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Luca Brasi

Asylum Hill needs saving

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Since we have been talking about certain neighborhoods and development other than downtown, I wanted to bring up Asylum Hill. One of Hartford's wealthiest neighborhoods in the past is now in shambles - and getting worse. Corporate residents like the Hartford and Aetna need to get involved with city and state government the same way Phoenix did with Adriaen's Landing. As a whole I wish that The Hartford would try to integrate into its neighborhood more. To me, it is nothing more than a stand alone fenced in office park dropped into an urban setting.

The neighborhood still has some absolute gems like The Mark Twain House, Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the rest of Nook Farm, the Aetna Building, Clemens Place and the Hartford's buildings. Some of the old mansions and churches that still line Farmington, Forest, Asylum and Woodland Streets still look fantastic. But venture a block off these streets onto Marshall, Niles, Collins, Laurel and parts of Asylum and you take your life in your hands. Boarded up Victorian houses are used as crack houses. Much of the damage was done in the 60's and 70's when developers would buy a property, tear it down and build a band brick box 50 unit apartment building in its place. Property values fell. Drug dealers now hang out on the corner Farmington and Laurel Sts and South Marshall St. and derelicts wander the street and many of these grand brick victorians are in disrepair or used as rooming houses. The neighborhood is plagued by empty lots. There is no reason the city can't save this neighborhood that is a vital link from the West End to Dowtown. From Sargeant St. to Farmington (and Hawthorn) and from Woodland St. to the Hartford needs help.

There needs to be an effort to aquire these homes that are abandoned, in disrepair or that have been converted and offer tax incentives to restore them to their former glory as attractive, large single family homes.

This arguably used to be Hartford's premier neighborhood at the turn of the century:

Boarded up on Collins:

181%20COLLINS%20STREET.jpg

Collins St:

collinsst.jpg

One of the hundreds of brick Victorians in Asylum Hill. This one today is boarded up:

437001.jpg

This home in its better days on Marshall St. It is now missing windows and serves as a rooming house. It is a hangout for vagrants:

260001.jpg

Victorian mansion:

295001.jpg

Anyway - these are just a few of the pictures I found online but there are many more examples from this once beautiful neighborhood. The bones are still there.

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It's really a shame this area does have lovely homes but I have a friend that lives on Laurel Street and it's not the nicest of areas especially at night. I've always thought that increasing private home ownership on these streets would go a long way.

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First, I am going to give the Hartford and Aetna due credit for their existing work in the city, including the NINA group of which they are key sponsors.

But I would love for these companies to have a homeownership program similar to the one Yale runs down in New Haven, which gives its employees up to $25,000 in homebuying assistance if they buy homes in certain targeted neighborhoods. Yale's been running the program for over ten years and has extended it several times due to the program's success.

I can't think of anything that would help turn things the right direction faster than an influx of stable, working adults with homeownership stakes in the neighborhood.

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There is a house that is on Sargent St that is absolutely gorgeous... except that it has been let to rot away. If fixed properly, it could be well on it's way to a mill.....

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Since we have been talking about certain neighborhoods and development other than downtown, I wanted to bring up Asylum Hill. One of Hartford's wealthiest neighborhoods in the past is now in shambles - and getting worse. Corporate residents like the Hartford and Aetna need to get involved with city and state government the same way Phoenix did with Adriaen's Landing. As a whole I wish that The Hartford would try to integrate into its neighborhood more. To me, it is nothing more than a stand alone fenced in office park dropped into an urban setting.

The neighborhood still has some absolute gems like The Mark Twain House, Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the rest of Nook Farm, the Aetna Building, Clemens Place and the Hartford's buildings. Some of the old mansions and churches that still line Farmington, Forest, Asylum and Woodland Streets still look fantastic. But venture a block off these streets onto Marshall, Niles, Collins, Laurel and parts of Asylum and you take your life in your hands. Boarded up Victorian houses are used as crack houses. Much of the damage was done in the 60's and 70's when developers would buy a property, tear it down and build a band brick box 50 unit apartment building in its place. Property values fell. Drug dealers now hang out on the corner Farmington and Laurel Sts and South Marshall St. and derelicts wander the street and many of these grand brick victorians are in disrepair or used as rooming houses. The neighborhood is plagued by empty lots. There is no reason the city can't save this neighborhood that is a vital link from the West End to Dowtown. From Sargeant St. to Farmington (and Hawthorn) and from Woodland St. to the Hartford needs help.

There needs to be an effort to aquire these homes that are abandoned, in disrepair or that have been converted and offer tax incentives to restore them to their former glory as attractive, large single family homes.

This arguably used to be Hartford's premier neighborhood at the turn of the century:

Boarded up on Collins:

181%20COLLINS%20STREET.jpg

Collins St:

collinsst.jpg

One of the hundreds of brick Victorians in Asylum Hill. This one today is boarded up:

437001.jpg

This home in its better days on Marshall St. It is now missing windows and serves as a rooming house. It is a hangout for vagrants:

260001.jpg

Victorian mansion:

295001.jpg

Anyway - these are just a few of the pictures I found online but there are many more examples from this once beautiful neighborhood. The bones are still there.

Luca Brasi:

Some of the old Victorians should be fixed up and let families live in them! I think Some of those homes are beautiful. Another nice building is the 'Hill Center'.

Jim S

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It's a shame to let these beautiful buildings detoriate. I agree with the other posters, we need to give people incentive to move back into these neighborhoods.

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I remember coming across a website about a redesning of Asylum hill. I remember the website highlighting dropping Interstate 84 into the ground, creating a roundabout on Asylum hill, connecting it via skywalk to Bushnell park and raising the Park River. Does anyone know where this is?

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I remember coming across a website about a redesning of Asylum hill. I remember the website highlighting dropping Interstate 84 into the ground, creating a roundabout on Asylum hill, connecting it via skywalk to Bushnell park and raising the Park River. Does anyone know where this is?

It sounds like this

Approaching the Capitol from Farmington Avenue

cpsketch2.gif

This is the view looking northwest from the grounds of the State Capitol in Bushnell Park.

The building with the green dome is the Hartford Fire Insurance Company on Asylum Hill.

nwanimation.gif

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