Henry Green Builds an Automobile House

07/06/1908 |


Henry Green applied for a—and received – a permit to construct an "automobile house," better known these days as a garage, at the rear of his property at 50 Ashley Street.

Neat little tidbit

The permit gives us the following details about the automobile house:

  • Structure would be 18 feet by 12 feet
  • Foundation would be wood posts
  • Exterior walls would be wood
  • Roof would be pitched with shingles

The building inspector was Fred Bliss (probably  - he has nice handwriting, but it was still a guess on his signature).

Trust but verify

One important item from the application: Henry listed himself as the owner of the property, which he hadn’t done in 1896 when he applied for a permit to build the lab.  Previous records -- and the 1917 map! -- indicated that his wife Annie owned the property.

Put into context

The garage went in next to the lab, and together they were 42 feet across (12 for the garage and 30 for the lab).  The lot was then, as it is today, 50 feet across, so it’s not surprising that the 1917 map of Hartford shows the two structures adjoining each other.  What doesn’t show up is that the garage was slightly longer by 3 feet than the lab.  Today, there’s a single structure in the back yard at 50, and from the looks of its placement and its width, it’s an entirely new structure.

Henry Green estimated the cost of the improvement on the permit was valued at $100, which would be $2,926.03 in today's dollars.

Speculating without evidence

The timing of this permit is interesting – just over a month after Green’s attorney successfully quashed a motion to enjoin Green & Bauer from selling their x-ray tubes in Philadelphia.  Perhaps Green felt more secure financially and moved forward with his plans to build a garage.  Or maybe it was in the works for awhile.


City of Hartford Office of Building Inspector, "Building Permit No. 328 – Automobile House," July 6, 1908.

Sanborn Map Company, "Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut," New York City, NY, 1917.

Henry Green
Henry Green House


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