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Old Pictures of Hartford

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Posted (edited)

Old State House, 1937. Main Street and Central Row:

Old_State_House,_Hartford,_Connecticut.jpg

From the Library of Congress.

State Capitol, 1909:

6a03026r.jpg

Downtown Hartford from the top of the Capitol Building, 1909. Density, space defined by buildings. A city:

6a18668r.jpg

Same view, 1913:

6a18659r.jpg

Bushnell Park, 1909. Park River before being buried:

6a03032r.jpg

Downtown Hartford, 1909. No parking lots:

6a18648r.jpg

Hartford, 1902. 360 degree aerial panorama:

2685253576_4ae9f0faf3_o.jpg

From Cavutto on Flickr

Vintage postcard. Front Street neighborhood, Bulkeley Bridge, 1906-1916:

1204798831_b5bc77d26d_o.jpg

Please add your own photos or descriptions to those already posted.

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted (edited)

1877 map of Hartford. Medieval street layout, European levels of density:

OldHartfordMap.jpg

The two photos from the City Profile thread (Charles W. Cushman):

"Connecticut's State Capitol dome gets fresh coat of paint." Sept. 24, 1941:

P02511.jpg

"Travelers Insur. Bldg. tower." Sept. 24, 1941:

P02510.jpg

Mikel's description (unfortunately pictures from CT History cannot be posted as images):

"The bridge was the Hoadley Memorial Bridge at the end of Mulberry Street in Bushnell Park. Mulberry Street was erased by the Bushnell Towers/MDC complex.

http://www.cthistoryonline.org/cdm-cho/ite....51/t.gif

The cupola to the left was the Heublein Hotel. You can clearly figure out where the picture is shot in this drawing.

http://www.cthistoryonline.org/cdm-cho/ite....51/t.gif

Two structures that met a very premature demise... and that made Hartford the beautiful place it once WAS."

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted (edited)

Connecticut Courant Building, State Street (Central Row), circa 1900. Demolished for office buildings in the eightees; only the structure on the far left remains:

2109052591_34b4bed30a_o.jpg

Vintage postcard with speedboats on the CT (how about this as a recaptured riverfront). Hartford was once a very wealthy city:

2612618956_f660526157_o.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted (edited)

Photographs by William G. Dudley; dates and some description taken from the CT Historical Society.

Front Street, 1920s:

1995_36_1025.jpg

Asylum St., 1920s. The Bond Hotel in its heyday, streets still unpaved:

1995_36_1130.jpg

Corner of Trumbull and Asylum, 1920s. This building still stands. The Trumbull streetwall is still relatively intact, making it one of Hartford's best streets (along with Pratt and parts of Main Street):

1995_36_777.jpg

Construction of the G. Fox Department Store, 1917:

1995_36_854.jpg

Corner of Park Street and Bartholomew Ave., 1920. Hartford Rubber Works under construction:

1995_36_606.jpg

The cafeteria of Hartford Rubber Works:

1995_36_719.jpg

Zion St. construction, 1920. Draft horses still widely used:

1995_36_1156.jpg

Main Street, 1920. Interior of H.S. Weeks Cigar Store:

1995_36_1094.jpg

Main Street, 1920. Sale at Sage Allen's, at one time the largest independent store in CT:

1995_36_745.jpg

Main Street. The Cheney Building when it was home to the Brown Thompson Department Store:

1995_36_853.jpg

Busier than Brown Thompson's used to be a saying in Hartford. Here the store is advertising a Fire, Smoke, and Water sale:

1995_36_1132.jpg

Park Street and Greenwich, 1920s. A fleet of delivery trucks:

1995_36_809.jpg

Mowing the lawn outside the Capitol Building, 1920s:

1995_36_906.jpg

22 State Street, 1920s. Honiss's Oyster House:

1995_36_848.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted (edited)

The original Aetna Life Insurance Building, built in 1870:

458648.jpg

View from the Southwest, 1892-1896:

607230.jpg

After the 1913 reconstruction. Three floors added, mansard roof gone:

607231.jpg

Demolished for parking, then a useless plaza:

606740.jpg

Viewing South along Main Street, 1913. The Hartford-Aetna National Bank building is the tallest in the photo; it is now Hartford's most embarrassing parking lot. The buildings in the immediate foreground (look at that mansard!) have been demolished for the Bank of America Tower, a mediocre piece of 60s architecture:

458674.jpg

Another view from Main Street, this time to the Southeast, 1913. Here the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company Building is front and center. Nearly every building in this photo is now gone:

458662.jpg

Main and Pearl, 1907. CT Mutual Life Insurance Company Building:

