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City of Hartford
—  City  —
Looking towards the Old State House at State House Square in Downtown Hartford

Nickname(s): The Insurance Capital of the World, The Heartbeat, New England's Rising star
Location in Hartford County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°45′57″N 72°41′00″W / 41.76583°N 72.6833333°W / 41.76583; -72.6833333
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA Hartford
Region Capitol Region
Named 1637
Incorporated (city) 1784
Consolidated 1896
 - Type Mayor-council
 - Mayor Eddie Perez (D)
 - City 18.0 sq mi (46.5 km2)
 - Land 17.3 sq mi (44.8 km2)
 - Water 0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
 - Urban 469 sq mi (1,216 km2)
Elevation 59 ft (18 m)
Population (2006)[1]
 - City 124,512
 Density 7,025.5/sq mi (2,776/km2)
 Metro 1,188,241
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 061xx
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-37000
GNIS feature ID 0213160
Airport Bradley International Airport (Windsor Locks, CT) – BDL (International/Major)

Hartford is the capital city of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located in Hartford County on the Connecticut River, north of the center of the state, 24 miles (39 km) south of Springfield, Massachusetts. Its 2006 population was 124,512[1]. Hartford ranks as the state's third-largest city,[2] after Bridgeport and New Haven, 40 miles (64 km) to the south.[1] Greater Hartford is also the largest metro area in Connecticut and 45th largest in the country (2006 census estimate) with a metropolitan population of 1,188,841.

Nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", Hartford houses many of the world's insurance company headquarters, and insurance remains the region's major industry.[3] Almost 400 years old, Hartford is among the oldest cities in the United States, and following the American Civil War, Hartford took the mantle of the country's wealthiest city from New Orleans.[4] In 1868, Mark Twain exclaimed: "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, Hartford is the chief".[5]

Hartford has begun to attract new development, especially downtown, after years of relative stagnation. The Connecticut Convention Center was opened in 2005, and the Connecticut Science Center followed in 2009. In the 1960s, the construction of Interstate 91 effectively separated the city from the Connecticut River; ambitious landscaping projects are attempting to rejoin the riverfront to downtown.

Hartford is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest public park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public), and until its closure in 2009, the sixth-oldest opera company in the nation (Connecticut Opera).

In 2004, the Hartford metropolitan area ranked second per capita for economic activity, behind San Francisco, California. Hartford is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and generates more economic activity than sixteen U.S. states.[6][7]



This is a summary. For more information, see: History of Hartford, Connecticut

After Dutch explorer Adriaen Block visited the area in 1614, fur traders from the New Netherland colony set up trade at Fort Goede Hoop (Good Hope) at the confluence of the Connecticut and Park Rivers[8] as early as 1623, but abandoned their post by 1654. Today, the neighborhood near the site is still known as Dutch Point. The first English settlers arrived in 1635 and their settlement was originally called Newtown, but was renamed Hartford in 1637. The name "Hartford" was chosen to honor the English town of Hertford, home of Samuel Stone, one of the settlers.

1877 Map of Hartford

The leader of Hartford's original settlers from what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts, Pastor Thomas Hooker, delivered a sermon which inspired the writing of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a document (ratified January 14, 1639) investing the people with the authority to govern, rather than ceding such authority to a higher power. Hooker's conception of self-rule embodied in the Fundamental Orders went on to inspire the Connecticut Constitution, and ultimately the U.S. Constitution. Today, one of the Connecticut's nicknames is the 'Constitution State'.[9][10]

Founded in 1872, the Ados Israel Synagogue closed in the mid-1980s, as the Jewish community expanded to suburbs such as West Hartford.

On December 15, 1814, delegations from throughout New England gathered at the Hartford Convention to discuss possible secession from the United States. Later in the century, Hartford was a center of abolitionist activity. Harriet Beecher Stowe, daughter of Lyman Beecher and author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, lived in Nook Farm, part of the Asylum Hill section of the city.

On the week of 12 April 1909 the Connecticut River reached a then-record flood stage of 24½ feet above the low water mark flooding the city and doing great damage.[11]

In July 6, 1944, the Hartford Circus Fire destroyed the big top at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the deadliest circus fire in the history of the United States. On November 3, 1981, Thirman L. Milner became the first black mayor elected in New England.[citation needed] In 1987, Carrie Saxon Perry was elected mayor of Hartford, the first female African-American mayor of a major American city.[citation needed]

State House Square in Downtown Hartford

Starting in the late 1950s the suburbs of Hartford grew while the capital city began a long decline. This decline may have been accelerated by construction of highways (including I-84 & I-91 which intersect in downtown Hartford). Many residents moved out of the city and into the suburbs, and this trend continues. During the 1980s, Hartford experienced an economic boom of sorts and by the late 1980s, almost a dozen new skyscrapers were proposed to be built in the city's downtown. For various reasons, including the economic recession that followed in the early 1990s, many of these buildings were never built. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, many workers in Hartford lived more than twenty-minutes drive from the city—though according to the Census Bureau, the city's average commute time of 22 minutes is a full three minutes less than the U.S. average [12]. In the past few years, development, both commercial and residential, has increased downtown.[citation needed]

Geography and climate

Downtown Hartford from above

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.0 square miles (46.5 km²), of which, 17.3 square miles (44.8 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (3.67%) is water.

Connecticut River at Hartford, looking West.

Hartford is bordered by the towns of West Hartford, Newington, Wethersfield, East Hartford, Bloomfield, South Windsor, and Windsor.

The Connecticut River forms the boundary between Hartford and East Hartford.

The Park River originally divided Hartford into northern and southern sections and was a major part of Bushnell Park but river was nearly completely enclosed and buried by flood control projects in the 1940s.[8] The former course of the river can still be seen in some of the roadways that were built in its place, such as Jewell St. and the Conlin-Whitehead Highway.[13]

Hartford lies in the Humid continental climate zone. Summers are typically hot and muggy by New England standards, while winters are typically cold with frequent snowfall. The average annual precipitation is approximately 44 inches (1,100 mm), which is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Hartford typically receives about 48.0 inches of snow in an average winter; the record seasonal snowfall was 115.2 inches (2,930 mm) during the winter of 1995–1996.[14] The first snowfall typically occurs in mid to late November and the last snow of the season usually occurs in late March, although accumulating snow has occurred as early as late September and as late as mid-May in extreme events. During the summer, temperatures often exceed 90 °F (32 °C). Thunderstorms are common during the summer months since the frontal boundary that separates the tropical air mass from colder air to the north moves back and forth over the city. While these thunderstorms may be severe with damaging winds and hail, tornadoes are rare. Tropical storms and hurricanes have also struck Hartford, although the occurrence of such systems is rare and is usually confined to the remnants of such storms.

Climate data for Hartford
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
Average high °F (°C) 34
Average low °F (°C) 17
Record low °F (°C) -26
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.4
Snowfall inches (mm) 12.0
Source: [15] September 24, 2009


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1800 3,523
1810 3,955 12.3%
1820 4,726 19.5%
1830 7,074 49.7%
1840 9,468 33.8%
1850 13,555 43.2%
1860 26,917 98.6%
1870 37,180 38.1%
1880 42,015 13.0%
1890 53,230 26.7%
1900 79,850 50.0%
1910 98,915 23.9%
1920 138,036 39.6%
1930 164,072 18.9%
1940 166,267 1.3%
1950 177,397 6.7%
1960 162,178 −8.6%
1970 158,017 −2.6%
1980 136,392 −13.7%
1990 139,739 2.5%
2000 121,578 −13.0%
Est. 2006 124,512 [16] 2.4%
Population 1800–1990[17]

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 121,578 people, 44,986 households, and 27,171 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,025.5 people per square mile (2,711.8/km²). There were 50,644 housing units at an average density of 2,926.5/sq mi (1,129.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 27.72% White, 38.05% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 26.51% from other races, and 5.44% from two or more races. 40.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, chiefly of Puerto Rican origin. 17.83% of the population classified itself as non-Hispanic White.

There were 44,986 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.2% were married couples living together, 29.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the city, the population distribution skews young: 30.1% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males.

With thirty per cent of the population living below the poverty line, Hartford's rate of poverty is second in the United States only to Brownsville, Texas.[19] About 28.2% of families were below the poverty line, including 41.0% of those under age 18 and 23.2% of those age 65 or over.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,820, and the median income for a family was $27,051. Males had a median income of $28,444 versus $26,131 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,428. After World War II, and continuing through the latter half of the 20th century, many Puerto Ricans moved to the city. As of 2000, 32.56% of Hartford residents claimed Puerto Rican heritage. This was the second largest concentration of Puerto Ricans on the US mainland, behind only Holyoke, Massachusetts.[20]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005[21]
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
  Democratic 30,332 5,981 36,313 65.81%
  Republican 2,248 351 2,599 4.71%
  Unaffiliated 12,880 3,324 16,204 29.37%
  Minor Parties 48 13 61 0.11%
Total 45,508 9,669 55,177 100%


Pratt Street in Downtown Hartford

Hartford's neighborhoods are a diverse and historic lot. The central business district, as well as the State Capitol, Old State House and a number of museums and shops are located Downtown. Parkville, home to Real Art Ways, is named for the confluence of the north and the south branches of the Park River. Frog Hollow, in close proximity to Downtown, is home to Pope Park and Trinity College which is one of the nation's oldest institutions of higher learning. Asylum Hill, a mixed residential and commercial area, houses the headquarters of several insurance companies as well as the historic homes of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The West End, home to the Governor's residence, Elizabeth Park, and the University of Hartford, abuts the Hartford Golf Club. Sheldon Charter Oak is renowned as the location of the Charter Oak and its successor monument as well as the former Colt headquarters including Samuel Colt's family estate - Armsmear. The North East neighborhood is home to Keney Park and a number of the city's oldest and ornate homes. The South End features "Little Italy" and was the home of Hartford's sizeable Italian community. South Green hosts Hartford Hospital. The South Meadows is the site of Hartford-Brainard Airport and Hartford's industrial community. The North Meadows has retail strips, car dealerships, and Comcast Theatre. Other neighborhoods in Hartford include Barry Square, Behind the Rocks, Blue Hills, Clay Arsenal, South West, and Upper Albany.


