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Old Pictures of Hartford

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From Hartford.gov.

Main Street: WWI parade. Hats still in style.

3467744069_d2611f442b_o.jpg

The women of the war.

3467746883_69f8a9d990_o.jpg

Then a more important city - a victorious Charles Lindbergh on Main.

3467745927_7822d8b162_o.jpg

Cheney Building when it still had its hat.

3467745003_4bfe38943c_o.jpg

Old State House when it was still painted white.

3467746317_961a4632e9_o.jpg

Bushnell Park when it still had its river.

3468558558_255093f5d4_o.jpg

Hartford street when it still had its trolley.

3467745819_11461f0f0f_o.jpg

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.

3468560136_b113d9c8f1_o.jpg

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.

3467745231_8088bb12e3_o.jpg

Alleys, minorities, and wood-clad survivors. Segregation then was by block and street, today it’s by city.

3468559720_9c41a79ffa_o.jpg

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.

3467746463_c2386ca63b_o.jpg

No skyscrapers.

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Lawn mower on the capitol grounds portending a suburban future.

3467747381_b5e65e16c7_o.jpg

Edited by Chessplayer

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Posted

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

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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

TempleStreet.jpg

South from Travelers Tower

SouthfromTravelers.jpg

North from Travelers Tower

NorthfromTravelersTower.jpg

Lobby of the Bond Hotel

HotelBondLobby.jpg

Old Front Street

FrontStreet.jpg

Charter Oak

CharterOak.jpg

Bushnell Park

BushnellPark.jpg

Another shot of Bushnell Park with the Hollander Building in the background

BushnellPark2.jpg

Asylum looking west

Asylum.jpg

Asylum looking east

AsylumlookingEast.jpg

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Posted

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.

WoodlandandAsylum1919.jpg

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.

ViewEastfromOldStatehouse1854.jpg

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.

TheCharterOakca1850-1856.jpg

Just because he was my favorite president of all time, here is a picture of Teddy Roosevelt outside of Union Station.

TeddyRooseveltatUnionStation.jpg

State Street in 1897

StateStreet1897.jpg

School for the Deaf back when it was on Asylum Street.

SchoolfortheDeafonAsylumStreetearly.jpg

Pearl Street Congregational Church taken 1889

PearlStreetChurch1899.jpg

This picture is of the City's Hall of Records on Pearl Street. It was taken in 1916.

PearlStreet-HallofRecords1916.jpg

Another view of Pearl Street, this time from 1881.

PearlStreet1881.jpg

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Posted

And more....

Another shot of Pearl Street, this one from the 1920's.

PearlSteet-lookingeast1920.jpg

Here is a firehouse on Park Street

ParkStreetFireStation.jpg

Another shot of Park Street from 1896. This one features an old pre-revolutionary home.

ParkStreet1896.jpg

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.

ParkRiver-FromMainStBridge1890s.jpg

A 1901 view of the Park River and the Capitol in Bushnell Park.

ParkRiver1901.jpg

Statehouse Square in 1911

OldStateHouse1911.jpg

The old St. Josephs Cathedral

OldStJosephs.jpg

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Posted

Keeping them coming...

This is the old Police Headquarters located at the corner of Market and Kinsey Streets.

OldPoliceHeadquarters-KinseyandMark.jpg

A 1947 shot of the corner of Main and Temple Streets.

MainandTemple1947.jpg

A shot of the Corner of Main and Pearl Streets taken in 1900.

MainandPearl1900.jpg

Main and Gold Streets in 1897.

MainandGold1897.jpg

A parade down Main Street in 1916.

MainStrett-WWIParade1916.jpg

Another view of Main Street from 1935, this time looking North.

MainStreetLookingNorth1935.jpg

This one looking South down Main Street is from 1867.

MainStreet1867.jpg

A 1905 shot of the Garde Hotel. What a spectacular building. Anyone know how the city lost this one?

GardeHotel1905.jpg

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.

FerryStreet1884.jpg

The corner of Elm and Trinity Streets in the 1920's

ElmandTrinity1920.jpg

This house stood at 19 Prospect Street. It was one of the oldest buildings in the city when this picture was taken in 1911.

DunhamHouse19ProspectStreet1911.jpg

A view of the Center Congregational Church from the 1860's

CenterCongregationalChurch1860s.jpg

Baseball in Colt Park in 1914

BaseballinColtPark1914.jpg

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Posted

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.

Asylumlookingnorthearly1900s.jpg

67 Collins Street.

67CollinsStreet1880.jpg

A view of 61 Prospect Street taken in the 1920's

61ProspectStreet1920.jpg

This house stood on Asylum Street. It was built in the 1780's and torn down in 1894.

