Cass Gilbert Society


Chase Brass and Copper Building, Waterbury, CT

Main façade of the Chase Building

Image ©2005 Jerry Dougherty, all rights reserved

Chase Brass and Copper Building

Other Names:
Waterbury Office Building; Chase Office Building
236 Grand Street, Waterbury, Connecticut
Design & Construction:
1917-1919[1917-1919 Christen-2001]
Cass Gilbert 

There was extensive overlap between Cass Gilbert's social circles and business circles. Gilbert knew businessman Henry Chase socially, and it was Chase's support of Gilbert as an architect that helped Gilbert to win the competition for the City Hall building in Waterbury, Connecticut, the first of several Waterbury designs. The Chase family turned to Gilbert when it decided to build its the Chase Brass and Copper Company headquarters in the growing city.

The Chase Building in Waterbury was completed in 1919 in the Renaissance-Revival style, that complemented, but also distinguished it from, the Georgian Revival City Hall. Gilbert's early designs for the office building utilized the same style as the municipal building, which was directly across Grand Street, to create a unified complex.[Christen-2001 p 188] As the design progressed, however, the client, Henry Chase, requested greater differentiation between the public building and his private company office building.

The resultant design is a three-story symmetrical structure faced in white stone. The main entry is set back from the street, behind a courtyard of green space, framed by two wings that extend nearly to the sidewalk. The green space is set behind a wrought- iron fence enclosing the courtyard. The ironwork was designed by Gilbert and master ironworker Samuel Yellin. [Christen-2001 p 189], with whom Gilbert had worked when he was employed at McKim Mead and White more than a decade earlier. The central entry is marked by four double-story fluted columns, which are echoed in the front facades of the projected wings, by fluted pilasters.

In 1966, the building was sold to the city of Waterbury to provide expanded office space for government functions.

See Also