New London Landmarks is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors with a full-time executive director and a part-time archivist. We were formed in 1976 when the community rallied to save Union Station from demolition.
The mission of NLL is to preserve and promote New London's historic character through education, advocacy and the rehabilitation of historic structures.
The NLL office at 49 Washington Street contains extensive files on all National Register Historic Districts and Individually Listed Sites in New London. Additional files are kept on individual structures, listed by street address. Historic and current photos files, newspaper clippings, maps and a variety of historic documents are included in the files.
Appointments for research can be made by calling 860-442-0003.
What We Do
We are actively working to preserve New London’s historic resources through educational programs, house tours, collaborations with New London Main Street, also a National Trust program, and other historic organizations in the city.
New London Landmarks . . .
Advocates for the preservation and maintenance of New London’s historic and cultural resources.
Advocates for the concept: “Preservation IS Economic Development.”
Researches New London’s architectural treasures and history.
Maintains and expands informational files on homes and buildings.
Plans educational programs and tours relating to New London’s history and architecture.
Works to preserve New London’s historic resources through house tours and collaborations with New London Main Street and other historic organizations in the city.
Here are highlights of the history of New London Landmarks.
1976 New London Landmarks (NLL) forms and merges with Union Railroad Station Trust to form a united voice for preservation. In 1979 NLL purchases Elias Jennison House, 89 Hempstead St, overseas structural repairs, and sells house in 1982.
1980’s NLL completes historical and architectural survey of East New London and Fort Trumbull as well as nominating many historic districts to the National Register of Historic Places. Local history curriculum developed by NLL given to New London Board of Education. NLL purchases David Bishop House (DBH), 49 Washington St, for $22,000.
1990’s Renovation of David Bishop House. NLL and Habitat for Humanity (HFH) enter joint venture for finishing building. NLL urges P&Z to deny permit that would lead to demolition of Hygienic building; and, NLL plays key role in bringing Main Street program to New London. Antientist Burial Place plaques put in ground for restored gravestones.
2000’s Coalition to save the Fort Trumbull Neighborhood with monthly meetings at NLL office. City Council passes new Delay of Demolition ordinance developed by NLL. NLL takes active role in promoting redesign of Parade and contracted by City of New London to write a Design Guidelines booklet for use with potential developers which were accepted by City Council and P&Z Commission in 2010.
NLL receives Creative Placemaking grant from the State to work with the community, of Peter Miniutti UConn, and landscape architects Kent+Frost to develop master plan for Hodges Square and Riverside Park.
NLL collaborates in successful effort to save 1824 Greek Revival house at 94 Ocean Avenue.
When the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship comes to New London, NLL partneres with several organizations to produce “Built on Blubber,” a series of historically-themed events around the visit.
In 2016 New London Landmarks celebrates its 40th Anniversary and premieres This Old Home Show.
Prevents the demolition of two historic buildings on Bank Street.
Collaborates with Connecticut Fair Housing Center on a lecture and walking tour exploring the effects of urban renewal on the former Shapley Street neighborhood.
Hosts lectures on a flood mitigation plan for South Water Street, on New London's whalers of color, the anarchist community that emigrated from Fano, Italy to the Fort Trumbull peninsula, and the history of the New London branch of the NAACP.
Restored the gravestones of Ichabod and Rose Pease in Cedar Grove cemetery.
Purchased, secured funding for, and began the rehabilitation of 23 Franklin Street.
Board and Staff
Thomas Couser, President
Laurie Deredita, Vice President
Fred Paxton, Treasurer
Elizabeth Holt, Secretary
Laura Natusch, Executive Director
The Rescue of Richardson's Last Station is a 30-minute documentary released in 1978 about New London's Union Station built by famed architect Henry Hobson Richardson in 1888 along with the story of the community efforts to save this significant building from demolition in 1976. (click on image above to watch)
Executive Director of New London Landmarks since April, 2017, Laura Natusch served as the City of New London's Chief Administrative Officer and has taught art history at Michell College. She has volunteered on numerous political and issue-based campaigns and has served on the City of New London's Personnel Board and as a director of Fiddleheads Food Co-operative and OutCT. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, she lives with her husband, cats and rabbit in a Greek Revival house on Mountain Avenue, New London.
Tom Couser studied early American architecture while earning his PhD in American Studies at Brown University. He then taught English and American Studies at Connecticut College and Hofstra University in New York until he retired in 2011. He joined the board in 2013 and soon thereafter he began doing research for Landmarks plaques.
He lives in Quaker Hill with his wife, art historian Barbara Zabel, and their cat Luna. He enjoys playing ice hockey year-round and sea kayaking in the warmer months.