1904 - STAMFORD TOWN HALL BURNED
Fire for a Time Threatened Business Section of the City.
Special to The New York Times.
STAMFORD, Conn., Feb. 4. - The Town Hall, one of the finest buildings of its kind in the State, was totally destroyed by a fire to-night, which for a time threatened to spread throughout the entire business portion of the city. The hall, with its contents, was worth about $150,000. The fire made a brilliant spectacle, and could be seen for miles around. There was practically no water pressure, because the hydrants in the centre of the town were frozen. Several business blocks and the Congregational Church caught fire, but it was soon extinguished. The fire is attributed to crossed electric wires.
Mayor Leeds telephoned for assistance to Bridgeport, Greenwich, Port Chester, and New Canaan. In the Town Hall were the Post Office, the Town Clerk's office, Probate Court, City Court, the Mayor's office, and various other public offices, together with lawyer's offices, and on the first floor private shops. The Post Office was completely destroyed, but all the first-class mail matter was saved. A temporary Post Office is being fitted up to-night across the stet. Most of the land records were rescued from the Town Clerk's office.
The Town Hall was erected in 1870. Part of it was a theater with a seating capacity of 1,200, which was used for town meetings and various public gatherings. Edwin Booth played "Hamlet" in it once, and for many years it was the only theatre Stamford possessed. Two weeks ago the Fire Marshals, reported the building unsafe for public gatherings, and made various recommendations for alterations. These were to be formally incorporated in a resolution to be adopted by the Common Council next Monday. The Fire Marshal recommended that no public gatherings be held in the hall until alterations were made. There were only a few employes of offices and shops about the building when the fire started, and no one was hurt.
The New York Times
New York, New York
February 5, 1904
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