The news articles on this page were donated by G. Donald Steele
$15,000 was the estimated loss when fire gutted the 111-year old Malavolti building at the corner of Whitney and Dixwell Avenues on the night of February 18, 1941. The fire in the two-and-a-half story combination commercial-residential wood frame building was believed to have started when faulty electrical wiring led to an exploding gas meter.
Ten residents of the second floor apartments escaped without injuries. Hamden firefighters worked through the night to contain the blaze to the building of origin. The Hamden branch of the American Red Cross assisted the ten individuals who were displaced by the fire.
The building was condemned and razed, leaving a vacant lot on which local kids played softball until the Malavolti family built the Brown Stone House Restaurant on the site in 1949. We are grateful to G. Donald Steele for the newspaper articles and photos that are posted below.
What was to later become known as the Malavolti Building, started out as a hotel in the early 19th century. The former Centerville House, also known as the Sackett Hotel, fronted on Dixwell Avenue at the intersection of Whitney Avenue.
According to an article puiblished years ago in The Hamden Chronicle, the hotel was built in 1830 and also had a popular tavern. The wrap-around veranda disappeared sometime before it became a multiple commercial building in the early 20th century.