Asylum Hill Congregational Church Agrees It’s Time to Complete the Building

02/10/1875 |


The Asylum Hill Congregational Society held a special meeting to consider Roland Mather’s offer of $19,000 to complete the church’s tower and spire.  Not surprisingly, the people in attendance voted unanimously to accept Mr. Mather’s gift.  The Society then formed a committee to draft a thank-you note to Mather and to secure a contractor to do the work.

Neat Little Tidbit

The new tower and spire would add 120 feet to the existing structure, bringing the church’s height to 225 feet.  The tower would also include clock faces, but the clocks would not be installed until June 1897.  Roland Mather’s daughter Julia Turner would give the money to buy and install the clocks following Mather’s death.

Construction was projected to last four months, from April to August 1875.

Trust but verify

According to the Courant article, “the completed edifice will soon be what its original design contemplated.”  The implication is that the tower and spire, although built nearly 10 years later, were still part of Patrick Keely’s original plans.

The article said that the tower and spire would be built by Brown & Valentine of New York, who were described as the original builders of the church.  So far, I haven’t found any contemporary references to them during the construction of the church.

Put into context

The article noted that Brown & Valentine had already been contacted – they weren’t quite under contract, but they were ready to get to work.  It seems that, in the seven days between the date on Mather’s letter and the special meeting to get this project underway, some actions had already been taken.


Unattributed, “Asylum Hill Congregational Church,” Hartford Daily Courant, February 11, 1875, page 8


Asylum Hill Congregational Church


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