Travelers Tower in Downtown Hartford.

Hartford is the historic international center of the insurance industry, with companies such as Travelers, Aetna, The Hartford, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. and Hartford Steam Boiler based in the city. The area is also home to CIGNA, Colt Firearms, U.S. Fire Arms and United Technologies.

Nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Hartford was a major manufacturing and publishing city. Among these was the pioneer bicycle (and later) automobile maker Pope.[22] As in many northern industrial cities, many factories have been closed, relocated, or reduced operations.

Despite the city's lengthy history with the insurance industry, various insurers have recently left Hartford and moved their operations to other locations, including to some of Hartford's suburbs. Citing the tax structure in the city and parking shortages, MetLife recently vacated several floors in CityPlace, Connecticut's largest office building, and joined CIGNA in a large suburban campus in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Lincoln Financial has recently cut its Hartford workforce, while Travelers elected to construct a sprawling training complex in Windsor, Connecticut, just north of the city. Additionally, MassMutual recently relocated its Hartford operations to Enfield, Connecticut, to be closer to its headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the insurance giant The Hartford has relocated some of its employees to nearby Simsbury, Connecticut.

At the same time, many companies have moved to or expanded in the central business district and surrounding neighborhoods. Aetna announced mid-decade that by 2010 it would move nearly 3,500 employees from its Middletown, Connecticut offices to its corporate headquarters in the Asylum Hill section of the city. Travelers recently expanded its operations at several downtown locations. In 2008, Sovereign Bank consolidated two bank branches as well as its regional headquarters in a nineteenth century palazzo on Asylum Street. In 2009, Northeast Utilities, a Fortune 500 company and New England's largest energy utility, announced it would establish its corporate headquarters downtown. In the same year, work began at the southeastern corner of Constitution Plaza on the AI Technology Center, the future headquarters of the eponymous engineering firm. AI's chief executive helped finance the building, the first commercially leasable structure in Connecticut to be certified at the platinum level under the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. Other recent entrants into the downtown market include GlobeOp Financial Services and specialty insurance broker S.H. Smith.



Colleges and universities

Hartford houses several world-class institutions such as the Wadsworth Atheneum and Trinity College. Other notable institutions include the Hartford Conservatory (in the Asylum Hill neighborhood), The Institute of Living, Capital Community College (located Downtown in the old G. Fox Department Store building on Main Street), the University of Connecticut School of Business (also Downtown), the Hartford Seminary (in the West End), the University of Connecticut School of Law (also in the West End) the University of Connecticut Health Center Campus (in nearby Farmington) and Rensselaer at Hartford (a North Meadows branch campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

The University of Hartford features several cultural institutions: the Joseloff Gallery, the Renee Samuels Center, and the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts center. The "U of H" campus is co-located in the city's West End and in neighboring towns West Hartford and Bloomfield.

Primary and secondary education

Hartford is served by the Hartford Public Schools [3]. Hartford Public High School, the nation's second oldest high school, is located in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford. The city is also home to Bulkeley High School on Wethersfield Avenue, Weaver High School on Granby Street, and Sport Medical and Sciences Academy on Huyshope Avenue. In addition, Hartford contains The Learning Corridor, which is home to the Montessori Magnet School, Hartford Magnet Middle School, Greater Harford Academy of Math and Science, and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. One of the technical high schools in the Connecticut Technical High School System, A.I. Prince Technical High School, also calls the city home.

The Hartford area is also home to a number of prestigious private schools including Avon Old Farms, the Ethel Walker School, Kingswood-Oxford, Loomis Chaffee, Miss Porter's, Suffield Academy, the Watkinson School, the Westminster School, the Master's School and Classical Magnet School.

The American School for the Deaf, founded in Hartford in 1817 by Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc, is the first institution for the education of the deaf in America.


Points of interest

Aetna Headquarters in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
  • Aetna Headquarters - The world's largest colonial revival building, the Aetna headquarters is crowned by a tall Georgian tower inspired by the Old State House downtown.
  • Bulkeley Bridge - Spanning the Connecticut River and connecting the city of Hartford with East Hartford, the nine-span structure is the longest and widest stone-arch bridge in the world.
  • Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - Constructed in the 1930s by the same architects who designed New York City's Radio City Music Hall, the theater features a Georgian Revival exterior and an exquisite Art Deco interior, with a large hand-painted mural suspended from the ceiling that is the largest of its kind in the United States.
  • Bushnell Park - Located below the State Capitol and legislative office complex, this park consists of rolling lawn, sculpture, fountains, and a historic carousel. It is the first park in the country purchased by a municipality for public use, and it was designed by Jacob Weidenmann. The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch, a Civil War Memorial which frames the northern entrance to the park, is the first triumphal arch in the United States.
  • Cathedral of St. Joseph - Located just west of downtown along Farmington Avenue in the Asylum Hill neighborhood, this 281-foot (86 m) limestone Roman Catholic cathedral (built in 1961 to replace its predecessor lost to fire) has large Parisian stained glass windows, an 8,000 pipe organ, and the largest ceramic tile mural of Christ in Glory in the world.
  • Charter Oak Cultural Center[4] - Located at 21 Charter Oak Avenue, near the Charter Oak monument, COCC is housed in Connecticut's first synagogue, built in 1876. Today it is a secular non-profit institution bringing together art, drama, music, and other cultural excursions.
  • Cheney Building - Constructed in the late 19th-century, this notable building by famed architect H. H. Richardson is located Downtown on Main Street. It housed the Brown, Thomson & Co. department store.
  • Colt Armory - Topped with a blue and gold dome, the complex was once the main factory building of Colt's Manufacturing Company. It is currently being redeveloped and renovated and will feature apartments, retail and office space.
Connecticut Science Center, Hartford, CT on the Riverfront
  • Connecticut State Library & Supreme Court - Located in the hill district near the State Capitol atop Bushnell Park, the building also contains the Museum of Connecticut History and a number of galleries devoted to Samuel Colt memorabilia.
  • Connecticut Convention Center - The 540,000 square foot (42,000 m²) convention center is now open, and overlooks the Connecticut River and the central business district. Attached to the center is a new 409 room, 22-story Marriott Hotel (opened late August 2005).
  • The Connecticut Executive Residence - An imposing Georgian revival mansion situated near the highest point in the City of Hartford on upper Prospect Avenue in the upscale West End. Four landscaped acres surround the residence continuing the garden setting of Elizabeth Park, just opposite Asylum Avenue.
The house of Katherine Seymour Day (grandniece of Harriet Beecher Stowe). Adjacent to the Stowe house, it now forms part of the research center dedicated to the author and abolitionist.
  • Connecticut Opera - Founded in 1942, is the six-oldest opera company in the United States, performing three fully-staged operas per season, primarily at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford.
  • Connecticut State Capitol - Located atop Bushnell Park, this large Gothic-inspired building features many statues and engravings on its exterior. It is topped with a gold leafed dome.
  • Constitution Plaza - Built in the early 1960s, Constitution Plaza is a renowned, and notorious, redevelopment project. To build the plaza, Hartford's historic Front Street neighborhood was razed. The complex is composed of numerous office buildings, underground parking, a restaurant, broadcasting studio and outdoor courtyards and fountains. During the holiday season the area is filled with Christmas lights for the Festival of Light. The Plaza passes over I-91 and connects the city to the Connecticut River by way of Riverfront Plaza.
  • Cricket Hall of Fame
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group headquarters campus on Asylum Hill occupies the former site of the American School for the Deaf, which has moved to a campus in West Hartford.
  • Hartford Public Library - The Library was founded in 1774 and recently renovated and expanded. It has over 500,000 holdings, an extensive calendar of programs and free public access computers and wifi.
  • Hartford Stage - One of the top regional theaters in the Northeast (winner of a Tony Award) dedicated to the production of classic works and new play development.
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra - Connecticut's premier musical organization and one of America's leading regional orchestras.
  • The Hartt School at the University of Hartford is recognized as one of the premiere performing arts conservatories in the United States.
  • Isham-Terry House- This Italian Villa was built in 1854 as the residence of a businessman and is one of the city's older homes.
Mark Twain House
  • The Mark Twain House and Museum - Once the home of Samuel Clemens, the house is now a museum, located in Nook Farm, now part of the Asylum Hill neighborhood, on Farmington Avenue.
  • Meadows Music Theater - Located in the North Meadows, it is an indoor/outdoor amphitheater-style performance venue.
  • Old State House - The Old State House, dating back to 1796, makes it one of the nation's oldest. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch, who later went on to design the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Recently restored with a gold-leafed dome rising from its top, the Old State House sits facing the Connecticut River in Downtown. The Old State House was the site of the Amistad trial.
Old State House
  • Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building, an icon of modernist architecture and the first two-sided building in the world, it is located on Constitution Plaza and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Pope Park, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Real Art Ways is one of the oldest alternative art spaces in the United States. It hosts a vigorous schedule of contemporary art, music, and film productions.
  • Riverfront Recapture and Park - The park connects the downtown with the Connecticut River. It contains bike and walking trails, playing fields, and a white triangle-shaped dome covers one of the performing stages. The boat launch for a Connecticut River tour is also located here. A walkway spanning the Connecticut River leads to East Hartford.
  • Saint Thomas Seminary - Located on 80 acres (32 ha) in Bloomfield, the seminary is three miles (5 km) north of Hartford near the University of Hartford. Opened in 1930, its campus consists of rolling greens and Gothic-inspired buildings.
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch - Located in Bushnell Park, the now buried Park River once flowed beneath it. Honoring the 4,000 Hartford citizens who served in the American Civil War, and the 400 who perished, the brownstone memorial is the first triumphal arch in the United States.
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch
  • Stone Field Sculpture - Located at the corner of Gold and Main Streets, this work of public art consisting of 36 boulders was completed by the Minimalism, Carl Andre, in 1977.
  • Trinity College - The liberal arts college, founded in 1823, has more than 2,100 students. The college is consistently ranked as one of the top 30 liberal arts colleges in America and is the second-oldest in Connecticut after Yale University in New Haven.
  • University of Connecticut School of Business - In an effort to be more accessible to part time business students, a branch of the University of Connecticut Business school operates in downtown Hartford. The building is located on Market Street just north of Constitution Plaza.
  • University of Connecticut School of Law - located just off Farmington Avenue, the campus features an extensive, large Gothic-inspired library. It is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 law schools in the United States.
  • University of Hartford - The University, which was founded in 1877, sits on 340 acres (140 ha) with a 13-acre (5.3 ha) campus on Bloomfield Avenue situated on land divided between Hartford, West Hartford and Bloomfield. Located in the Blue Hills neighborhood, the campus is minutes from Downtown. There are more than 7,200 students and 86 undergraduate majors.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art - The oldest art museum in the U.S. is located on Main Street in downtown Hartford opposite the Travelers Tower. The museum features a significant collection of Italian Baroque old masters and post-impressionist modern art. In the plaza located between it and Hartford City Hall, Alexander Calder's 'Stegosaurus' sculpture sits in an open-air plaza.
  • XL Center - Built in 1975, the center hosts concerts and shows. Formerly home to the NHL Hartford Whalers, it is currently the home to the Hartford Wolf Pack AHL hockey team and, part-time, to the UConn Huskies basketball team. A new 36 story apartment complex (Hartford 21) has been built directly atop the XL Center and includes retail and entertainment space - it is the tallest apartment building in New England (completed in 2006). The arena also hosted WrestleMania XI in 1995, the 1981 World Figure Skating Championship, and the 1986 NHL All Star Game.