458652.jpg

Built in 1872, the building underwent a renovation in 1899 which added a floor to the six story structure. Before its renovation the building was even more resplendent, a towered Second Empire palace:

606731.jpg

Pearl Street, 1929. Another demolished Pearl Street building, the Judd Building on the far right:

458712.jpg

Pearl Street, 1906. The original Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building. 100 Pearl Street now stands in its place:

610148.jpg

Jewell Street, 1906. The Hartford Fire Insurance Company Building, built in 1870. Demolished in 1930 for 55 on the Park (probably a fair trade):

610150.jpg

State Street, 1906. The 1899 building is the only surviving pre-war building along Central Row. Its architect Ernest Flagg would go on to design the tallest building in the world, the now demolished Beaux-Arts Singer Building in Downtown Manhattan:

610146.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted (edited)

The old CT River Bridge, late 1800s. This covered bridge burned down in 1895 and was replaced by the Bulkeley Bridge:

PostcardHartfordCTOldConnRiverCoveredBridgeCirca1910.jpg

Main Street, 1970. One American Airlines Plaza:

320353.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted (edited)

High and Asylum looking West, 1900. The Garde Hotel, built in 1876 and now demolished:

610151.jpg

From above Bushnell Park, 1909. The Garde Hotel and surrounding buildings:

458709.jpg

Main and Asylum, 1906. The Catlin Building - built in 1897, it must have been considered throwaway architecture because it was demolished in 1912 for the The Hartford - Aetna National Bank Building. Look at that Asylum streetwall extending into the distance!

610142.jpg

Main and Temple, 1906. The Ballerstein Building, directly abutting the Sage Allen Dept. Store. Buildings then had character; here a diminutive clocktower, bay windows, and arches grace the ornamented facade. What is so hard about creating decent architecture like this? Today's mutilation of the block is terrible to look at. Don't developers have the pride to not construct dreck?

610144.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted (edited)

I am sure you guys have seen thost "historic photo" books about towns in New england.

you can see them by going to amazon to preview the books. you can not see every picture, but you can see quite a few.

I think there are 3 volumes of hartford.

http://www.touniteamerica.com/hosted/ct.ph....books.shtml#a1

these links will get you started, and the books are at the bottom in the adds I think

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0738504637...ptu#reader-link

lost Hartford

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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Posted (edited)

Bushnell Park, late 1800s:

4a13195r.jpg

Main Street, 1920. Two views:

080052v.jpg

Trinity College, 1909. View of the "Long Walk." Iconic chapel would be added in the 30s:

6a03020r.jpg

Hartford Fire Insurance Building, early 1900s:

4a22516r.jpg

Pope Manufacturing Company, 1909:

6a03038r.jpg

Ann and Asylum, 1907. Hartford Life Insurance Company Building, now a surface parking lot:

4a13774v.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted

Here's one of the old Front Street district, sure to make you sick when you see how much city is gone.

Looking toward Bukley Bridge

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Posted (edited)

Wethersfield Ave., 1907. Armsmear, the home of Samuel Colt:

3c14500v.jpg

Main Street, 1907. Central Congegational Church:

4a18060r.jpg

Main Street, 1907. Aetna Insurance Company Building:

4a13777r.jpg

Pearl Street, 1910. YMCA Building:

4a22517r.jpg

Allyn Street, 1908. The Allyn House:

4a22514r.jpg

Colt Armory, early 1900s:

4a12213r.jpg

Colt Hart Caldwell Memorial Building, 1908. The parish house of the Church of the Good Shepard. Spire now gone:

4a12214v.jpg

Main Street, 1905. The Old State House is on the left:

4a12212r.jpg

The Hartford Hotel Disaster, 1889. Read the full story here: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/...9649C94689FD7CF

3a53246v.jpg

9:30 P.M. A common case of "team work." Smaller boy (Joseph Bishop) goes into [one of the?] saloons and sells his last papers. Then comes out and his brother gives him more. Joseph said, "Drunks are me best customers." "I sell more'n me brudder does." "Dey buy me out so I kin go home." He sells every afternoon and night. Extra late Saturda[y. At] it again at 6 A.M. From March, 1909:

03236r.jpg

Tommy De Lucco 9 years old, newsie. Been selling 2 years. Sells until 8 P.M. at times. From March, 1909:

03244v.jpg

6:00 A.M. at Post Office Square. Truck load of tobacco workers bound for American Sumatra Tobacco Farm, S[outh] Windsor. They return about 7 P.M. Photograph by Lewis Hine, 1917:

00722v.jpg

Memorial Arch and State House, 1906:

3b23313r.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted

Here's a great find. From Asylum Avenue, four pictures of the Hindenburg on its final journey - May 6, 1937.