607AsylumBuilt1780-TornDown1894.jpg

445 Main Street in 1895.

445MainStreet1895.jpg

Market Street in 1910.

33MarketStreet1910.jpg

A view of Pratt Street from 1897

29PrattSt1897.jpg

This building stood across from the train station on the corner of Asylum and Union Place

UnionPlaceandAsylum1907.jpg

American Row in 1890

StateStreetandAmericanRow1890.jpg

Main Street 1910

PhoenixBankBuilding-MainStreet1910.jpg

Looking west on Pearl Street in the 1890's

PealStreet1890s.jpg

Main street during the Great Blizzard of 1888

MainStreet-Blizzardof1888.jpg

The Park River from Ford Street

FordStreet-ParkRiver.jpg

Asylum Street in 1910

AsylumStreet1910.jpg

Apparently the city had a second train station in 1934

CentralRailroadStation1934.jpg

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Posted

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

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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?

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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.

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Posted

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.

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

Pre-Highways

PreHighway.jpg

and Post-Highways

PostHighway.jpg

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

Pre-Highways

and Post-Highways

those are very good pics.

It looks like the 2nd one is still pretty old. it predates all the skyscrapers of the 1980s

and the destruction of buildings for the planned skyscrapers of the early 1990s.

to me that after photo is still not terrible, but you can see that a great deal of damage had allready been done.

such a shame

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This one isn't exactly old pictures and it isn't really Hartford specific, but for those interested in old buildings in the state, the Historic Buildings of CT Blog is a fabulous site for learning about the many historic buildings in the state. The guy who does it updates it every day and does a great job of digging up a ton of information from all across the web in each of his posts. This in one of the first sites that I visit each day. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

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This site is a large collection of old postcards of Hartford. There is some really great stuff in there like this one of Bushnell Park, the Park River, and the old high school.

card16042_fr.jpg

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there were maybe 80 old photos of the Front Street area thruought time at the Big MO on Saturday night. Wish I could have shared them all here.

they followed a timeline from about 1900 till the district was destroyed and highways built etc...

also a model of the origonal Constitution plaza.

people say we got a cheapened down version... and while that may be true I prefer what we got to what was planned. The boat building was to look just like 100 or 1 constitution plaza, jut a rectangle. also the hotel was only to be a little bigger than it is, and the low rise buildings in the North were to be yet another clone of 1, and 100. but the arena was bad. I much rather have the Hartford steam boiler building, and 2 towers of 460 Columbus over that arena and its planned parking.

the only real loss is the north end of the plazxa where those bunker like buildings stand now.

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there were maybe 80 old photos of the Front Street area thruought time at the Big MO on Saturday night. Wish I could have shared them all here.

they followed a timeline from about 1900 till the district was destroyed and highways built etc...

also a model of the origonal Constitution plaza.

people say we got a cheapened down version... and while that may be true I prefer what we got to what was planned. The boat building was to look just like 100 or 1 constitution plaza, jut a rectangle. also the hotel was only to be a little bigger than it is, and the low rise buildings in the North were to be yet another clone of 1, and 100. but the arena was bad. I much rather have the Hartford steam boiler building, and 2 towers of 460 Columbus over that arena and its planned parking.

the only real loss is the north end of the plazxa where those bunker like buildings stand now.

I have a book that shows that model. I don't think it represented the original concept.

What I think people meant about the cheapened down version was that the concept wasn't fulfilled.

1) We didn't get the residential

2) The whole idea about the plaza level was that it was supposed to match the level of Main Street. I think it was called "level 68". The link to Main Street never happened.

I once saw a picture of a 30 story building for the Phoenix site.

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I have a book that shows that model. I don't think it represented the original concept.

What I think people meant about the cheapened down version was that the concept wasn't fulfilled.

1) We didn't get the residential

2) The whole idea about the plaza level was that it was supposed to match the level of Main Street. I think it was called "level 68". The link to Main Street never happened.

I once saw a picture of a 30 story building for the Phoenix site.

 

How do I see these photos?  My grandparents owned a store at 143 Front street and I have been trying to find old maps and/or old Pictures of Front street back then.  Does anyone know where I can find pictures?  Thank you so much.  I'm on a desperate hunt and not getting very far.

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hmmm

try the CT historical society?

 

the big MO event I referenced supports riverfront recapture, so maybe if you reach out to riverfront recapture and the event fron 2010 someone might remember

 

the event was held in the current location of Front Street theater

 

thats reallky all I know

 

oh that and there is a new CEO at riverfront recapture as of about a week ago

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