Robert Orr & Associates purchased 839 Chapel Street in downtown New Haven, and proceeded with an imaginative restoration to house their studio and offices. The four-story building was constructed circa 1860.
839 Chapel Street has had a series of occupants, including originally an exclusive purveyor of dry goods, McIntyre, Maguire & Co. Henry F. English subsequently purchased the building, and was responsible for the outstanding front façade reconstruction in 1900,. A 2-story glass storefront was added in 1945.
ROA essentially "coaxed" and enhanced the original detailing back to its former state and make it truly stand out among its neighbors. The firm oversaw a gut demolition of the building interior. On the exterior of the building, the false two-story storefront was removed and the underlying features including an egg and dart dentil molding were restored.
The building, which is of masonry construction and has a shed roof, is notable for some significant architectural features, including a rich, highly decorative façade similar to other structures in the block. The window shapes and sizes change from floor to floor and include arched, rectilinear and round configurations. The façade also features interesting carved string horses and a classical cornice with a balustrade. The cornice is cut stone, as are most of he facades’ details.