New Haven mansion designed for department store owner in 1913 is listed at $2.5 million

Surrounded by hedges on the corner of Saint Ronan Street in New Haven is a 1913 Colonial-style house that is notable for its tall columns, stucco exterior and tiled roof. Its notable differences from the other classic house on the street are courtesy of the original designer and owner who commissioned it.

According to Pearce Real Estate listing agent Wojtek Borowski, the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street was built for German immigrant Adolph Mendel, who partnered with Isidor Freeman to found what has become one of the largest Connecticut stores called Mendel and Freedman on Chapel Street. Now listed for $2.5million, the home was ‘built to impress’ by local architect RW Foote, noted Borowski, who has designed several homes in the area as well as the United Illuminating Company building on Temple Street in 1909.

“The house has some wonderful features, like all the mahogany doors,” Borowski said. “The main staircase has silver hardware, as do the doorknobs and doorknobs. Everything has that kind of neo-classical style with gorgeous detail and proportion.

The top of the second floor of the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo
A bedroom in the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

A bedroom in the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo
A bathroom in the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut.

A bathroom in the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

Inside the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn. / Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photos

Mendel was able to enjoy the house until around the 1930s, Borowski said, when he lost the house in litigation.

“He and his business partner have created a very successful department store, and [Mendel] opened his own department store next door,” he said. “He was sued by his former partner and he lost the business and lost the house.”

When the house was last on the market, Borowski said he received a call about the Saint Ronan Street property that had nothing to do with scheduling a viewing or submitting an offer.

“When I had the house listed the previous time, I put it online and got a call from an older woman who lived in Washington, DC,” he said. “She introduced herself as the granddaughter of the original owner.”

The dining room of the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut.

The dining room of the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo
The kitchen at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

The kitchen at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

The dining room and kitchen at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut. / Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photos

The call gave Borowski insight into the history of the property, as well as the family’s attempts to keep in touch with the house.


“She told me that every year they are in Connecticut and they pass by the house to take a picture of the house to continue the family tradition,” he recalled. “She said when her grandfather lost the house he loved it so much that until the day he died he kept a picture of the house in his wallet.”

The house was purchased in the 1940s by a widow who did some renovations, Borowski said, adding details like hand-painted French wallpaper in the lobby, among other changes. After his death, Borowski said the City of New Haven attempted to convert the property to a multi-family rental, but the plan was met with opposition from the neighborhood and historic preservation organizations.

The house was eventually purchased by a Yale University professor, who Borowski says divided it into four apartments by closing some of the patio doors to create separate apartments. New owners took over in the 1970s, and the house was sold in 2008 to its current owners, who undertook a major restoration of the property.

A bedroom in the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

A bedroom in the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

“They restored the house to its original state, removing all the kitchen and unnecessary divisions,” he said. “They created this beautiful kitchen that originally had six pieces…it’s probably the best kitchen in the New Haven area.”

Current sellers have also insulated the roof, upgraded bathrooms and revamped some rooms, Borowski said, among other improvements.

New on the market, the home has eight bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and 7,795 square feet of living space. Inside, there’s a formal living room, a lanai with a full bath and kitchenette, and a library, according to the listing. There is also a formal dining room, a “kitchen wing” and a great room with heated floors and coffered ceilings. The master suite has a private living room and lounge, as well as two walk-in closets and two bathrooms.

The main entrance to the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut.

The main entrance to the house at 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Connecticut.

Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

Outside the house there is a heated front walkway which leads to the entrance hall. Borowski noted that the house technically has two formal entrances: the main entrance flanked by columns and a rear “porte cochère”.

“There’s a driveway that goes around the house and behind it – it’s a circular driveway – and there’s a porte-cochere at the back of the house so cars can go under the porte-cochere and have a second formal entry,” he said. . “It’s symmetrical…it’s designed in such a way that it looks formal and equally impressive from either side.”

Now, in his second visit to the house, Borowski said the grandeur of the house is still not lost on him.

“It’s just a really beautiful property,” he said. “It’s fun for me to show off this house.”