Hartford Views


Club Sport League Venue
Hartford Wolf Pack Ice hockey American Hockey League XL Center
Hartford Colonials American Football United Football League Rentschler Field
Hartford Wanderers Rugby Union New England Rugby Football Union Colt Park

The Discover Hartford Bicycling and Walking Tour is a family friendly tour of downtown Hartford. The most recent tour took place Saturday, September 8, 2007 and was co-sponsored by the City of Hartford and the Central Connecticut Bicycle Alliance. More than 45 Hartford community organizations are supporting this unique experience of Connecticut's capital city. The tour includes 10-mile (16 km) and 25-mile (40 km) bicycling options, and a 2-hour walking tour option.

Hartford was home to the NHL's Hartford Whalers from 1979 to 1997, before the team relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina and became the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Boston Celtics played various home games per year in Hartford from 1975–1995.

The University of Connecticut men's and women's basketball team - the UConn Huskies - also play a number of their home games at the XL Center downtown. Other home games are played at Gampel Pavilion located on the university's campus in Storrs.

Hartford also used to have a National League baseball team, the Hartford Dark Blues, back in the 1870s, and a NFL team, the Hartford Blues, for one season in 1926.

New development

Connecticut Convention Center

Billed as "New England's Rising Star",[23] Hartford has generated renewed interest with both local and national developers who are investing heavily in the city through a variety of projects. Investments include commercial and residential projects such as the new 36-story Hartford 21 apartment tower, the new river front Connecticut Science Center, an extensive system of riverfront trails and parks, neighborhood improvements to Park Street and Parkville, renovation of the historic Colt building in line with National Park standards, and significant development in the central business district of condominiums and retail space.

In 1997, the city lost its professional hockey franchise, the Hartford Whalers, but efforts are being made to bring an NHL team back to the city. City officials and developers are talking about the possibility of a new city arena to house this team.

Currently there are more than 1 billion dollars' worth of private and publicly funded projects happening throughout the city's 17 neighborhoods. The overlying theme for development is to create more activity downtown and attract more residents to the city's different neighborhoods.

Some of the major projects include: Adriaen's Landing: The state- and privately-funded project is situated on the banks of the Connecticut River along Columbus Boulevard, and connects to Constitution Plaza. Constitution Plaza forced hundreds of households to relocate when it was built a few decades ago. The latest project includes the 540,000-square-foot (50,000 m2) Connecticut Convention Center, which opened in June 2005 and is the largest meeting space between New York City and Boston. Attached to the Convention Center is the 22-story, 409 room Marriott Hartford Hotel-Downtown which opened in August 2005. Being constructed next to the convention center and hotel is the 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) Connecticut Science Center. The final component of the project, 'Front Street', sits across from the Convention Center and covers the land between Columbus Boulevard and the Hartford Times Building. The Front Street development combines retail, entertainment and residential components. Publicly funded parts of the project will include transportation improvements. There have been significant delays in the Front Street project - the first developer was removed from the project because of lack of progress. The city has chosen a new developer, but work is yet to begin on the retail and residential component of Front Street. The city and state may soon take action to increase the speed with which the project enters implementation phases. There has been talk of bringing an ESPN Zone to the Front Street (ESPN is headquartered in nearby Bristol).[24] On the back side of Front Street, the historic Beaux-Arts Hartford Times Building is being converted for administrative offices for the Wadsworth Athenaeum. In 2004, Underground Coalition, a Connecticut hip hop promotion company, produced The First Annual Hartford Hip Hop festival, which also took place at Adriaen's Landing. The event drew over 5,000 fans.

Hartford 21: Recently completed on the site of the former Hartford Civic Center Mall (now known as the XL Center), the project includes a 36 story residential tower—the tallest residential tower between New York City and Boston. Attached to the tower is 90,000 square feet (8,000 m2) of office space and 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) of retail space, all contained within a connected complex. The Greater Hartford YMCA has opened in the complex and will soon be closing its Jewell Street site which will be knocked down for another project. The XL Center Arena remains open and hosts the AHL Hartford Wolfpack and the UConn men's and women's basketball teams, as well as shows and concerts.

Capital Community College at the 11-story G. Fox Department Store Building: The 913,000-square-foot (84,800 m2) former home of the G. Fox & Company Department Store on Main Street has been renovated and made the new home of Capital Community College as well as offices for the State of Connecticut and ground level retail space. Capital Community College helps train (mostly) adult students in specific career fields. On Thursdays, vendors sell crafts on the Main Street level. Two music clubs, Mezzanine and Room 960, are housed in the building.

Connecticut Culinary Institute

Connecticut Culinary Institute: The school recently relocated its main campus to the former Hastings Hotel and Conference Center, which is next to Aetna headquarters in the city's Asylum Hill neighborhood just west of downtown. The school also has a branch campus in Suffield, Connecticut. The Hastings Hotel and Conference Center, which closed abruptly in 2004, was the hotel where former President Bill Clinton stayed when he was in the city.

Rentschler Field

Rentschler Field: Though in neighboring East Hartford, the stadium for UConn football was part of the revitalization plan for Hartford and was built on some of the lands donated by United Technologies. The bulk of the land donated will be used for technology, entertainment, lodging and retail development. A high-tech research park is also currently being planned for the site.

Transportation and parking changes: The New Britain-Hartford Busway is in the works. Local activists are pushing for more bike lanes, as well as for these lanes to be respected by motorists and kept clear of debris. The local bicycle advocacy organization formed in 2005, Central Connecticut Bicycle Alliance, has been making surprising inroads in Hartford and the surrounding suburbs.

Some roads were turned into pedestrian walkways to reduce gridlock, while other roads were widened or made one-way. Some intersections were also improved to better handle traffic. A large parking garage was built downtown to ease parking problems. A series of shuttle routes was created, known as the "Star Shuttle" and now run by the Greater Hartford Transit District.

New condos and apartments:

  • Hartford 21: Opened adjacent to the XL Center in September 2006, this sleek 34-story apartment tower is the tallest in New England, and is located at the intersection of Trumbull Street and Asylum Street. The building includes 232 luxury one-bedroom and two-bedroom units (including four penthouses), an adjacent parking garage and spacious common areas.
  • Trumbull on the Park: Recently opened along Bushnell Park, this apartment community is housed in a new 11-story brick building along with a parking garage and ground-level retail space. Additional units are housed in recently renovated historic buildings on nearby Lewis Street.
  • 55 on the Park: Formerly a SNET office building, it has been turned into luxury apartments that sit along Bushnell Park. The building reopened a few years ago and was among the first new residences to open downtown in years.
  • Sage Allen Building: On Main Street, the former Sage Allen department store building has been turned into 44 4-bedroom townhouses as well as an upscale apartment building comprising about 70 units that opened in January 2007. The project also includes the renovation of the Richardson Food Court and the reopening of Temple Street, which once again reconnects Main and Market Streets. Many of the townhouses will be occupied by University of Hartford students. It sits directly across Market Street from the University of Connecticut Graduate Business Learning Center.
  • The Metropolitan: The former Hartford Electric Light Company Building on Pearl Street is being converted into luxury condominiums.
  • American Airlines Building: Located at 915 Main Street across from Capital Community College and the Residence Inn by Marriott, the site was formerly home to an E. J. Korvette department store and later American Airlines. Today, the building is being converted into condominiums and apartments with renovated ground-level retail space.



Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is twenty minutes north of Hartford and serves Hartford and Springfield. Other airports serving the Hartford area include:


Hartford city buses run at regular intervals throughout the city, and less frequent service to the suburbs. A free circulator bus, known as the "Star Shuttle," operates around downtown. Interstate bus service is provided by Bonanza Bus, Greyhound Bus and Peter Pan Bus Lines. Chinatown bus lines provides low-cost bus service between Hartford and their New York and Boston hubs. Additionally, there are buses for connections to smaller cities in the state. The bus station is located on the ground floor of the transport center at One Union Place in Downtown Hartford.


Bulkeley Bridge over Connecticut River in Hartford

During the 1960s and 1970s, Hartford was a poster child for highway construction, and several highways surround the downtown area. I-84, which runs from Scranton, to its intersection with I-90 in Sturbridge, just over the Massachusetts border, and I-91, which runs from New Haven along the Connecticut River to Canada, intersect in downtown Hartford. In addition to I-84 and I-91, two other highways service the city: Route 2, an expressway that runs from downtown Hartford to Westerly, passing through Norwich and past Foxwoods Resort Casino; and the Wilbur Cross Highway portion of Route 15 that skirts the southeastern part of the city near Brainard Airport. A short connector known as the Conlin-Whitehead Highway also provides direct access from I-91 to the Capitol Area of downtown Hartford.

