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From Space to Place

The Stamford Innovation Center is located in a special, historically significant building that was built in 1905.

Here’s the story of the building itself: The original Town Hall of Stamford, Connecticut was opened on November 1, 1871 on the corner of Atlantic and Main Street. It was a red brick building in Second Empire and Victorian Gothic style.

Unfortunately in February of 1904, the structure caught fire and all but the shell remained as ash. In 1905 architects Edgar Josselyn and Nathan Mellon were hired to design a new town hall, which is the one that remains today. It is a three-story building in Beaux Arts style, which was a very popular style of architecture at the turn of the twentieth century. It includes floor to ceiling windows, a stunning grand divided staircase with iron-rod railings, a Czechoslovakian glass ceiling above the staircase, terrazzo tile flooring and scagliola plaster on the lobby walls.

The outside is limestone faced, flanked with Corinthian columns, and topped with a large clock tower. Its original purpose was to house the office of the mayor, city officials, the police station, courthouse, and even a horse stable. After World War II though, this building simply could not accommodate the increasing demand for municipal services and offices in the growing City of Stamford.

The city officials and Mayor got dispersed to other buildings on and off Atlantic Street. In 1961 the city purchased 429 Atlantic Street from Hartford Electric Light Company to serve as offices for the growing government. By 1963, the only city operations left in Old Town Hall were the town clerk, the judge of probate, and the registrars of voters.

In 1972 there was a movement to preserve this beautiful building and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was renovated starting in 2008 and was largely used for public functions. In 2010 the Stamford Innovation Team became aware of the building and began developing a strategy for the Innovation Center that would leverage the many assets that this special, inspiring building has to offer.

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