Architectural Description (from National Register Nomination):
To the rear of the property is an L-shaped [gable-roofed] two-story Queen Anne and Colonial Revival-style carriage house built in 1895. The first story of the building is clad in beaded clapboard, while the second is of imbricated wood shingles. A pyramidal-roofed cupola is carried by brackets and a boxed cornice features returns in the gables. The first-floor vehicle bay opening has a molded platform-like cornice carried on consoles and is surmounted by panelled double doors in a crossbuck pattern which is enframed by sidelights and a fanlight and creates a Palladian design. A small one-story garage has been added to the north end, and a glass greenhouse to the south.
Until the 1830s, the horses used for riding and driving carriages were often kept in the main barn along with the other farm animals. By the 1850s, some New England farmers built separate horse stables and carriage houses. Early carriage houses were built just to shelter a carriage and perhaps a sleigh, but no horses. The pre-cursor to the twentieth-century garage, these outbuildings are distinguished by their large hinged doors, few windows, and proximity to the dooryard.
The combined horse stable and carriage house continued to be a common farm building through the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, until automobiles became common. Elaborate carriage houses were also associated with gentlemen farms and country estates of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Another form of carriage barn, the urban livery stable, served the needs of tradespeople.
Located on the east side of Main Street just north of downtown Torrington, the Hotchkiss-Fyler House is a substantial Queen Anne style mansion with an additional house to the north also belonging to the Torrington Historical Society, and the carriage house at the rear to the east. The carriage house, now a function room for the museum, is surrounded by gardens on the north, east, and south. A drive enters the site from the street and leads east under a porte-cochere to the carriage house.
The property is 1.6 acres.
To the south of the site, downtown commercial and government structures predominate, while to the north is a residential neighborhood of smaller lots.
Charlotte Hitchcock, reviewed by CT Trust
City of Torrington Assessor’s Record, http://www.equalitycama.com/
Devlin, William E., Hotchkiss-Fyler House National Register Nomination No. 87000129, National Park Service, 1987.
Sexton, James, PhD, Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005, http://www.connecticutbarns.org/history.
Visser, Thomas D., Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England, 1997.