Hartford experiences heavy traffic as a result of its substantial suburban population (about 10 times that of the actual city), which is proportionally much larger than that of any other nearby city. As a result, thousands of people travel on area highways at the start and end of each workday. I-84 experiences traffic from Farmington through Hartford and into East Hartford and Manchester during the rush hour.

Charter Oak Bridge over Connecticut River in Hartford

Several major surface arteries also run through the city. Albany Avenue (Route 44) runs westward through the northern part of West Hartford to the hills of northern Litchfield County and into New York, and eastward towards Putnam and into Rhode Island. Main Street (Route 159) heads north through Windsor towards the western suburbs of Springfield, Massachusetts. Wethersfield Avenue (Route 99) heads south through Wethersfield towards Middletown. Farmington Avenue heads west through West Hartford Center and Farmington towards Torrington.


A bicycle route runs through the center of Hartford. This route is a small piece of the large eastern bicycle route - the East Coast Greenway (ECG). The 3,000-mile (4,800 km) ECG runs from Calais, Maine to the Florida Keys. The route is intended to be off road, but some sections are currently on-road. The section through Hartford is right through the middle of Bushnell Park.


Hartford's Union Station

The dependence on railroads has decreased since the construction of Interstate 91 and Interstate 84 through the city center. However, Hartford's Union Station at One Union Place still operates a significant schedule. Amtrak provides service from Hartford to Vermont via Springfield, and southward to New Haven, with connections to New York, Boston, Providence, and Washington DC. The station also serves numerous bus companies because of Hartford's mid-way location on the New York to Boston route.

Currently, there are preliminary plans to create a New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail Line with stations in communities close to I-91. It would use rail currently used by Amtrak, which in turn was formerly part of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad system.

Public transport

Connecticut Transit is owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. CTTRANSIT operates local and commuter bus service within the city and the surrounding area. Taxi service is available from the train station at 1 Union Place or by calling one to any location in the area. There is a free downtown shuttle, and city buses are equipped with bike racks.


The Hartford Courant Co. building

The daily Hartford Courant newspaper is the country's oldest continuously published newspaper, founded in 1764. A weekly newspaper, owned by the same company that owns the Courant, the Hartford Advocate, also serves Hartford and the surrounding area, as does the Hartford Business Journal ("Greater Hartford's Business Weekly") and the weekly Hartford News.

The Hartford region is also served by several magazines. Among the local publications are: Hartford Magazine,a monthly lifestyle magazine serving Greater Hartford; CT Cottages & Gardens; Connecticut Business, a glossy monthly serving all of Connecticut; and Home Living CT, a home and garden magazine published five times a year and distributed statewide.

Several television and radio stations based in Hartford cover the entire state.One of them are Connecticut Public Television. Connecticut Public Television's headquarters are in Hartford. These stations serve the Hartford/New Haven market, which is the 29th largest market in the U.S.

Print media

Hartford News (860) 296-6128

TV stations

  • CPTV, public television
  • WFSB, Channel 3
  • WTIC, Fox 61
  • WTXX
  • WVIT, NBC 30
  • WUVN, WUVN 18 (Spanish-language)
  • [WHCT-LP 38 TV Azteca]

Radio stations


Notable Hartford residents

Hartford has been home to many historically significant people: arts innovator "Chick" Austin (1900–1957); L. Paul Bremer (b. 1941), ex-Administrator of US-occupied Iraq and foreign service officer; city planner and parks champion Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903); dictionary author Noah Webster (1758–1843); inventor Sam Colt (1814–1862); and American financier and industrialist J.P. Morgan (1837–1913).

Some of America's most famous authors lived in Hartford, including Mark Twain (1835–1910), who moved to the city in 1874; his next-door neighbor at Nook Farm, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896); and poet Wallace Stevens (1879–1955), an insurance executive in the city. More recently Dominick Dunne (b. 1925) and John Gregory Dunne (1932–2003) resided in Hartford.

Many broadcasters have called Hartford home over the years. King of All Media Howard Stern worked mornings at WCCC in 1979, meeting local resident and sidekick Fred Norris there. Both Bill O'Reilly and Gail King worked at WFSB. Twisted Sister lead vocalist Dee Snider also did a morning show on WMRQ radio in the mid 2000's. MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski was a reporter for years on WTIC ch 61 and WFSB. Former NFLer Beasley Reece was Sports Director for WVIT in the late 80's and early 90's.

Actors and others in the entertainment business from Hartford include Academy Award–winning film icon Katharine Hepburn, actors Ben Cooper, Tony Todd, Linda Evans, Jenna Dewan, comedian Totie Fields, William Gillette, Eriq La Salle, Norman Lear, Jenna Dewan, Charles Nelson Reilly, film executive and academic August Coppola (father of Nicolas Cage), Brooke Burke, and Sophie Tucker, (1884–1966), "last of the red-hot mamas." Amy Brenneman, who grew up in Glastonbury, adapted the experiences of her mother, a Connecticut Superior Court judge in Hartford, into the television series Judging Amy.

In the field of music, residents include Mark McGrath; bass guitarist Doug Wimbish (Sugar Hill Records, Living Colour); Remote Control's Ken Ober; Cindy Blackman (Drummer for Lenny Kravitz); jazz alto saxophonist Jackie McLean;[25] concert violinist Elmar Oliveira (b.1950); R&B, Reggae, Dancehall and Reggaeton artist Notch; gospel artist Kurt Carr were born in the city; and brothers Jeff Porcaro, Mike Porcaro and Steve Porcaro of the group Toto.

Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini is from Hartford. Former NHL player Craig Janney was born in Hartford. Basketball stars include NBA players Marcus Camby, Rick Mahorn, Johnny Egan, and Michael Adams, as well as NFL kicker John Carney, and former NFLer Eugene Robinson. Jeff Bagwell and Vin Baker attended the University of Hartford.

Angel Arce Torres is the victim of a highly-publicized hit and run.

Sister cities

Hartford features numerous sister cities. They include:

Appearances in popular culture

  • Hartford was one of the 23 American cities bombed in the CBS Drama Jericho
  • Hartford was the site of episode 3.29 of the documentary television series Gangland on the History Channel about its Los Solidos gang.
  • The city was the setting for the Amy Brenneman series Judging Amy, which aired on CBS from 1999–2005.
  • Many scenes in the WB/CW series Gilmore Girls take place in Hartford.
  • Hartford was the setting for the 2002 movie, Far From Heaven.
  • In the Simpsons episode They Saved Lisa's Brain, Homer enters a talent competition in which the winner will receive (as advertised on television) "a free trip to Hawaii". When participants show up for the event, the announcer reveals that the trip is actually to Hartford, Connecticut, claiming that "no one said Hawaii".
  • In Stephen King's novella The Mist, Hartford is the only word heard on the radio by protagonist David Drayton after he leaves with a group from the supermarket in his home town.
  • Hartford is one of the Eastern seaboard cities shown to be targeted with a nuclear weapon by the antagonist of the video game, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
  • In the Kevin Smith written movies Mallrats and Chasing Amy, two different characters played by Jason Lee reference the Hartford Whalers. In Mallrats, Lee's character Brody says, "Breakfasts come and go, Rene. Now Hartford, the Whale? They only beat Vancouver once or twice in a lifetime." In Chasing Amy, Lee's character Banky says, "What difference does it make if I refer to her as a dyke? Or if I call the Whalers a bunch of faggots in the comfort of my own office, far from the sensitive ears of the rest of the world?"


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Connecticut" (CSV). 2006 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Retrieved June 28, 2007. 
  2. ^ In US Census population estimates between 2000 and 2008, New Haven and Hartford's populations were estimated to have been within 511 of each other. In the American Community Survey 2008, New Haven was significantly larger (124,000 in New Haven versus 118,000 in Hartford). Since such differences are still potentially within the margin of error in these estimates, which is "officially" larger will not be known until the 2010 Census. As of October 2009, the Census population estimate page listed New Haven as having a larger population than Hartford in the 2000 (most recent) Decennial Census.
  3. ^ City of Hartford History (The State of Connecticut is sometimes known as "the land of steady habits.")Connecticut Nicknames, Connecticut State Library
  4. ^ [1] (In the time following the Civil War, Hartford was the nations wealthiest city) from the New York Times, 2002.
  5. ^ Letter from Mark Twain
  6. ^
  7. ^ U.S. Metro Economies: GMP ­ The Engines of America's Growth
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^ Leassons from Thomas Hooker about the frailty of humanity and the importance of a worldview by Steven Voigt, September 5, 2005
  11. ^ "Record-Breaking Flood at Hartford, Conn.". Popular Mechanics. June 1909.,M1. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Main Street Bridge
  14. ^ [ The Winter of 95-96: A Season of Extremes, National Climatic Data Center]
  15. ^ "Historical Weather for Hartford, Connecticut, United States". Retrieved September 24, 2009. 
  16. ^ Census data for Hartford, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 23, 2007.
  17. ^ [2], U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed January 23, 2008.
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  19. ^ Poverty: 1999
  20. ^ Puerto Rican ancestry by city - ePodunk
  21. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2006-10-02. 
  22. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877–1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.37.
  23. ^ "Hartford- New England's Rising Star- Home page". Hartford Image Project. Retrieved 2007-06-08. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Dixon, Ken, "Music Hall of Fame proposed for state", article in Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 26, 2007 ("Other famous state residents include the late jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean of Hartford")

External links

Coordinates: 41°46′01″N 72°40′37″W / 41.767°N 72.677°W / 41.767; -72.677

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Hartford (disambiguation).

Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut in the United States of America.

  • Union Station is served by Greyhound and other major bus companies and offers trips to New York City and Boston every hour (even after midnight). Amtrak also serves this station linking to New Haven, and Springfield, MA. By taking Amtrak to New Haven the Metro North Commuter Rail Line can be picked up to take you to and from New York City

Get around

Because of its small size, Hartford does not have the tourist-friendly mass-transportation of nearby New York and Boston. Thus, car is the best way to navigate Hartford and its surrounding towns.

