Two Thumbs Up for Stratford CT’s Historic Preservation Efforts

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Stratford, Connecticut, knows the importance of historic preservation. Unlike my new home state of California, where most everything is knocked down if it is over 50 years old, Connecticut appreciates its historic homes. This is the Cordelia Sterling House, Bruce Price and Rufus W. Bunnell, architects, 1886. John Sterling commissioned this house for his mother and two sisters, Cordelia and Catharine. Apparently, Bunnell, a Stratford builder and husband to Catharine, “improved” Price’s house plans to the degree that the final work was attributed to both men. Price’s hand is reflected in the home’s brick work, flat-arch window heads, the octagonal tower, high triple window and chimney shape. The stiff portico and main body of the structure probably shows Bunnell’s hand. In any event, the interior was expensively furnished with oak wainscoting and paneling in the hall, cherry in the library and dining room, and natural whitewood with gold leaf in the parlor. The grand suburban villa was given by Cordelia in her will to Stratford and has stood since 1932 at 2283 Main Street as the Sterling House Community Center. Very little of the exterior has changed over time.