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MadVlad

The REAL Constitution Plaza

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A Lost Connection

Great article, this is what really should have happened to Hartford. A few points: the Civic Center and Coliseum would have been by the river, there would have been a land bridge to Main St, and there would have been plenty of residential. Most of us know plenty of this, but some don't, so I thought it would be interesting. ANyone here good with photoshop and show a current overview?

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I have heard about all of the elements of Constitution Plaza that were left out before, but never to the detail presented in this article. This was a great piece. It also bums me out about the lost opportunity here.

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Awesome article, but I'm having a problem with the "actuaries" bit; were they really the ones to scuttle the project, or is that just a way to make fun of an insurance company? Does it really make a difference that it was Travelers, or would any company in that economic climate have trimmed the fat similarly? Given that it's an era with few good examples of urban renewal probjects, I'm not inclined to believe that this one ever really had a chance of being done properly, just as nobody ever should've believed Evergreen Walk would be mixed use. Ultimately, the planners don't control the money, so the soft costs of poor design are never felt by the developer, who cuts corners without a long-term vision. Are new commercial properties still subject to accelerated depreciation? That would explain a lot.

Anyway, I still think it would be a good idea to provide a grand staircase at the bottom of Temple Street, to do something to make that long-lost link. Given the current development on Temple, and the lofts there, it makes sense to open up the plaza on that end. It would provide the easiest link to the waterfront for the folks living there, might help Spris business, and, who knows what it might do down the road for the plaza.

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I agree that even had this project been built to its original scale, it stil wouldn't have been a good project. As Whalers said, no developments from this period turned out to be any good. The fact that they wanted to have all of the various sections connected by eleveated walkways over roads tells you all you need to know about how it would have turned out. The only good that could have potentially come from it would have been if the civic center was put in the spot originally planned. Then maybe the buildings on the cite of the present day civic center could have been saved, and the streetscape preserved. Other than that, Constitution Plaza was always, and contiues to be, a piece of garbage and a great example of the idiotic urban design ideas that were foisted on cities all across this country in the 60's and 70's. The day the entire thing is leveled and replaced with a true urban mixed use development will be a great day for the city of Hartford.

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A Lost Connection

Great article, this is what really should have happened to Hartford. A few points: the Civic Center and Coliseum would have been by the river, there would have been a land bridge to Main St, and there would have been plenty of residential. Most of us know plenty of this, but some don't, so I thought it would be interesting. ANyone here good with photoshop and show a current overview?

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