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Bill Mocarsky

Grove Street

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I scanned this image from the Hartford News. It is a recent photo of Grove Street in downtown Hartford. The view is looking east from Main Street, toward the Marriott Hotel and Science Center.

i147243_GroveStreet2007.jpg

To show how far this street has come over the years, here is an old photo of the same view.

i147242_GroveStreet19xx.jpg

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So depressing how our city's been ruined. Of course, they could open it up just like that again. Except the SUV drivers will whine because they can't fit their car in the street. Pathetic.

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I scanned this image from the Hartford News. It is a recent photo of Grove Street in downtown Hartford. The view is looking east from Main Street, toward the Marriott Hotel and Science Center.

i147243_GroveStreet2007.jpg

To show how far this street has come over the years, here is an old photo of the same view.

i147242_GroveStreet19xx.jpg

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I worked at the Hartford News offices in the South End last month and this exact topic was brought up. They weren't sure where this pic was originally taken and I suggested between Travelers Tower and 740 Main. They all loved the pic, great pick-up, Bill!!!

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Plus, why on earth would they have gotten rid of that beautiful arched walkway with the clock on the 4th floor and replace it with the ugly brown box they have now???

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Cool, that would be nice to restore it to that condition. 2 sticking points though, the 1st AND 2nd floor walkways between the Travelers buildings, and the planters they built on both sides. Looks better the old way. Plus, why on earth would they have gotten rid of that beautiful arched walkway with the clock on the 4th floor and replace it with the ugly brown box they have now???

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Let cars go through; perhaps pave it w/ bricks (like Pratt) to slow them down. This is just the type of street that makes a city feel like a city. Hartford needs streets like these back.

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I like Bill's idea of making this a pedestrian walk though. He used to have some examples of walk though in other cities. One of my favorites is the Burlington Arcade in London. As I've said before, this is a GREAT idea that should be economically viable and relatively easy to execute.

BondStreetShoppingArcade.jpg

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It wouldn't be hard to do at all. A restored Grove St. would add a connection from Main to the Convention Center and reduce the size of one of Hartford "superblocks"... blocks that are too large and out of scale for a pedestrian friendly streetscape.

Why was this closed in the first place??? So that Travelers workers wouldn't have to walk outside at street level? What a shame.

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I like Bill's idea of making this a pedestrian walk though. He used to have some examples of walk though in other cities. One of my favorites is the Burlington Arcade in London. As I've said before, this is a GREAT idea that should be economically viable and relatively easy to execute.

BondStreetShoppingArcade.jpg

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One of my favorites is the Burlington Arcade in London. As I've said before, this is a GREAT idea that should be economically viable and relatively easy to execute.

BondStreetShoppingArcade.jpg

Unfortunately, it couldn't possibly look like that, both sides are Travelers, there is no space for retail. That being said, I'm with you guys and 100% for re-opening it....

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Is Travelers anti retail? Where do employees go for lunch or a coffee break?

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I like your thinking, but I'm not sure that Grove Street could be anything more than an alley-type street, and a good shortcut and a good place to park. It would be a shame to remove the stonework for street retail on the south side, and there's probably offices in there already. However, on the north side of the street, in that photo, I clearly see a barber shop. So that side may be retail-friendly.

However, the pedestrian arcade just doesn't seem to mesh with the types of buildings. I like that idea, it just hasn't executed well in Hartford. Plus there's no retail around it until you get to Central Row. You'd need heavy pedestrian traffic for something like an arcade full of little shops. And a grand entrance.

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There is existing retail in the Travelers complex. Yes, there is a barber shop, a newsstand too. If you look at Burlington Arcade the passage way is much narrower than Grove Street. And the stores along Burlinton mall are only around ten feet deep. It would definitely fit in that space. But that's only one option.

Grove Stree could remain open air like the Latin Quarter streets in Paris.

Here's another great example with a narrower foot print than Grove Street.

1sam0122.jpg

Or this street in Buenos Aires.

166464-Av-Florida-0.jpg

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That's fine, but you are showing buildings that were set up for retail, the Travelers buildings were not. The Barber Shop you actually have to enter Travelers to get to, it isn't like the pictures you are showing. But hey, if someone can get Travelers to reconfig their buildings and office space, more power too you, retail would indeed be a great addition, though I can't see it happening....

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I tend to agree with those who don't think it's fit for retail. We're struggling to attract soild retail downtown, and I think wherever it is, it has to be concentrated. One street here and one there won't do it b/c they're not connected. Hopefully Front Street will be a hub, Pratt Street has potential to attract more high end retail, which would connect nicely with stores in the Hartford 21 building and with shops on Asylum (like Tuesday's, which is there now, and the places in the Goodwin building). I think Grove is more about connectivity and having a fabric of streets. If there was a barber shop there once--which the picture reflects--then maybe the street would be good for a news-stand, or something similar, which would get daily foot traffic from office workers, as opposed to trying to push leisure retail in there.

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There's plenty of room to either build out from one or both buldings and create a narrower arcade type space.

Or to retrofit the one or both existing buildings with street access.

It's done all the time all over the world. These are not big problems. They are big opportunities.

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I tend to agree with those who don't think it's fit for retail. We're struggling to attract soild retail downtown, and I think wherever it is, it has to be concentrated. One street here and one there won't do it b/c they're not connected. Hopefully Front Street will be a hub, Pratt Street has potential to attract more high end retail, which would connect nicely with stores in the Hartford 21 building and with shops on Asylum (like Tuesday's, which is there now, and the places in the Goodwin building). I think Grove is more about connectivity and having a fabric of streets. If there was a barber shop there once--which the picture reflects--then maybe the street would be good for a news-stand, or something similar, which would get daily foot traffic from office workers, as opposed to trying to push leisure retail in there.

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There's plenty of room to either build out from one or both buldings and create a narrower arcade type space.

Or to retrofit the one or both existing buildings with street access.

It's done all the time all over the world. These are not big problems. They are big opportunities.

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Just demolish the 1st and 2nd floor walkways and replace it with something like that beautiful arched walkway with the clock on the 4th floor. If the street was opened to cars, the planters would have to go. However, if it was pedestrian only, the planters should be able to stay.

I did a little search on the web for pictures that would help stir up the imagination.

19823691.101_0134_1.jpg

5667401.d1000003.jpg

19823692.101_0135_1.jpg

24792833.DSCF2235.JPG

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There's plenty of room to either build out from one or both buldings and create a narrower arcade type space.

Or to retrofit the one or both existing buildings with street access.

It's done all the time all over the world. These are not big problems. They are big opportunities.

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You have no idea what my politics are. I'm not some liberal or conservative you can put in a box.

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I noticed today they are putting fancy decorative streetlamps between the Travelers buildings - a possible opening up of Grove down to Main St???

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It would be great to see them open that up to public pedestrian traffic.

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