Lorenzo Hamilton (Art) 

1895 – 1955

Born in Meriden on June 24, 1895, Lorenzo Hamilton left his architectural mark on homes and public buildings that today dot the Meriden landscape. Deeply committed to the city of his birth, Hamilton was also active in a variety of civic and other local organizations. A 1914 graduate of Meriden High School, Hamilton went on to Phillips Academy and Yale College. Like many of his generation in 1917 he interrupted his college career to join the Army when the United States entered World War I. A lieutenant in the Field Artillery and later a reserve officer, Hamilton returned to Yale and graduated in 1921 with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts.

Yale's School of Fine Arts awarded him a Winchester Fellowship, making European travel and study possible for a year. Upon returning to Meriden, Hamilton worked as senior draftsman at the H. Wales Lines Co., founded by his grandfather. His dream of opening his own architectural office became a reality in 1923. Over the next decade he began to gain prominence as a residential architect. Hamilton, collaborating with sculptor Louis Gudebrod, planned one of Meriden's most poignant landmarks – the Memorial Boulevard on Broad Street, work on which began in 1929.

Among his most significant projects were: First Church of Christ Scientist, Bradley Park; Bradley Memorial Nurses' Home; Professional Building, West Main Street; and the Bradley Home, Colony Street. Hamilton designed the Hanover School, South Meriden – considered the first "modern" school in this area; Wilcox Slate Trade School, then on Miller Street; Roger Sherman and John Barry Schools; the renovated Wilcox Block, Colony Street, formerly the site of the Sears-Roebuck department store; the Colony Street buildings of Styletex, Michael's Jewelers, and Squire Travel and Insurance Companies; and the International Silver Company's North Colony Street office. Hamilton also designed the Yale Record Building, New Haven. His last major local project prior to his death in 1955 was his design of the WWII Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Hamilton was among the first 10 architects registered in the State of Connecticut following new licensing requirements in 1933. He held certificate #7. An organizer of the Meriden Arts and Crafts Association, he is also fondly remembered by Charity Club drama lovers for the many program covers he designed.

Hamilton and his wife, the former Ella Stohr, lived in Meriden all of their lives. They are survived by two sons, Mark and James, and six grandchildren.

For a complete listing of all of our recipients, visit our website at WWW.MERIDENHALLOFFAME.ORG


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