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Old Pictures of Hartford


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#21 The Voice of Reason

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:34 AM

I like this thread. It just makes me a little upset the city was not a tiny bit more protective at crucial times.

Despite others opinions I do not see a huge loss in the razing of front street.
Lookinh at all the overheads the area south of Market was the oldest area, but not necessarily the best area with the best buildings etc... I guess, progress has to happen at some point is what I am saying and after the flood associated with the 38 hurricane it was easy to give up on that part of the city.

The biggest shame is the destruction of buildings along Main street. I think Main lost the most and most of them were great buildings. The number of buildings that were more than 4 stories tall that we lost is the real problem because they would still work in todays scale.

The Gold building, Bank of America, Bushnell towers, and of course the Society for savings building absolutely decimated that stretch of Main street.

If those buildings were build where constitution plaza was built we would be leaps and bounds ahead of where we are today. but we could play what ifs for ever in this city. It is Hartfords curse.


Incidently
I like this picture most of all. Having this picture makes me want to rebuild these two buildings facades with a modern office building behind them.

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#22 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 02:22 PM

I've been meaning to post these for a while, and since I took the day off and the weather sucks, now is a good time to do it. They are from an old book I have that was put out by the Society for Savings in the early 60's to promote their 150th anniversary.

Main Street looking south from right around G. Fox circa 1870:
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Here's what the Society Room looked like back when it was a bank lobby:
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Here's the railroad station that preceded the current one. It's pretty insane that the train used to cross Asylum street at grade:
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Here is a street map of the city circa 1819:
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Last, here is a shot of the city during the great flood of 1936. It always blows my mind when I see images of this incident. My great-grandfather was a cop for the city when this happened and he had some great stories about it:
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Edited by MichaelQReilly, 28 August 2009 - 02:24 PM.


#23 The Voice of Reason

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 03:12 PM

Last, here is a shot of the city during the great flood of 1936. It always blows my mind when I see images of this incident. My great-grandfather was a cop for the city when this happened and he had some great stories about it:
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It looks like the "tank Farm" is now wher the power plant is, and I 91 goes just north of it.

The only thing extremely sad about this photo is that it is the flood that made the city aggressively cover the hog river, as well as then build dykes and gighways along the ct river to protect the city from flooding.

at the time it mead sense, and at the time it likely helped the city, but right now it is why we have no waterfront and Hartford might as well be landlocked.

#24 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 07:57 PM

It looks like the "tank Farm" is now wher the power plant is, and I 91 goes just north of it.

The only thing extremely sad about this photo is that it is the flood that made the city aggressively cover the hog river, as well as then build dykes and gighways along the ct river to protect the city from flooding.

at the time it mead sense, and at the time it likely helped the city, but right now it is why we have no waterfront and Hartford might as well be landlocked.


I talked about this before, but I would love to know why they did dikes instead of making an embankment.

#25 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 03:24 PM

Some new ones I found on the Library of Congress's on-line picture archive.

This is the Aetna's main building circa 1907. You can see the Wadsworth in the background .
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Here is the Buckley Bridge back when it connected to the street grid. This photo was taken in 1941 and shows the rush hour, which is mainly comprised of defense workers driving back into the city from Pratt and Whitney.
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Here is the fountain in Bushnell Park. You can see that it was once much more nicely landscaped than it is today.
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You can't see much in this, but it is an old drawing of the city from 1841. It's so old that I thought it was worth including.
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This one is 1909 panorama looking north. I think it may have been posted already, but this one is of pretty high resolution, so it is worth posting again.
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This one is a 1913 panorama looking north.
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And this is the same 1913 panorama looking south.
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Here is the Old Statehouse in the 1920's.
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Last, this is Travelers headquarters circa 1909. I can't tell from the picture where this was located.
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Edited by MichaelQReilly, 30 October 2009 - 03:45 PM.


#26 Chessplayer

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:36 PM

From Hartford.gov.

Main Street: WWI parade. Hats still in style.
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The women of the war.
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Then a more important city - a victorious Charles Lindbergh on Main.

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Cheney Building when it still had its hat.
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Old State House when it was still painted white.

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Bushnell Park when it still had its river.

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Hartford street when it still had its trolley.
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East of Main Street. A delightful, non-repetitive assortment of buildings holds a sundry array of shops. Splashes of color, brick, white, brown, and (of course) signage – chimneys, doors, and windows round out the scene. Horror vacui.
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With such a hodgepodge of different owners and spaces, curious niches appear for those willing to take the risk. A direct product of the fundamentals of the built environment; the variety is dictated by a simple formula. Single owner = single business formula; shrink the scale, add more landlords, and diversity ensues.
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Alleys, minorities, and wood-clad survivors. Segregation then was by block and street, today it’s by city.
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Another alley, another intimate jumble of structures. Then a place for the working class, today a
gentrified version of this space could fetch
upwards of a million dollars.
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No skyscrapers.
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Lawn mower on the capitol grounds portending a suburban future.
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Edited by Chessplayer, 02 November 2009 - 08:38 PM.


#27 mikel

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:04 PM

That's a beautiful city I wish I could live in.

#28 Chessplayer

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:17 AM

The thing is Mike, we know what works. Hartford was a functional, urban, livable city until it was sequestered by highways and then literally gutted by modernist urban planning. Take the parking lots by eminent domain, divide them into small parcels, zone for 3-6 stories with ground floor retail, prohibit consolidating parcels, sell them for cheap, and let ensue an Oklahoma style land grab.

