Cultural Heritage Tours

A project of the ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTER

Wooster Square Tour

Maresca’s Funeral Home

592 Chapel Street

Maresca’s Funeral Home horse drawn hearse, c. 1890. Courtesy Maresca's Funeral Home.

Maresca & Sons began in 1888 when Alfonso Maresca established the firm on Grand Avenue near Bradley Street and became the first funeral director of Italian descent in Greater New Haven. Alfonso was one of the founders of St. Michael’s Church along with Paul Russo. His name is engraved on the bell in the tower of St. Michael’s Church. Alfonso’s fine tradition of service was carried on by his two sons, Mariano (Rene) J. Maresca and William H. Maresca. Joseph F. Rapuano, grandson of the founder carefully nurtured this fine reputation, joining the family firm after graduating from Yale University. Great-grandson Neil Rapuano is the current Director of the funeral home.

In 1920, the firm purchased the Governor James English Home at 592 Chapel Street. This home, designed by Henry Austin and originally built in 1845 for the Connecticut Congressman, Governor, and President of the New Haven Clock Company, has been designated a New Haven Landmark as part of the city’s first Historic District of Wooster Square.

Later, extensive remodeling and renovation were completed and a large wing with the new entrance was added during the firm’s expansion program.


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