The building at 227 Willets Ave. has one of the starkest juxtapositions of window signs I've seen. On one side: "We're open! Please come in!" On the other: "Private property. No trespassing."
The site is also one of New London's strange hidden structures, one I didn't spot until recently while driving down Willetts Ave. Located behind and not far from the intersection with Ocean Ave., it has a depository box and two drive-through lanes that clearly point to a former life as a bank. Yet its most prominent feature is the lettering above the entrance, spelling out "Flower Market."
Once a branch of the Union Trust Co., the 1,102 square foot building found new life in 1995 when it was purchased by the florist A Wild Irish Rose. The photo included in city records shows that the drive-through areas were sealed off with temporary wooden walls to create an outdoor display area for plants, and the overhang still contains the hooks for hanging plants. The Planning and Zoning Commission also approved applications by the business to put up a two-family residence on the site, suggesting that the old shop would be torn down, but clearly that hasn't happened.
A Wild Irish Rose still owns the property, although city records put their current address in Old Saybrook; signs giving the business's hours remain in the windows. A sign from is out front, and realty sites are asking for a purchase price of $115,000 and give the caveat that the overgrown property "needs work."
What would you like to see here? Tell us in the comments!