  • CT Transit, 100 Liebert Rd, 860-247-0200, [3]. Public bus service throughout the Greater Hartford Area. Most bus-stops receive service every 15-30 Minutes. Most destinations are accessible by bus, but one must be careful to get off at the correct stops. The general fare is $1.25 with one free transfer. All day passes are also available for $2.75. If you miss your stop by more than a few blocks, stay on the bus and it will eventually return to Downtown Hartford. An additional $1.25 may be asked if you do not have a free transfer/all day pass, but it will still save you much time.
  • The Downtown area has a free shuttle, called the Star Shuttle. It runs Monday-Friday 7AM to 11PM and Saturday 3PM to 11PM. Three buses run during peak weekday hours, with two buses normally in service. Services run approximately every 10 minutes. The route connects the CT Convention Center, the Riverfront, the Arts and Entertainment District, various restaurants, and downtown hotels. For special events the shuttle is usually put into action if it was not originally scheduled to run. [4]
  • Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street, downtown. Phone: 1-860-278-2670. America's first public art museum is now one of the finest art museums in the nation. Founded in 1842 the Wadsworth 45,000+ works of art as part of their permanent collection.[5].
Image:Wadsworth Atheneum (7)
  • Connecticut Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd, downtown. Phone: 1-860-SCIENCE. With 150 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events, the Connecticut Science Center offers endless exploration for children, teens and adults. [6]
  • Old State House, 800 Main Street, downtown. Phone: 1-860-522-6766 The original Connecticut Capitol building is a National Historic Landmark that dates back to 1796 making it one of the oldest state houses in the country. [7]
  • Connecticut State Capital, 210 Capital Avenue, downtown. Phone: 1-860-240-0222. Located downtown atop Bushnell Park the capital is a National Historic Landmark that opened back in 1878. This stunning building is made of marble and is topped off by a gold dome. Open for tours year round. [8].
  • Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Avenue, Phone: 1-860-247-0998. Located in the city's historic Asylum Hill neighborhood, this is where popular author Mark Twain lived from 1874-1891. During this time Twain wrote many famous books including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. [9].
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House & Library, 77 Forest Street, Phone: 1-860-522-9258. This is the historic home of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who is best known for being the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. The Stowe's moved in this house in 1873, one year before Mark Twain moved in next door. [10]
  • Butler McCook House & Garden, 396 Main Street, downtown, Phone: 1-860-522-1806. The oldest home in the city that dates back to 1782. Also home of the city's oldest collection of art, antiques and household items. The site also includes a wonderful restored garden. [11].
  • Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library, One Elizabeth Street at Asylum Avenue. Phone: 1-860-236-5621. Located in the West End the Connecticut Historical Society is one of the oldest historical societies in the country and has one of the greatest library and museum collections in New England. [12]
  • The Governor's Residence, 990 Prospect Avenue. Phone: 1-860-566-4840. Located in the city's West End neighborhood the governor's mansion was built back in 1909 and has been the home of governor's and their families since 1943. The 15,000 square foot residence is on 4 acres and has 9 fireplaces, nine bathrooms, a pool and is a National Historic Landmark. Guided tours can be arranged. [13]
  • Bushnell Park, Bounded by Jewell Street, Trinity Street, Elm Street and Capitol Avenue downtown. The first publicly funded park in America. Located in the center of the city and bordering the state capitol building. The park was designed by the architect of Central Park in New York City. [14]
  • Elizabeth Park, Bounded by Asylum Avenue and Prospect Avenue in Hartford. Beautiful and large park in the west end equipped with gardens, gazebos, a restaurant and trails. The rose garden is also not to be missed. [15].
  • Museum of Connecticut History, 231 Capital Avenue (Connecticut State Library, downtown). Phone: 1-860-757-6500. Has everything to learn about the state of Connecticut. Learn about the development of Connecticut from its days as one of the 13 colonies to its days as an economic powerhouse in the insurance industry. Free Admission! [16].
  • Colt Factory, 140 Huyshope Avenue, Hartford. America's favorite gun shop, shaped like an Arabian palace. It can be viewed just south of the skyline from East Hartford. It is in Hartford's south end.
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Bushnell Park. The first permanent triumphal arch and the first permanent war memorial in America, it pays tribute to the Connecticut soldiers who lost their lives in the American Civil War. It also pays tribute to slaves and their struggle. The iconic arch was dedicated on September 17, 1886.


The state's largest historic district is in town and is known as Old Wethersfield. Old Wethersfield is not a recreated village, it is all original. There are more than 100 homes in Old Wethersfield that were erected before the civil war and at the end of Main Street is the Wethersfield Cove which shoots off of the Connecticut River.

  • Silas Deane House, 211 Main Street (Part of the Webb Deane Stevens Museum), Wethersfield, Phone: 1-860-592-0612. Former home of Silas Deane who graduated from Yale College in 1758 and opened a law practice in Wethersfield. Deane's home was completed in 1700 during his marriage Elizabeth Saltonstall Evards who was the granddaughter of a former Connecticut governor. [17]
  • Joseph Webb House, 211 Main Street (Part of the Webb Deane Stevens Museum), Wethersfield, Phone: 1-860-529-0612. Built in 1752 for merchant Joseph Webb. [18]
  • Isaac Stevens House, 211 Main Street (Part of the Webb Deane Stevens Museum), Wethersfield, Phone: 1-860-529-0612. Completed in 1789 on what was known as High Street. The house was that of Leathermaker Isaac Stevens and his wife Sarah Wright. [19]
  • Buttoplh Williams House, 249 Broad Street (Part of the Webb Deane Stevens Museum), Wethersfield, Phone: 1-860-529-0460. Dating back to around 1714 the house is known as being the setting of The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. It has undergone a full restoration and is open for tours. [20]
  • Historic Cove Warehouse - North end of Main Street, Wethersfield. Historic
  • The Children's Museum, 950 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford, Phone: 1-860-231-2824. Formerly the Science Center of Connecticut the new Children's Museum has hands on exhibits, a planetarium, a life size replica of a sperm whale named Connie and a mini zoo designed just for kids. [21].
  • The Noah Webster House, 227 South Main Street, West Hartford, Phone: 1-860-521-5362. Birthplace of Noah Webster who wrote the first American Dictionary. The home itself dates back to sometime around 1748 and is definitely the place to visit for a step back in time. [22].
  • Nathan Hale Homestead, 229 South Street, Coventry, Phone: 1-860-742-6917, [23].

East Hampton

Swim in the picturesque Lake Pocatapaug.

  • Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, (Downtown), [24] Tony winning theatre that constantly puts on shows / takes in shows from on-the-road Broadway plays. Usually produces six major productions annually and one to two summer productions each year.
  • Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford (Downtown) Phone: 860-987-5900, [25]. The state's premier performing arts theater. Home of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Connecticut Opera. Principally showcases classical music and traveling Broadway shows. Popular comics also tour here.
  • Theatre Works, 233 Pearl Street, (Downtown), [26]. The place to go for off-Broadway shows in the Capital City. Small 200 seat theater so your guaranteed a great viewing spot. Located in a great 1927 Art deco building in the heart of downtown.
  • Hartford Civic Center / XL Center The largest arena in Connecticut. This is the former home of the Hartford Whalers National Hockey League team and numerous other professional sports teams and the current home of American Hockey League Hartford Wolfpack, and the UCONN NCAA Basketball team, the Huskies. Various bands and recording artists perform here, mostly popular and more established acts.
  • Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard (Downtown), Phone: 860-251-8111, [27]. At 540,000 square feet, the largest convention center in southern New England overlooks the Connecticut River and downtown. Hosts tons of national and local conventions, events, meetings, dinners, etc. each year. Attached to the center is the new 409 room 22 story Marriott Hartford Hotel Downtown.
  • New England Dodge Music Center, 66 Savity Way, Hartford (North Meadows - just north of Downtown), [28]. This is a huge amphitheater that has 6,100 seats in a covered pavilion and a lawn that can hold up to 18,000 people. The Center brings in big name concerts each year including the Dave Mattews Band, Britney Spears, O.A.R., Weezer, John Mayer, Pearl Jam and Aerosmith The Center is closed in the winter months but is open the rest of the year.
  • Webster Theatre, 31 Webster Street, Box Office Phone: 1-860-525-5553, [29]. Voted the best rock club and best place to see live music for the past five years by the Hartford Advocate. The art deco theater has been fully renovated features everything from a movie screen to five different bars.
  • Rentschler Field, 615 Silver Lane, East Hartford, [30]. An awesome stadium completed in 2003 that is the home of University of Connecticut Football. The stadium is also used as a concert hall and has hosted big names like Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and The Police. Overall the stadium sits on 75 acres and has 40,000 seats.
  • Cinestudio - 300 Summit Street (at Trinity College), [31]. An independent theater on the campus of Trinity College that shows classic, art house and second run films. The theater is open to the public and has been showing films since its founding in 1970.
  • Bowtie Palace 17 & Odyssey Theater, 330 New Park Avenue, [32]. A 17 screen movie theater near the West Hartford town line that has stadium seating and digital sound as part of all the theaters. There is also an Odyssey Giant Screen theater here.
  • Cinema City 4, 235 Brainard Road. Showing top domestic and foreign independent films in the city's south meadows neighborhood.
  • Art Cinema, 255 Franklin Avenue. Built in 1919 in the south end this is the city's last operating movie house. The theater used to be known as the Rialto and changed names in the 1950's when it started showing art films.
  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire, Hebron Lions Fairground, 347 Gilead St., Hebron, [33]. Medieval-themed fair held yearly at the Lions Fairground in Hebron, running four weekends from Late September to the third week in October plus Columbus Day. Performances by magicians, singers, belly dancers, swordfighters, and jousters run continuously throughout the day. Wear your own historical costume or buy one there. There are plenty of children's activities, a food alley, and things to buy. Each weekend has a different theme, and weddings are performed there also. Admission is $16 for adults per day as of 2008; children under 5 are free. No alcohol is permitted.
  • Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street (I-84, Sisson Ave. exit), 860.232.1006, [34]. One of the country’s early multi-disciplinary “alternative spaces,” Real Art Ways has evolved to become a leading center for contemporary art and ideas. Programming covers a broad range of cultural activities including visual arts exhibitions, concerts, literary readings, education and family programs, public art, community projects, and daily cinema screenings.  edit
  • Trinity College, 300 Summit Street, [35]. Hartford's small ivy- consistently ranked as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. The college was founded in 1823 making it one of the oldest in the country. Trinity's 100 acre campus is in the Frog Hollow neighborhood and includes some of the most historic buildings in the city.
  • University of Connecticut School of Law, 45 Elizabeth Street, [36]. One of the nation's best public law schools is in the city's West End. The campus is also listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
  • University of Connecticut School of Business Graduate Learning Center, 100 Constitution Plaza, [37]. State of the art facility that opened downtown in 2004.
  • Capital Community College, 950 Main Street, [38]. Located downtown in the restored G. Fox & Company department store building.
  • Rensselaer At Hartford, 275 Windsor Street, [39]..
  • The Connecticut State Library, 231 Capital Avenue, [40]. Located in the State Supreme Court building, along with the Connecticut State Museum.
  • University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, [41]. Private university with one of the best music schools in the country.
  • St Joseph's College, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, [42]. Women's college founded back in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy that is on a scenic 84 acre campus.
  • Manchester Community College, 161 Hillstown Road, Manchester. [43]. Largest Community college in the state.
  • Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, [44]. Part of the Connecticut State University system located in the small city of New Britain about 10 miles southwest of Hartford. Founded in 1849 the university excels in educational excellence and Division I Sports.
  • Goodwin College, 475 Burnside Avenue, East Hartford, [45]. Located minutes from downtown, just over the Connecticut River.
  • Tunxis Community College, 27 Scott Swamp Road, Farmington, [46]. Located about 20 minutes southwest of Hartford the college is home to about 7,000 full and part time students.
  • Stackpole Moore & Tryon, 242 Trumbull Street, downtown. [47]. Upscale clothing store that has served the capital city since 1909. Carries men's and women’s clothing plus men's shoes. Sells top name brands including Burberry, Hickey Freeman, Agave, Scott Barber and Hugo Boss.
  • Tuesdays, 257 Asylum Street, downtown, [48]. Downtown clothier selling fine men’s and women’s clothing and shoes designed for the best dressers.
  • Fiona Stone Boutique, 218 Pearl Street at Goodwin Square in downtown, [49]. High end boutique that brings national and international designers to Hartford from Miami, Los Angeles, Paris and London. Catering to both men and women.
  • Parfums Du Jour, 231 Asylum Street, downtown, [50]. Boutique specializing in designer fragrances, bath & body products, chocolates, collectibles and unique home and personal accessories.
  • Lux Bond & Green, 242 Trumbull Street, [51]. Top notch jewler with locations in West Hartford, Boston and Greenwich has a shop inside the downtown Stackpole Moore & Tryon.
  • Spiritus Wines, 220 Asylum Avenue, downtown Hartford. [52]. Selling one of the best selections of wine in the area this shop has relocated from Main Street to some new digs on Asylum Avenue at the new Hartford 21 development.
  • West Hartford Center, West Hartford, [53]. A New England Village that has vibrant entertainment, restaurant, and shopping just west of the Hartford city line. The "Center" as its known locally boasts more then 140 shops and restaurants - most of which are locally owned and operated including Max's Oyster Bar, Bookworm, The Wild Raspberry, Becker's Jewelry, Allen Collins and Cuzzi's Men's Store.
  • Blue Back Square, West Hartford, [54]. An addition to West Hartford Center this new development recently opened and is a 550,000 square foot mixed use development that features shops, restaurants, a movie theater, offices and condos. Very pedestrian orientated development that has tiny streets and storefronts facing the streets. Shops and restaurants include Crate & Barrel, REI, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, Criterion Cinemas, National Jean Company, The Cheesecake Factory and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
  • Westfarms Mall, West Hartford / Farmington, [55]. A large and upscale regional mall with 1,000,000+ square feet of shopping and dining space. The mall opened back in 1974 and today features 160 shops and restaurants including Nordstrom's, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, JC Penny, Aldo, Apple, Banana Republic, Coach, Express, Gap, Martin + Osa, Talbots and Pottery Barn.
  • Cabela's, 475 East Hartford Boulevard North, East Hartford, [56]. Specialty retailer focusing on hunting, camping, fishing and other outdoor activities. This is the only Cabela's in all of southern New England. Cabela's stores serve almost as tourist attractions and the East Hartford location is no different. There is a museum displaying wildlife of the Connecticut River Valley, an indoor archery range, an aquarium, a gun library, a restaurant and a huge indoor mountain filled with taxidermy animals.
  • Stew Leonards, 3475 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, [57]. Landmark grocery store with 4 locations in New York and Connecticut including one in Greater Hartford. Stew Leonards is known as the worlds largest grocery store. A visit here is unlike a visit to a typical grocery store. There are singing mechanical cows and bananas and samples of everything from soup to sweet potato chips.
  • Downtown Manchester, Manchester, [58]. A shopping district full of locally owned and operated shops. It is similar to West Hartford Center, but is less expensive, more earthy, and has a more blue collar appeal. Notably, there are 2 hemp shops, a tattoo parlor, a bike shop and some antiques and collectibles shops.
  • The Shops at Somerset Square, Glastonbury, [59]. A cute upscale lifestyle center located just south of Hartford that houses a mix of local and national shops and restaurants including Max Fish Restaurant, Knoyzz, Kzen, Lux Bond & Green, Chico's, Talbots and Max Amore Restaurant.
  • The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk, South Windsor, [60]. A traditional lifestyle center located east of Hartford, over the Connecticut River that opened not to long ago. Evergreen Walk is home to over 60 shops and restaurants including LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, 57 Sheffield, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, Highland Park Market, Johnny Rockets, Joseph A Bank and Omaha Steaks
  • The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, Manchester,[61]. Another large regional shopping mall that is located east of Hartford, over the Connecticut River. The mall opened in 1990 and is part of one of the largest retail areas in the northeast. The mall itself is home to big name shops and restaurants including Macy's, JC Pennys, Barnes & Noble, Sears, Brookstone, Coach, Dick's Sporting Goods, Funny Bone Comedy Club & Restaurant, H&M and the Build-A-Bear Workshop.



With its large Italian population, phenomenal Italian cuisine and pizza seems to be at every street corner, especially in the South End. The Park Street area has many Puerto Rican restaurants. Most expensive restaurants can be found in Downtown Hartford and in the west and south ends. Over the last few year many new restaurants have opened their doors downtown and many will continue to do so over the next few years so be ready. Hartford also has one of the largest concentrations of West Indians in the country, concentrated in the North End. For exceptional West Indian cuisine go to Albany Avenue, where you will see many Jamaican bakeries and other West Indian restaurants.

  • MaxDowntown, 185 Asylum Street (Downtown),[62]. Part of one of the city's finest restaurants and is consistently ranked as one of the city's best restaurants.
  • Black Eyed Sally's, 350 Asylum Avenue, Hartford (Downtown). [63] Has expanded since it opened in 1995 to become an award winning BBQ and Cajun restaurant southeastern food. The restaurant also plays live music from many well known and local blues' artists.
  • Mo's Midtown, 25 Whitney Street, (West End). Consistently ranked as best breakfast and brunch spot in the area, by the Hartford Advocate. Very laid back atmosphere with big portions and dishes you can't find any place else.
  • Vaughan's Public House, 59 Pratt Street (Downtown), [64]. Steps from the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center on trendy Pratt Street. This place is an Irish-owned and themed restaurant, with many traditional Irish meals on the menu. Excellent happy hour specials and is also the perfect place to go before or after a UCONN game or to watch a soccer game.
  • Coyote Flaco, 635 New Britain Avenue (Frog Hollow), [65]. Tasty Mexican restaurant located near Trinity College that has served the community since 1998.
  • First and Last Tavern, 939 Maple Avenue, [66]. Great New York style pizza and Italian food, visited by many famous people. It has a cozy bar, reasonable prices, and is a favorite local spot. Located in the South End.
  • Gold Roc Diner Cheap 24-hour diner on Hartford-West Hartford line (Exit 44 off I-84).
  • Great Taste, Main Street in New Britain. Best Chinese food in the area.
  • Luna Pizza. Chain located in Avon, Plainville, West Hartford, Cromwell, and Glastonbury. Best NY pizza hands down.
  • Roma's. A local Italian treasure serving excellent pizza and pasta.
  • 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, 255 W. Main St., Avon (Rt 44), Phone: (860)409-9100, [67]. Voted one of the best Hamburger places in Connecticut. Zagat rated "mind blowing fries" "at rock bottom prices". In Big Y plaza in Avon.
  • Modern Pastry, 422 Franklin Avenue, Phone: 1-860-296-7628, [68].
  • Mozzicato De Pasquale Bakery & Pastry Shop, 329 Franklin Avenue, Phone: 1-860-296-0426, [69].
  • South End Bakery, 227 Franklin Avenue, Phone: 1-860-296-5225.
  • First and Last Bakery Cafe, 920 Maple Avenue, Phone: 1-860-956-7000, [70].
  • Roma Bakery & Pastry Shop, 416 New Britain Avenue, Phone: 1-860-527-3809.
  • Golden Crust Caribbean Bakery, 1170 Albany Avenue, and 657 Blue Hills Avenue, Phone: 1-860-724-7983, [71].
  • Scotts' Jamaican Bakery, 801 Windsor Street, Phone: 1-860-246-6776, [72].
  • Pour House, 103 Allyn Street [73]. One of the top rated bar/club in the city this laid back this place offers an area to hang out with 18 beers on tap and room to play video games and pool on the first floor then head upstairs to the dance floor.
  • The Palace, 113 Allyn Street. Hip and chic downtown club that has two huge dance floors and a martini lounge. The first floor is where the VIP section is and there’s a huge elevated bar area. More casual on the second floor where there is a sports bar feel.
  • Agave, 100 Allyn Street. [74] Upscale tequila bar, quieter and more mature. Features an excellent selection tequila and also serves up great Mexican cusine.
  • Pig’s Eye Pub,356 Asylum Street. [75]. Famous for never having a cover, and live bands on the roof top patio. Overall a rowdy little place with lots of fun.
  • Coach's Sports Bar & Grille, 187 Allyn Street. [76] 24 plasma TV's make this the perfect place to catch the game. Watch out for pre and post Civic Center events, since there just two blocks away. Also has live music, great DJ's and a full menu of burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads.
  • NV Nightclub,177 Allyn Street. Popular downtown dance club with a trendy vibe that is a hit with college students and young professionals.
  • Arch Street Tavern, 85 Arch Street (across from the Connecticut Convention Center & Marriott Hartford Downtown Hotel), [77]. Historic restaurant/bar featuring a rustic atmosphere, pub food and live music.
  • Mayor Mike's, 283 Asylum Street, [78]. An upscale bar in Downtown run by former Hartford Mayor- Mayor Mike Peters.
  • The Spigot, 468 Prospect Avenue. Laid-back bar with wide selection of draft and bottled beers.
  • The Federal, 84 Union Place. Hartford's oldest bar is a pretty laid-back place with the occasional DJ or live music. Happy hour five days a week here as well.
  • Black Eyed Sallys Nice bar with a southern blues theme featuring great beer live music and southern food.


