New Haven mansion designed for department store owner in 1913 listed for .5M

New Haven mansion designed for department store owner in 1913 listed for $2.5M

Surrounded by hedges on the corner of Saint Ronan Street in New Haven is a

Surrounded by hedges on the corner of Saint Ronan Street in New Haven is a 1913 Colonial-style home that stands out with its tall columns, stucco exterior and tile roof. Its noticeable differences from the other classic home on the street come courtesy of the designer and the original owner who commissioned it.

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

“The house has some gorgeous features, like all mahogany doors,” Borowski said. “The main staircase has silver-plated hardware, same with the doorknobs and door handles. Everything has this sort of neo-classical style with gorgeous detailing and proportions.”


The top of the second story in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

A bedroom in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

A bedroom in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

A bathroom in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

A bathroom in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

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

Mendel got to enjoy the home until around the 1930s, Borowski said, when he lost the home in litigation.

“He and his business partner 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.”

The last time the home was on the market, Borowski said he received a call about the Saint Ronan Street property that had nothing to do with scheduling a tour or placing an offer. 

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

The dining room in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn. 

The dining room in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn. 


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

The kitchen in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

The kitchen in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.


Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

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

The call gave Borowski insight to the history of the property, as well as the family’s attempts to stay connected to the home.


“She told me that every year they are in Connecticut, and they drive by the house to take a picture of the home to carry on the family tradition,” he recalled. “She said that when her grandfather lost the house, he loved it so much that until the day he died, he carried 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 French hand-painted wallpaper to the foyer, among other changes. After her death, Borowski said the city of New Haven tried to convert the property into a multifamily rental, but the plan faced opposition from the neighborhood and historic preservation organizations. 

The home was ultimately purchased by a Yale University professor, who Borowski said divided it into four apartments by closing off some of the French doors throughout to create separate apartments. New owners took over by the 1970s, and the home was sold again in 2008 to its current owners, who undertook a major restoration of the property.

A bedroom in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

A bedroom in the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

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

The current sellers also insulated the roof, upgraded the bathrooms and reorganized some of the rooms, Borowski said, among other improvements.

Now on the market again, the home has eight bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and 7,795 square feet of living space. Inside, there is a formal living room, a sun room with a full bathroom and kitchenette and library, according to the listing. There’s also a formal dining room, a “kitchen wing” and a great room with heated floors and coffered ceilings. The primary suite has a private lounge and sitting room, the listing notes, along with two dressing rooms and two bathrooms.

The main entry to the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

The main entry to the home on 352 Saint Ronan Street in New Haven, Conn.

Triple 7 Photography / Contributed Photo

Outside the home, there’s a heated front walkway leads to the entry hall. Borowski noted that the home technically has two formal entrances: the front entry that’s flanked by columns and a back “porte cochere.”

“There’s a driveway that goes around the house and behind it — it’s a circular driveway — and it has a porte cochere in the back of the house so cars were able to pull under the porte cochere and have a second formal entrance,” 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 time showing the house, Borowski said the home’s grandeur still isn’t lost on him.

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