Hartford could resemble Vancouver in its urban form.

#29 mikel

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:58 AM

The thing is Mike, we know what works. Hartford was a functional, urban, livable city until it was sequestered by highways and then literally gutted by modernist urban planning. Take the parking lots by eminent domain, divide them into small parcels, zone for 3-6 stories with ground floor retail, prohibit consolidating parcels, sell them for cheap, and let ensue an Oklahoma style land grab.

Hartford could resemble Vancouver in its urban form.



I would love for that to happen. But it's kind of hard to drive dollars downtown when the state government is still funding suburban sprawl.

#30 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:37 PM

Apparently Connecticut History Online is letting people download their pictures now. In the next few weeks I'm going to try and post some of the better ones that I come across.

For now, here is some more pictures of the Great Flood of 1936.

Temple Street
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South from Travelers Tower
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North from Travelers Tower
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Lobby of the Bond Hotel
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Old Front Street
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Charter Oak
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Bushnell Park
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Another shot of Bushnell Park with the Hollander Building in the background
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Asylum looking west
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Asylum looking east
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#31 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:27 PM

Here come a bunch more.

This house was on the corner of Woodland and Asylum Streets. It burned down, but the Wadsworth has one of its interiors.
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This is one of the earliest Hartford picture I can find. It's a shot east from the top of the Old State House taken in 1854.
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Here is another really old picture. This one is of the Charter Oak, it was taken sometime between 1850 and when the tree fell in 1856.
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Just because he was my favorite president of all time, here is a picture of Teddy Roosevelt outside of Union Station.
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State Street in 1897
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School for the Deaf back when it was on Asylum Street.
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Pearl Street Congregational Church taken 1889
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This picture is of the City's Hall of Records on Pearl Street. It was taken in 1916.
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Another view of Pearl Street, this time from 1881.
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#32 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 02:37 PM

And more....


Another shot of Pearl Street, this one from the 1920's.
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Here is a firehouse on Park Street
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Another shot of Park Street from 1896. This one features an old pre-revolutionary home.
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A picture of the Park River from the 1890's. This one is looking East from the Main Street bridge from the place where the Library now stands. The bridge in the background is Commerce Street.
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A 1901 view of the Park River and the Capitol in Bushnell Park.
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Statehouse Square in 1911
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The old St. Josephs Cathedral
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#33 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:02 PM

Keeping them coming...


This is the old Police Headquarters located at the corner of Market and Kinsey Streets.
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A 1947 shot of the corner of Main and Temple Streets.
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A shot of the Corner of Main and Pearl Streets taken in 1900.
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Main and Gold Streets in 1897.
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A parade down Main Street in 1916.
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Another view of Main Street from 1935, this time looking North.
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This one looking South down Main Street is from 1867.
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A 1905 shot of the Garde Hotel. What a spectacular building. Anyone know how the city lost this one?
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I love this picture. This is Ferry Street in 1884. The building in the front is a hotel called the River House. If only we still had this kind of access to the waterfront.
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The corner of Elm and Trinity Streets in the 1920's
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This house stood at 19 Prospect Street. It was one of the oldest buildings in the city when this picture was taken in 1911.
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A view of the Center Congregational Church from the 1860's
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Baseball in Colt Park in 1914
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#34 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 03:13 PM

I really should be working...

A view up Asylum Hill from the early 1900's. You can see the old Buckley High School in the background. What a shame that building was lost.
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67 Collins Street.
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A view of 61 Prospect Street taken in the 1920's
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This house stood on Asylum Street. It was built in the 1780's and torn down in 1894.
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445 Main Street in 1895.
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Market Street in 1910.
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A view of Pratt Street from 1897
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This building stood across from the train station on the corner of Asylum and Union Place
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American Row in 1890
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Main Street 1910
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Looking west on Pearl Street in the 1890's
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Main street during the Great Blizzard of 1888
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The Park River from Ford Street
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Asylum Street in 1910
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Apparently the city had a second train station in 1934
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#35 mikel

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 04:43 PM

Stunning pictures... Where was the second train station?

#36 Chessplayer

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:03 PM

I posted a photothread of old photos of Hartford on the website archboston and received this response - "Holly crap are those old stone pillars in the river the reamins of the old connecticut bridge? I've always asked people what that used to be and no one has ever gave me a straight answer."

Does anyone know the truth of this?

#37 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 12:01 PM

I posted a photothread of old photos of Hartford on the website archboston and received this response - "Holly crap are those old stone pillars in the river the reamins of the old connecticut bridge? I've always asked people what that used to be and no one has ever gave me a straight answer."

Does anyone know the truth of this?


My entirely baseless guess is that it is the remains of a mill dam.

#38 Theophrastus Bombastus

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:43 PM

http://www.parkriver.org/History2.html

Just sad really.... especially "The Plan Proposes Building a Vast Network of Parkways along the Park River Corridor.".

Edited by Theophrastus Bombastus, 19 March 2010 - 01:44 PM.


#39 beash19

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 04:15 PM

Those were amazing photos! I appreciate you showing this on this site. I'm very glad I stumbled upon them. I've always been interested in the "disappearance" of the Park River since I first heard it was buried under Hartford. And thanks for the link to the Watershed site. I'll be looking into that more as well.

#40 MichaelQReilly

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 01:19 PM

Here are two pictures that sum up all of Hartford's Problems:


Pre-Highways
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and Post-Highways
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