New London, Connecticut was founded in 1646. The Thames River provided important access to the sea. Before the American Revolution, shipbuilding and trade were the main activities, and they created a thriving and highly populated community. Unfortunately, it also became a battle ground for war and was destroyed.

By the first half of the 19th century, however New London became one of the largest whaling ports in the country. Buildings celebrating this success reflected a growing attraction to the Greek and Romanesque Revival styles in American architecture.

The J. N. Harris Building was built in 1885 and designed by the architect Leopold Eidlitz. Located at 165 State Street, the building was originally intended as a mixed use structure, housing a dry goods store (Hislop, Porteus & Mitchell), thirty offices and eight luxury apartments. Also known as Harris Place and the Lena Building, it still houses offices, galleries and the Visual Art Library.

The building is included in New London's historic district as well as the arts district.


David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries