January 18, 2019

Preservation Personals: A Connecticut Spanish Revival Restored to Its Former Glory

  • By: Nicholas Som

My name is Rock Hall, but I’d rather be called your new home. A Spanish Revival-style mansion located in Colebrook, Connecticut, I was designed by architect Addison Mizner and constructed in 1911. Mizner is best known for his work in Florida, introducing Palm Beach and Boca Raton to the Mediterranean architecture that has since become characteristic of the towns. But I’m the last Mizner building still standing north of the Mason-Dixon Line—a splash of Spanish flair among the saltboxes.

That might not have been the case without the hard work of Stella and Michael Somers, my owners. I had fallen into disrepair when they first discovered me, and though my pipes had frozen and I contained no insulation to speak of, they were attracted to my coffered chestnut woodwork and impressive-yet-comfortable scale. They restored me to my original grandeur in 18 months, repairing everything from my casement and double-hung windows to my original ribcage shower.

I’m currently being used as a hotel, so you can be confident I’m equipped for comfort. There’s loads of space to stretch out and enjoy, with over 9,500 square feet and 22 acres of land. Five bedrooms and seven baths mean privacy shouldn’t be too hard to come by, but if you feel like hosting a summertime party, you should certainly consider making use of the 75-foot gunite pool and accompanying pool house in my backyard.

As far as notable features go, you can’t miss the fireplace in my great room. One of seven on the property, it’s among the first cast concrete fireplaces ever installed, and it comes with its original mantlepiece. And then there’s my wine cellar, protected by a bank vault door. When they purchased me, my owners needed to hire a jeweler who rebuilt the lock and picked it to gain access.

All in all, I’m a stunning combination of space, livability, and amenities, with the history to match. Click here to learn more.

An aerial view of Rock Hall in Colebrook, Connecticut.

photo by: Elyse Morris

Colebrook, CT 06021.

The Great Room of Rock Hall.

photo by: Elyse Morris

Many local woods were used in my construction, including the chestnut of my great room.

The fireplace in the Great Room of Rock Hall.

photo by: Elyse Morris

My great room's cast concrete fireplace is one of the first of its kind.

Nicholas Som is an editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. He enjoys museums of all kinds, Philadelphia sports, and tracking down great restaurants.


Help save Nina Simone’s childhood home, the place where the “High Priestess of Soul” discovered her love for music.

Contribute Now