Mill Record Bridgeport

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Complex Name (Common)
Whipple & Choate Co.
Complex Name (Historic)
  • Whipple & Choate Co.
Address or Location
455 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport
County
Fairfield
Historic Designation
Associated Mill Community
n/a
Historic Information

Companies Associated w/Complex

  • Eastern Bag & Paper Co. ca. 1965-1988
  • Whipple & Choate Co. 1947-ca. 1953

Use (Historic)

Largest Documented Workforce

Unknown.

Historic Narrative

The Whipple and Choate Company was organized in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1909. The firm was established by Rollin D. Whipple and Charles N. Choate, partners who also organized the Bridgeport Deoxidized Bronze and Metal Company in 1894. The Whipple and Choate Company was organized as a metal dealership and reclaiming operation, while the Bridgeport Deoxidized Bronze and Metal Company manufactured brass and bronze ingot metals. The related businesses shared a sprawling complex at the intersection of Iranistan and South Avenues into the 1940s, however, in 1944 much of the combined plant was destroyed by fire. The Bridgeport Deoxidized Bronze and Metal Company ceased operations after the conflagration; both metal reclamation and ingot manufacturing continued under the Whipple and Choate Company once construction of a new factory was completed in 1947. The Whipple and Choate Company remained in business until around 1953, whereupon its Iranistan Avenue factory fell vacant until the mid-1960s. It was in turn acquired by the Eastern Bag and Paper Company, a paper goods distributor established as the Bridgeport Paper Company in 1918. The Eastern Bag and Paper Company significantly expanded the plant during the 1960s and 1970s, and remained in Bridgeport until 1988 when the business was moved to Milford, Connecticut.

Architectural Information

Number of Existing Buildings

Roughly three (3) adjoining primary blocks.

Dates of Construction

1947, 1963, ca. 1970.

Architect

n/a

Builder

n/a

Building Type

Architectural Description

The former Whipple and Choate Company plant consists of three adjoining primary blocks located on the west side of Iranistan Avenue, located at the northwest corner of Iranistan Avenue’s intersection with South Avenue. The oldest portion of the complex was erected in 1947 and consists of two blocks located along South Avenue. These include a two-and-a-half-story, 86’ x 194’ steel-frame and red brick block, which has a one-story, 31’ x 144’ steel-frame and red brick ell adjoining its south elevation. Both blocks have concrete foundations, red brick half-walls topped by concrete watertables, corrugated metal sheathing, and large rectangular or ribbon window openings with multipane sash. The main block has a front-facing gable roof with two clerestory monitors, while the ell has a flat roof. The façade (east elevation) of the main block has a sign painted in its gable-end, which reads, ‘EASTERN BAG and PAPER CO.’ A one-story, roughly 80’ x 240’ steel-frame and brick warehouse with a flat roof was erected adjoining the north elevation of the original plant in 1963. This has a recessed entry sheltered by a cantilevered flat-roof awning on its east (façade) elevation. Another one-story warehouse was erected adjoining the north elevation of the 1963 block ca. 1970. This measures 108’ x 240’ and is of concrete block construction. The building has a flat roof with ribbon windows running along the eavelines of the north and east elevations.

Exterior Material(s)

Structural System(s)

Roof Form

Roof Material

Power Source

Condition

Fair

Condition Notes

The plant is in fair condition. The vast majority of the window openings have been boarded up, however, overall, the various blocks appear structurally sound.

Property Information

Specific Location

One 2.12-acre parcel (455 Iranistan Avenue) located on the west side of Iranistan Avenue, located at the northwest corner of Iranistan Avenue’s intersection with South Avenue.

Adjacent To

Exterior Visible from Public Road?

Yes

Parcel ID / Assessor Record Link

Acreage

2.12

Use (Present)

Sources

Form Completed By

Lucas A. Karmazinas

Date

01/22/2016

Bibliography

  1. List of Connecticut Manufacturers, 1922, 1924, 1930, 1932.
  2. Directory of Connecticut State Manufacturers, 1936, 1939.
  3. Industrial Directory of Connecticut, 1947.
  4. Register of War Production Facilities in Connecticut, 1951.
  5. Map of Fairfield County; Baker, William A., 1854.
  6. Atlas of the City of Bridgeport; J.B. Beers & Co., 1876.
  7. Atlas of the City and Town of Bridgeport; G.M. Hopkins & Co., 1888, 1917.
  8. Atlas of Bridgeport; Kershaw, William H., 1910.
  9. Sanborn Map Company, 1884, 1888, 1898, 1904, 1913, 1939, 1950.
  10. Aerial Survey of Connecticut, 1934, 1951, 1965, 1970, 1985.
  11. Bridgeport City Directory, Various editions.
  12. Bridgeport Post, 1947.
  13. Bridgeport Sunday Herald, 1952.
  14. A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport; Orcutt, Samuel, 1886.
  15. History of Bridgeport and Vicinity; S.J. Clarke Publishing, 1917.
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Photographer

Lucas A. Karmazinas

Photography Date

01/22/2016