Middletown's Architectural Heritage


Middletown is replete with buildings of importance in the history of architecture. Earlier admirers of the style and quality of Middletown’s buildings include John Adams and George Washington. We are also fortunate in having local experts in the field of architecture who can enable us to see the significance and value of the remarkable treasures we drive by every day. They will serve to open our eyes and enrich our understanding of our surroundings. 

The day will begin with coffee and a series of three morning lectures, listed below. Following lunch, we will embark on a walking tour of the Wesleyan campus. The group will then board a bus to visit and explore architecture in the Middletown area, both interiors and exteriors, returning to the Allbritton Center at 4 p.m.

Instructor: Siry, Munkitrick, Bianco, Warner

SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2013 | $125

8:45–9 A.M. Check-in; Coffee
Allbritton Center, 222 Church Street

9 A.M. Lectures
311 Allbritton

9–9:50 A.M. Joseph Siry: The Greek Revival at Wesleyan:
From Russell House to Kevin Roche

10–10:50 A.M. Alain Munkitrick: Behind High Street’s Facades

11–11:50 A.M. Jeff Bianco: An Architect’s Perspective on Middletown

NOON Lunch (provided)
311 Allbritton

1–2 P.M. Campus Tour
Departing from 311 Allbritton

2 P.M. Board Tour Bus
Church Street

2–4 P.M. Tour of Middletown:
Stops at Washington and Main, South Green,
Judge Seth Wetmore House, and others.

Siry, Munkitrick, Bianco, Warner

JEFFREY BIANCO is the founding partner of Northeast Collaborative Architects, with offices in Middletown since 1987. He is a qualified historical architect by the standards of the National Park Service. Bianco spent his early career in New York City and was project architect for restoration projects at Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library, and the National Building Museum, among other assignments. Locally, he has worked on Portland Town Hall, deKoven House, General Mansfield House, and Kid City. He is a graduate of the City College of New York.

ALAIN MUNKITTRICK ’73 has practiced architectural design, historic preservation and documentation, interior design, and space planning in partnership with his wife, Rosemary, since 1979. Their work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and Interior Design, as well as in foreign publications. He has taught continuing education courses associated with Boston Architectural College (BAC) and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He has a BA from Wesleyan and a bachelor of architecture from BAC.

JOSEPH SIRY is Kenan Professor of the Humanities and a professor of art history who specializes in modern architectural history. He is the author of Carson Pirie Scott: Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store; Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright and Architecture for Liberal Religion; The Chicago Auditorium Building: Adler and Sullivan’s Architecture and the City, which won the 2003 Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock Award for best book by a North American scholar; and Beth Sholom: Frank Lloyd Wright and Modern Religious Architecture. Siry also has published book chapters and articles in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Art Bulletin—the first of which won College Art Association’s 1991 Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize for the outstanding article by a younger scholar. He received Wesleyan’s Binswanger Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994. His work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Getty Research Institute, the Mellon Foundation, and the Graham Foundation.

ELIZABETH WARNER teaches middle school history at the Independent Day School in Middlefield.  In 1990, she wrote A Pictorial History of Middletown, which she updated in 2000 for a reprint by the City of Middletown. Her most recent projects related to Middletown history are "An Experiment in Community" a research report on the African American neighborhood along Cross Street completed for the Connecticut Historical Commission, and a piece on Middletown histroy for the Encyclopedia of Connecticut History Online (ECHO).