2751325770_2895a28174_o.jpg

2751325784_6bf24648c4_o.jpg

2751325790_924ac78610_o.jpg

2751325796_edda4b54be_o.jpg

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Posted

Thanks Mike.

A question: does anyone know where is/was Post Office Square in Hartford? Has it been demolished?

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Mike.

A question: does anyone know where is/was Post Office Square in Hartford? Has it been demolished?

It might have been State House Square. From about 1870 to 1910 there was a big Second Empire Style building built almost on top of the State House that served as the city's post office until the one on Church Street was built.

You can see it in this picture: Old Post Office

and this one: Old Post Office 2

one more: Post Office 3

When I was looking for those pictures I also found this old one looking toward the river from what is today the green behind the Old State House. And here is one looking down State Street toward the river.

On another note, isn't it funny how many of the places we call "squares" really stopped being proper squares when roads were upgraded exclusively for cars. Look at Times Square, for example, its really just some intersections with medians in between. Its nothing like a classic square like Piazza St. Marcos or the like.

Edited by MichaelQReilly

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Posted (edited)

All right, that makes sense - explains that unfamiliar building in the early map as well.

As to squares, perhaps it's just a term that developed to describe a place of convergence. Since town squares used to be the center of activity, it makes sense that the name could eventually be used to describe areas where due to the confluence of traffic (people, horses, trolleys, and eventually cars) the place transformed into a center of activity.

It's just a hypothesis, but even in older pictures of Boston and New York their squares appear to be misnomers.

Herald Square, 1888:

003.jpg

Central Boston with all its "squares," 1923:

imagesboston-1923-aerial-small.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted

All right, that makes sense - explains that unfamiliar building in the early map as well.

As to squares, perhaps it's just a term that developed to describe a place of convergence. Since town squares used to be the center of activity, it makes sense that the name could eventually be used to describe areas where due to the confluence of traffic (people, horses, trolleys, and eventually cars) the place transformed into a center of activity.

It's just a hypothesis, but even in older pictures of Boston and New York their squares appear to be misnomers.

Herald Square, 1888:

003.jpg

Central Boston with all its "squares," 1923:

imagesboston-1923-aerial-small.jpg

Your right about it meaning place of convergence, sorry if I made it sound like I was referring to was the shape. What I was trying to get at is we've sort of lost the pedestrian nature of a lot of our squares by making them almost exclusively for traffic.

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Posted (edited)

Your right about it meaning place of convergence, sorry if I made it sound like I was referring to was the shape. What I was trying to get at is we've sort of lost the pedestrian nature of a lot of our squares by making them almost exclusively for traffic.

No problem - though the mass of people at Times Sq. almost allow the pedestrian to achieve parity with the car.

Another gem. Hartford in the late 40s. The Whitehead highway is complete, and I91 is creeping northward toward the doomed Front Street neighborhood. The Park River has been buried - parking lots are beginning to creep up in and around the downtown area. Unfortunately I can't post "dynamic image files", but here's the link:

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/f?q=H...6cacf431e7c8a1f

This image shows I91 under construction:

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/f?q=H...77192961db85eea

The loss of that five-way intersection (upper left) awful:

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/f?q=H...59744ab01115a8c

One last aerial shot:

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/f?q=H...0143a71de3cf0df

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted

I'm looking for pictures of Hartford in the post-war period: 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Can anyone point me a good direction?

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Posted

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.

610142.jpg

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Posted (edited)

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:

scan0003.jpg

Here's what the Society Room looked like back when it was a bank lobby:

scan0001.jpg

Here's the railroad station that preceded the current one. It's pretty insane that the train used to cross Asylum street at grade:

scan0002.jpg

Here is a street map of the city circa 1819:

scan0004.jpg

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:

scan0005.jpg

Edited by MichaelQReilly

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Posted

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:

scan0005.jpg

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted (edited)

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 .

Aetna1907.jpg

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.

BuckleyBridge1941.jpg

Here is the fountain in Bushnell Park. You can see that it was once much more nicely landscaped than it is today.

BushnellFountain.jpg

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.

CityPrint1841.jpg

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.

Panorama1909.jpg

This one is a 1913 panorama looking north.

Panorama1913.jpg

And this is the same 1913 panorama looking south.

Panorama19132.jpg

Here is the Old Statehouse in the 1920's.

Statehouse1.jpg

Last, this is Travelers headquarters circa 1909. I can't tell from the picture where this was located.

Travelers1907.jpg

Edited by MichaelQReilly

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