The Day – Your Turn: The Story of Hollandersky Mansion in New London
Hollandersky Mansion at 194 Lower Boulevard in New London (formerly 88 Parkway South) has a rich history for me and my family.
In the early 1900s, Meyer Hollandersky, my grandfather, helped build the amazing 7,297 square foot two-and-a-half-story mansion that he and my grandmother Anna bought and called home, along with d other structures on the property needed a comfortable life.
Anna Strom was born in Russia in 1890, and Meyer Hollandersky was born in Montville in 1893. Anna came to the United States as a young girl, and Anna and Meyer were married in 1915.
My father, Warren, was born at the mansion and he and his brother Gilbert were raised there until they went to college.
Meyer was a New London City Councilor and Police Commissioner.
He was also quite the entrepreneur. For many years, he owned the very successful Warren-Gilbert Insurance Company and Gilbert-Warren Realty Company, Inc.
Meyer built the ASH building at 324 State Street, which is named after Anna Strom Hollandersky, my grandmother. In the 1950s, my father owned the Spare Time Bowling located on the ground floor of the ASH building. To this day, I still meet people who were “pinsetters” at my father’s bowling alley because there were no electronic machines for setting the pins when the bowling opened.
Meyer also constructed the building at 153 Bank Street, which has “Hollandersky” etched in stone at the top of the building’s facade. Meyer has built, bought, managed and sold many other buildings in New London over the years.
At 17, Meyer was president of the Fraternal League of Young Men for Workers. In 1927 Meyer was reported as the largest individual taxpayer in the City of New London.
Meyer’s commercial success has allowed him and his family to live a good life in New London.
The mansion was beautiful. The front of the mansion still has the covered area where horse-drawn carriages used to stop at the house.
The main entrance has a raised area and the remains of the old opening in the balustrade that allowed women to get out of their cars and directly onto the entrance rather than the floor. It helped keep their clothes long and their shoes clean.
There was a separate entrance and living quarters on the right side of the house for their staff. Several staff members helped maintain the house and grounds, cooked for the family, and did other jobs for which they had been hired.
In the basement, a wall of storage cupboards for food and other supplies that the staff used to look after the house remains.
Anna, on her many trips to Europe and the East, often brought back wonderful things that she had found for their home. Most of the rooms in the mansion have fireplaces which were originally the main source of heat. Several of the fireplaces have beautiful ornate hearths, beautifully designed mantels and side panels with hand painted details brought in from afar.
Several of the lightings and stained glass were also brought back from overseas. Some bedrooms have drawers and built-in cupboards for hanging and storing clothes.
Many years later, radiators were installed throughout the house.
The shed is a separate building to the right of the house and was used to store horse-drawn carriages. It has four double-wide doors to allow easy access to the trolleys and has additional space for working and storing maintenance supplies. The shed is still standing and is part of the original property.
The house to the right of the shed was originally the barn where the horses needed to pull the carriages were kept. The frame part A of the house is the original part of the barn. The rear of the house still has the original slotted barn door. The top of the door could open while leaving the bottom of the door closed. This allowed the horses to get some fresh air while remaining safe in the stable.
This house is no longer owned by Hollandersky Mansion and an addition has been added.
Like so many others, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Meyer experienced difficult financial times. Meyer was good friends with Mr. Louziuotis, who loaned Meyer $ 1,500 to help pay off his mortgage. Meyer insisted he had a signed note from Meyer for the loan, so he didn’t lose the money if the house was later taken over.
Mr. Louziuotis did not want Meyer’s note, but Meyer insisted. Times got harder and harder and Hollandersky Mansion, their home, was foreclosed. Mr. Louziuotis bought the property.
Originally converted into apartments, the building was called The Warren Apartments. The top floor was the attic and has since been converted into two apartments, for a total of seven apartments which are now present in The Hollandersky Mansion.
Mr. Louziuotis’ son, Demetrios (Jim), subsequently took over the property. It is interesting to me that what was once the home of a family of four is now the home of seven families.
In 2018, Jim Louziuotis gave my sister Linda and myself a tour of the building and two apartments that were empty at the time. He told us the story of the entire property and how he acquired it. Jim also told us how he did as much as possible to keep the original interior and exterior intact.
On January 2, 2020, Shankaiahagri Saikumar purchased the property and in April 2020 Jim Louziuotis died of COVID-19 at the age of 92.