney and Dunn advertised their business as the "Willimantic News Depot". They also had a business at 119 Main St. which was called the Brainard House Block. In later years, it looks like the building's right side front was remodeled and a second story added. By 1900, the stationery store was Wm.J. Sweeney and, by the 1950s, Wm J. Sweeney and Son.
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Turner Block/Windham Hotel The Windham Hotel was part of the Turner Block. The block had many owners over the years and by the time of the 1968 St. Valentine's Day fire, had become an apartment house.
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Turner Block following the St. Valentine's Day fire.The block survived the 1968 St. Valentine's Day fire, but was demolished in the early 1970s to make way for the Liberty Bank building
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The Commercial Block and the Turner BuildingThe Commercial Block (661-677 Main St.) and the Turner Building (679-685 Main St.) were destroyed in the Saint Valentine’s Day fire of 1968. At the time the photo was taken, the buildings were occupied by the Grand Union Tea Company, Towne Photographers, Bowman’s Tailor Shop, Yonclas Confectionary, Danahey’s Barber Shop, Dondero’s Pool Room, Hunt’s Clothing Store and Giles Hardware. Pic of the Week for October 17, 2013.
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715 Main St. Once known as "The Atwood Block".At the time of the photo, it was home to Young’s Lunch as well as a shoemaker, a grocer and several small businesses. Pic of the Week October 24, 2013
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The Tanner BlockNortheast corner of Main and North Streets
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Thomas Haran's BlockThomas Haran’s block which housed his soda bottling works at 857 Main Street. Haran used local spring water to produce his soda. He also sold soda dispensing machines throughout New England. Years later, Haran sold the block to Timothy Sullivan who used it to house his automobile dealership and garage.
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Tilden's BlockThe Tilden's Block displays a sign that reads, “Stoves, crockery, glass, tin ware, furniture, carpets, oil cloths, dry and fancy goods, ladies and children's cloaks and suits.” The block was completely renovated, inside and out, in 1894. The facade was completely redone and a third floor was added. In 1906, Marshall Tilden sold the block to the Jordan Brothers. It became known as the Jordan Block and was destroyed by fire in 1916.
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Tilden-Jordan Block Here is the Tilden Block following the renovation of 1894. Note that the whole front facade has been changed and a third floor added. In 1906 it became the Jordan Block and housed the Jordan Hardware Co. It was destroyed in the fire of 1916.
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Pomeroy Block - Church StreetThe Pomeroy Block sat at 44-52 Church Street and was razed during the redevelopment period. In its earliest days, it was the home of the Republican Headquarters, the Blanchette and Hoffman Bakery and the Burnham and Keegan Meat Market. In its final years, Brennan’s Electrical, The Windham Electric Company and Noheimer’s Market were located there
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Savings InstituteThe Willimantic Savings Institute was the city's first brick block, built in 1869. It was also the first home of the Willimantic Normal School in 1892 -- the teacher training school that has evolved into Eastern Connecticut State University
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Mamlin-Tilden-Jordan BlockIn 1870,a “Mr. Hamlin” erected the two story building on Main St. shown inthis photo. It contained four small stores. In 1887 it was purchased by Marshall Tilden who, in in 1894, completely remodeled it. Upon completion of the remodeling it was called, “the most ornamental four story block in the city”. The “Tilden Block” was then purchased by the Jordan brothers in 1906 and became “the Jordan Block”. It was completely destroyed in a spectacular 1917 fire. Less than a year later, the Jordan Block had been completely rebuilt. The building is presently owned by the ECSU Foundation. Pic of the Week May 8, 2014
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Kimbel BlockThe Kimbel block was built in 1879, and has been a significant business and retail building in town. This view is also from Rich's 1894 collection of local urban views.
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