There are an abundance of large chain hotels in the Hartford area as well as many upscale ones downtown and in the suburbs. Over 60,000 rooms are located in Greater Hartford.

  • Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd, Phone: 1-860-249-8000, Toll-free: 1-866-373-9806, Fax: 1-860-249-8181, [79]. Attached to the Connecticut Convention Center and overlooks the Connecticut River and downtown. This new hotel features 409 rooms on 22 floors plus an indoor pool, fitness center, full service spa called Glo, as well as a restaurant and a bar.
  • Hilton Hartford Hotel, 315 Trumbull Street, Phone: 1-860-728-5151, Fax: 1-860-240-7247, [80] Located downtown attached to the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center. Hotel features 393 rooms, an indoor pool, fitness center, a restaurant and an upscale bar.
  • Residence Inn Hartford Downtown, 942 Main Street, Phone: 1-860-524-5550, Toll Free: 1-800-960-5045 Fax: 1-860-524-0624, [81]. Located in the heart of downtown in the Richardson Building which dates back to the late 1800s, two buildings away from the Old State House and the Hartford Stage and one block from the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center. Features 120 rooms on 8 floors plus a restaurant, 2 cafes and a fitness center.
  • Crowne Plaza Hartford Downtown, 50 Morgan Street, Phone: 1-860-549-2400, Toll Free: 1-877-2-CROWNE, Fax: 1-860-549-7844, [82]. Located downtown within walking distance of the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center, the Old State House and the Wadsworth Atheneum. Features 350 Rooms on 15 floors as well as a fitness center, an outdoor pool and a restaurant.
  • Homewood Suites of Hartford, 338 Asylum Street, Phone: 1-860-524-0223, Fax: 1-860-524-0264, [83] This hotel is in the historic Bond Hotel which opened back in 1921. Located downtown directly across from Bushnell Park and one block away from the Hartford Civic Center / XL Center. There are 116 rooms and a fitness center.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hartford Downtown, 440 Asylum Street, Phone: 1-860-246-9900, Toll Free: 1-888-HOLIDAY, Fax: 1-860-246-1367, [84]. Located directly across from Bushnell Park with views of the State Capital. Features 96 Rooms on 9 floors and a fitness center.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Convention Center Area, 185 Brainard Road, Phone: 1-860-525-1000, Toll Free: 1-877-HOTEL-CT, Fax: 1-860-525-2990, [85]. Located in the city's south meadows neighborhood the hotel is just 5 minutes from downtown. There are 129 rooms, a fitness center, complimentary parking, an outdoor pool and is right next door to the popular USS Chowder Pot IV Restaurant.
  • Days Inn Hartford, 201 Brainard Road, Phone: 1-860-247-3297, Fax: 1-860-249-3297, [86]. Located in the south meadows just 5 minutes from downtown. This hotel features 68 rooms, a fitness center and complimentary parking.
  • Motel 6 Hartford Downtown, 100 Weston Street, Phone: 1-860-724-0222, Fax: 1-860-724-0433, [87]. Located in the city's north meadows neighborhood just 4 minutes north of downtown. Features 115 rooms and complimentary parking.
  • Super 8 Motel Hartford/Windsor, 57 West Service Road, 1-860-246-8888 Fax: 1-860-246-8887, [88]. Located just north of downtown in the north meadows just 4 minutes from downtown. There are 104 rooms and complimentary parking.
  • Mark Twain Hostel, 131 Tremont St, 1-860-523-7255, Fax 1-860-233-1767, [89]. Beds start at $15 per night, single rooms start at $48 per night. Located in the historic and trendy West End around the corner from the Mark Twain House, Harriett Beecher Stowe House and just 6 minutes from downtown.

Stay safe

Crime is generally contained in the Northeast area of the city. Some people also report being victims of crimes after going to the Webster in the Frog Hollow area of the city. This can easily be avoided by not straying from the main road, especially at night. Most crime is gang related and the average citizen should not worry. Basically, if you are in the North end, stick to Albany Avenue (around the middle, as there is not much activity/high crime near downtown), or use a car. This area is usually fine in the day as well, but the side streets are some of the worst in the city. The south end is generally fine, especially if you stick to Main Street, Park Street, Franklin Avenue, Maple Avenue, and Wethersfield Avenue. Side streets vary, especially in the Park/Broad st areas (Frog Hollow), but these areas are conspicuous. The west end and downtown are both fine regardless of where you go.

Get out

Hartford is a small city and one can access small farm towns in minutes. There are no national parks/forests in the area, but the general wilderness is easy to access.

  • Wickham Park - 1329 West Middle Turnpike, Manchester, CT. A privately owned 250 acre park in spanning East Hartford and Manchester, boasting a picturesque landscape with excellent views of the Hartford skyline. It holds many biking and hiking trails, picnic areas, tennis courts, and an aviary. [90]

There are also several other cities in the area:

Rural Areas:

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HARTFORD, a city and the capital of Connecticut, U.S.A., the county-seat of Hartford county, and a port of entry, coterminous with the township of Hartford, in the west central part of the state, on the W. bank of the Connecticut river, and about 35 m. from Long Island Sound. Pop. (1890), 53,230; (igoo), 79, 8 5 o, of whom 23,758 were foreign-born (including 8076 Irish, 2700 Germans, 2260 Russians, 1952 Italians, 1714 Swedes, 1634 English and 1309 English Canadians); (1910 census) 98,915. Of the total population in 1900, 43,872 were of foreign parentage (both parents foreign-born), and of these 18,410 were of Irish parentage. Hartford is served by two divisions of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, by the Central New England railway, by the several electric lines of the Connecticut Company which radiate to the surrounding towns, and by the steamboats of the Hartford & New York Transportation Co., all of which are controlled by the N.Y., N.H. & H. The river, which is navigable to this point, is usually closed from the middle of December to the middle of March.

The city covers an area of 17.7 sq. m.; it is well laid out and compactly built, and is under the supervision of a city-plan commission authorized in 1907. It is intersected by the sluggish Park river, which is spanned by ten bridges. A stone arch bridge, with nine arches, built of granite at a cost of $1,700,000 and dedicated in 1908, spans the Connecticut (replacing the old Connecticut river bridge built in 1818 and burned in 1895), and connects Hartford with the village of East Hartford in the township of East Hartford (pop. 1900, 6406), which has important paper-manufacturing and tobacco-growing interests. The park system of Hartford is the largest in any city of the United States in proportion to the city's population. In 1908 there were 21 public parks, aggregating more than 1_335 acres. In the extreme S. of the city is Goodwin Park (about 200 acres); in the S.E. is Colt Park (106 acres), the gift of Mrs Elizabeth Colt, the widow of Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt revolver; in the S.W. is Pope Park (about 90 acres); in the W. is Elizabeth (loo acres); in the E., along the Connecticut river front, is Riverside (about 80 acres); and in the extreme N. is Keney Park (680 acres), the gift of Henry Keney, and, next to the Metropolitan Reservations near Boston, the largest park in the New England states. Near the centre of the city are the Capitol Grounds (27 acres; until 1872 the campus of Trinity College) and Bushnell Park (41 acres), adjoining Capitol Park. Bushnell Park, named in honour of Horace Bushnell, contains the Corning Memorial Fountain, erected in 1899 and designed by J. Massey Rhind, and three bronze statues, one, by J. Q. A. Ward, of General Israel Putnam; one, by Truman H. Bartlett, of Dr Horace Wells (1815-1848), the discoverer of anaesthesia; and one, by E. S. Woods, of Colonel Thomas Knowlton (1749-1776), a patriot soldier of the War of Independence, killed at the battle of Harlem Heights. On the Capitol Grounds is the state capitol (Richard M. Upjohn, architect), a magnificent white marble building, which was completed in 1880 at a cost of $2,534,000. Its exterior is adorned with statues and busts of Connecticut statesmen and carvings of scenes in the history of the state. Within the building are regimental flags of the Civil War, a bronze statue by Olin L. Warner of Governor William A. Buckingham, a bronze statue by Karl Gerhardt of Nathan Hale, a bronze tablet (also by Karl Gerhardt) in memory of John Fitch (1743-1798), the inventor; a portrait of Washington, purchased by the state in 1800 from the artist, Gilbert Stuart; and a series of oil portraits of the colonial and state governors. The elaborately carved chair of the lieutenant-governor in the senate chamber, made of wood from the historic Charter Oak, and the original charter of 1662 (or its duplicate of the same date) are preserved in a special vault in the Connecticut state library. A new state library and supreme court building and a new state armoury and arsenal, both of granite, have been (1910) erected upon lands recently added to the Capitol Grounds, thus forming a group of state buildings with the Capitol as the centre. Near the Capitol, at the approach of the memorial bridge across the Park river, is the Soldiers' and Sailors' memorial arch, designed by George Keller and erected by the city in 1885 in memory of the Hartford soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War.

