Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Academic Success Center

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Institution Name: Mitchell College
Original/Historic Place Name: Frank S. Bond House
Location on Campus: 471 Pequot Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1902original construction
1968library addition
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Mission/Mission revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: stucco over brick
Walls: aluminum siding
Roof: asphalt
 
Function:
ca. 1902private residence
1968-present (2006)library
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (Academic Success Center)
 

Narrative:
This house was built in 1902 for railroad magnate Frank S. Bond. On his death in 1912, it was inherited by Bond's nephew, Henry R. Bond, Jr. The house is now used as the Academic Success Center for Mitchell College. Tutoring and Learning Resource services for learning disabled students are conducted here. A 1968 addition to the south of the house contains the Mitchell College Library.

The Academic Success Center faces Pequot Avenue and is located immediately south of the former Mitchell estate. A masonry wall of brick or tile fronts the street and is covered with stucco. The entrance has wooden gates with massive iron hinges. The extensive lawn has ornamental trees and shrubs. The library, added on to the south end of the house, and Nathan Hale Hall, occupy part of the lot. The brick wall of the Mitchell estate defines the northern boundary. Part of the wall was removed for construction of Nathan Hale Hall in 1968.

The house itself is square in plan, with a hipped roof. A one-story porch across the front is supported by battered masonry piers covered in stucco. The porch has been enclosed, but the gable over the porch entrance remains. To the north is a porte cochere, also supported by battered piers and Tuscan columns. This features a balustrade of heavy turned members. Wide overhanging eaves feature decorative rafter ends terminating in scrolls. Window openings on the second floor have lintels with cyma reversa molding. Most windows have one-over-one wooden sash. Shaped parapets on dormers are reminiscent of the Mission Style. Shaped parapets also flank the brick chimney on the south side. The large front dormer is recessed and has a balcony with a balustrade matching that of the porte cochere. The interior has paneling of quarter sawn oak and decorative fireplaces in the Craftsman style. The room layout appears to be virtually unchanged. The addition of aluminum siding and the enclosure of the front porch are the only readily apparent changes.

The Bond house is an excellent example of the Craftsman Style, popularized in the early 20th century by the Greene brothers of California. It is larger in scale than many examples of the style and more elaborate in its decorative scheme, reflecting the wealth and social position of its owner. The use of shaped parapets in the dormers is influenced by California examples. Interior woodwork, room layout, and fireplaces are intact. This is a very early example of the style in New London and may have inspired the use of the style elsewhere in the district. The quality of design, materials, and workmanship is of the highest standard.

Frank S. Bond was the son of Norwich, Connecticut minister Alvan Bond. Born in 1830, he became a railroad clerk for the Norfolk and Western Railroad in 1849. He advanced rapidly in the railroad business. From 1850-1856, he served as secretary of the Chicago and Detroit Railroad. In the second half of the 19th century, he held a number of executive positions, including vice-president and president of various railroads in the Midwest and West. A bachelor, he resided in New York much of the time, building this house in New London as a retirement home. His choice of location was certainly influenced by family ties and the fashionable nature of the Pequot Colony.
 

References:

Frank S. Bond House. Pequot Colony Historic and Architectural Survey. [s.l.: s.n.], n.d.

 

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Last update: November 2006