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The R. and F. Cheney Building, also known as the Brown Thomson Building, is a commercial building designed by noted American architect H. H. Richardson. It is located at 942 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cheney Building
Cheney Building, Hartford CT - general view.JPG
Cheney Building
Cheney Building is located in Connecticut
Cheney Building
Location942 Main St.
Hartford, Connecticut
Coordinates41°46′4.3″N 72°40′22.1″W / 41.767861°N 72.672806°W / 41.767861; -72.672806Coordinates: 41°46′4.3″N 72°40′22.1″W / 41.767861°N 72.672806°W / 41.767861; -72.672806
ArchitectH. H. Richardson
Architectural styleRichardsonian Romanesque
Part ofDepartment Store Historic District (#95000284)
NRHP reference #78002852
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 6, 1970
Designated CPMarch 23, 1995



The Cheney Building was constructed 1875–1876 for the Cheney Brothers silk manufacturers in Manchester, Connecticut. It was originally a multipurpose structure with five small shops on the ground floor, and offices and apartments above. For many years it housed Brown Thomson's department store, and later the G. Fox and Company. As of 2007, it has been renamed the Richardson Building, and is now a Residence Inn by Marriott, offices, stores, restaurants, and rehearsal space for The Hartford Stage Company.

The building dominates its corner location and, with towers and attic, is various described as containing five, six, or seven stories. Its facade is organized into three heavy, horizontal tiers of roughly cut, reddish brownstone punctuated with much lighter Berea limestone trim. The lowest tier is defined by a series of huge round arches in striking polychrome bands, a motif repeated in the stories above at an increasingly smaller scale. The ground-floor tier on the Main Street facade features five broad arches above shop windows and doors, the second a two-story arcade of 10 major openings, and the third a single-story arcade of 14 openings.

The building is crowned with low, asymmetric towers at its Main Street corners. The street corner tower was earlier topped by a pyramidal roof.


See alsoEdit


  • James Francis O'Gorman, Three American Architects: Richardson, Sullivan, and Wright, 1865-1915, University of Chicago Press, 1991, page 47. ISBN 0-226-62072-7.
  • Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, H. H. Richardson: Complete Architectural Works, MIT Press, 1985, page 58. ISBN 0-262-65015-0.
  • Hartford Courant article (September 25, 2005)
  • Mary Ann Sullivan article (with photographs)