Near the centre of the city is the old town square (now know as the City Hall Square), laid off in 1637. Here, facing MaiStreet, stands the city hall, a beautiful example of Colonial architecture, which was designed by Charles Bulfinch, completed in 1796, and until 1879 used as a state capitol; it has subsequently been restored. In Main Street is the present edifice of the First Church of Christ, known as the Centre Congregational Church, which was organized in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1632, and removed to Hartford, under the leadership of Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone, in 1636. In the adjoining cem are the graves of Thomas Hooker, Governor William - (1603-1683), and Governor John Haynes, and a monup ,1,. in memory of loo early residents of Hartford. In the same thoroughfare is the Wadsworth Atheneum (built in 1842; enlarged in 1892-1893 and 1907) and its companion buildings, the Colt memorial (built in 1908 to accommodate the Elizabeth Colt art collection) and the Morgan art gallery (built in 1908 by J. Pierpont Morgan in memory of his father, Junius Morgan, a native of Hartford). In this group of buildings are the Hartford public library (containing 90,000 volumes in 1908), the Watkinson library of reference (70,000 volumes in 1908), the library of the Connecticut historical society (25,000 volumes in 1908) and a public art gallery. Other institutions of importance in Hartford are the American school for the deaf (formerly the American asylum for the deaf and dumb), founded in 1816 by Thomas H. Gallaudet; the retreat for the insane (opened for patients in 1824); the Hartford hospital; St Francis hospital; St Thomas's seminary (Roman Catholic); La Salette seminary (Roman Catholic); Trinity college (founded by members of the Protestant Episcopal church, and now non-sectarian), which was chartered as Washington College in 1823, opened in 1824, renamed Trinity College in 1845, and in 1907-1908 had 27 instructors and 208 students; the Hartford Theological seminary, a Congregational institution, which was founded at East Windsor Hill in 1834 as the Theological Institute of Connecticut, was removed to Hartford in 1865, and adopted its present name in 1885; and, affiliated with the last mentioned institution, the Hartford School of Religious Pedagogy. The Hartford grammar school, founded in 1638, long managed by the town and in 1847 merged with the classical department of the Hartford public high school, is the oldest educational institution in the state. In Farmington Avenue is St Joseph's cathedral (Roman Catholic), the city being the seat of the diocese of Hartford.

During the 18th century Hartford enjoyed a large and lucrative commerce, but the railway development of the 19th century centralized commerce in New York and Boston, and consequently the principal source of the city's wealth has come to be manufacturing and insurance. In 1905 the total value of the "factory" product was $25,975,651. The principal industries are the manufacture of small arms (by the Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Co., makers of the Colt revolver and the Gatling gun), typewriters (Royal and Underwood), automobiles, bicycles, cyclometers, carriages and wagons, belting, cigars, harness, machinists' tools and instruments of precision, coil-piping, church organs, horse-shoe nails, electric equipment, machine screws, drop forgings, hydrants and valves, and engines and boilers. In 1788 the first woollen mill in New England was opened in Hartford; and here, too, about 1846, the Rogers process of electro-silver plating was invented. The city is one of the most important insurance centres in the United States. As early as 1794 policies were issued by the Hartford Fire Insurance Company (chartered in 1810). In 1909 Hartford was the home city of six fire insurance and six life insurance companies, the principal ones being the Aetna (fire), Aetna Life, Phoenix Mutual Life, Phoenix Fire, Travelers (Life and Accident), Hartford Fire, Hartford Life, National Fire, Connecticut Fire, Connecticut General Life and Connecticut Mutual Life. In 1906 the six fire insurance companies had an aggregate capital of more than $10,000,000; on the 1st January 1906 they reported assets of about $59,000,000 and an aggregate surplus of $30,000,000. In the San Francisco disaster of that ve-r they paid more than $15,000,000 of losses. Since the fire insurance business began in Hartford, the companies of that ,,Ity now doing business there have paid about $340,000,000 in losses. Several large and successful foreign companies have made Hartford their American headquarters. The life insurance companies have assets to the value of about $225,000,000. The Aetna (fire), Aetna Life, Connecticut Fire, Connecticut Mutual Life, Connecticut General Life, Hartford Fire, Hartford Life, Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., 1"1"-*: ., l Fire, Orient Fire, Phoenix Mutual Life and Travelers Yies have their own homes, some of these being among _it buildings in Hartford. The city has also large banking interests.

The first settlement on the site of Hartford was made by the Dutch from New Amsterdam, who in 1633 established on the bank of the Connecticut river, at the mouth of the Park river, a fort which they held until 1654. The township of Hartford was one of the first three original townships of Connecticut. The first English settlement was made in 1635 by sixty immigrants, mostly from New Town (now Cambridge), Massachusetts; but the main immigration was in 1636, when practically all the New Town congregation led by Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone joined those who had preceded them. Their settlement was called Newtown until 1637, when the present name was adopted from Hertford, England, the birthplace of Stone. In 1636 Hartford was the meeting-place of the first general court of the Connecticut colony; the Fundamental Orders, the first written constitution, were adopted at Hartford in 1639; and after the union of the colonies of New Haven and Connecticut, accomplished by the charter of 1662, Hartford became the sole capital; but from 1701 until 1873 that honour was shared with New Haven. At Hartford occurred in 1687 the meeting of Edmund Andros and the Connecticut officials (see Connecticut). Hartford was first chartered in 1784, was rechartered in 1856 (the charter of that date has been subsequently revised), and in 1881 was made coterminous with the township of Hartford. The city was the literary centre of Federalist ideas in the latter part of the 18th century, being the home of Lemuel Hopkins, John Trumbull, Joel Barlow and David Humphreys, the leading members of a group of authors known as the " Hartford Wits "; and in 1814-1815 the city was the meeting-place of the famous Hartford Convention, an event of great importance in the history of the Federalist party. The War of 1812, with the Embargo Acts (1807-1813), which were so destructive of New England's commerce, thoroughly aroused the Federalist leaders in this part of the country against the National government as administered by the Democrats, and in 1814, when the British were not only threatening a general invasion of their territory but had actually occupied a part of the Maine coast, and the National government promised no protection, the legislature of Massachusetts invited the other New England states to join with her in sending delegates to a convention which should meet at Hartford to consider their grievances, means of preserving their resources, measures of protection against the British, and the advisability of taking measures to bring about a convention of delegates from all the United States for the purpose of revising the Federal constitution. The legislatures of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and town meetings in Cheshire and Grafton counties (New Hampshire) and in Windham county (Vermont) accepted the invitation, and the convention, composed of 12 delegates from Massachusetts, 7 from Connecticut, 4 from Rhode Island, 2 from New Hampshire and 1 from Vermont, all Federalists, met on the 15th of December 1814, chose George Cabot of Massachusetts president and Theodore Dwight of Connecticut secretary, and remained in secret session until the 5th of January 1815, when it adjourned sine die. At the conclusion of its work it recommended greater military control for each of the several states and that the Federal constitution be so amended that representatives and direct taxes should be apportioned among the several states " according to their respective numbers of free persons," that no new state should be admitted to the Union without the concurrence of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, that Congress should not have the power to lay an embargo for more than sixty days, that the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of both Houses of Congress should be necessary to pass an act " to interdict the commercial intercourse between the United States and any foreign nation or the dependencies thereof " or to declare war against any foreign nation except in case of actual invasion, that " no person who shall hereafter be naturalized shall be eligible as a member of the Senate or House of Representatives of the United States, nor capable of holding any civil office under the authority of the United States," and that " the same person shall not be elected president of the United States a second time; nor shall the president be elected from the same state two terms in succession." After making these recommendations concerning amendments the Convention resolved: " That if the application of these states to the government of the United States, recommended in a foregoing resolution, should be unsuccessful, and peace should not be concluded, and the defence of these states should be neglected, as it has been since the commencement of the war, it will, in the opinion of this convention, be expedient for the legislatures of the several states to appoint delegates to another convention, to meet at Boston in the state of Massachusetts on the third Thursday of June next, with such. powers and instructions as the exigency of a crisis so momentous may require." The legislatures of Massachusetts and Connecticut approved of these proposed amendments and sent commissioners to Washington to urge their adoption, but before their arrival the war had closed, and not only did the amendments fail to receive the approval of any other state, but the legislatures of nine states expressed their disapproval of the Hartford Convention itself, some charging it with sowing "seeds of dissension and disunion." The cessation of the war brought increased popularity to the Democratic administration, and the Hartford Convention was vigorously attacked throughout the country.

Hartford was the birthplace of Noah Webster, who here published his Grammatical Institute of the English Language (1783-1785), and of Henry Barnard, John Fiske and Frederick Law Olmsted, and has been the home of Samuel P. Goodrich (Peter Parley), George D. Prentice, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Dudley Warner, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) and Horace Bushnell. More than ioo periodicals have been established in Hartford, of which the oldest is the Hartford Courant (1764), the oldest newspaper in the United States. This paper was very influential in shaping public opinion in the years preceding the War of Independence; after the war it was successively Federalist, Whig and Republican. The Times (semi-weekly 1817; daily 1841) was one of the most powerful Democratic organs in the period before the middle of the ,9th century, and had Gideon Wells for editor 1826-1836. The Congregationalist (afterwards published in Boston) and the Churchman (afterwards published in New York) were also founded at Hartford.

See Scaeva, Hartford in the Olden Times: Its First Thirty Years (Hartford, 1853), edited by W. M. B. Hartley; and J. H. Trumbull, Memorial History of Hartford County (Boston, 1886). For the Hartford Convention see History of the Hartford Convention (Boston, 1833), published by its secretary, Theodore Dwight; H. C. Lodge, Life and Letters of George Cabot (Boston, 1877); and Henry Adams, Documents Relating to New England Federalism (Boston, 1877).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

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  1. Any of a number of placenames in England, variants of Hertford.
  2. A habitational surname from these places.
  3. The capital city of Connecticut.


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