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Neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut

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Title: Neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut  
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Subject: Frog Hollow, Hartford, Connecticut, Geography of Hartford, Connecticut, Clay Hill Historic District, Downtown Hartford, Neighborhoods in Connecticut
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Neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut

The neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut in the United States are varied and historic.

The Connecticut State Capitol in downtown Hartford

Contents

  • Central Business District/Downtown 1
  • Parkville 2
  • Frog Hollow 3
  • Asylum Hill 4
  • West End 5
  • Sheldon/Charter Oak 6
  • Clay-Arsenal and Upper Albany 7
  • South End and Little Italy 8
  • South Green 9
  • Barry Square 10
  • South Meadows 11
  • Southwest 12
  • Behind the Rocks 13
  • North Meadows 14
  • Blue Hills 15
  • Northeast 16
  • References 17
  • External links 18

Central Business District/Downtown

Downtown is Hartford's primary business district. It is the location of the city government offices as well as the State Capitol.

Parkville

Centered on Park Street and stretching from the railroad overpass just west of Pope Park to the West Hartford town line, Parkville is a densely developed, mixed-use neighborhood that's mainly working-class. Lending its name to its location at the junction of the North and South Branches of the now-subterranean Park River, the area was primarily farmland through much of the 19th century and in fact one of Hartford's last areas to develop.[1]

In fact, the largely rural residents tried to secede from Hartford, claiming they were over-taxed merely because their land was not as developed compared to more industrial areas such as nearby Frog Hollow. However, by 1873, Michael Kane established a brickyard off New Park Avenue, and heralded a period of industrial development that would stimulate rapid growth in a previously isolated part of the city. The Kane Brickyard quickly became one of leading brick-makers in the state, providing materials for projects such as Connecticut, the Travelers Tower, The Hartford Times Building, the state library and the Connecticut State Capitol building. The subsequent decades saw several several major factories set up shop in the area, including the Pope Manufacturing Company, Underwood Typewriter Company, Royal Typewriter Company, the Gray Pay Telephone Company and Hartford Rubber works. As Underwood and Royal expanded in the early 20th century, Hartford became known within some circles as the "Typewriter Capital of the World."[2]

The highly skilled jobs that these factories provided attracted successive waves of new arrivals; Irish first followed by French-Canadian, Scandinavian and German immigrants. Population growth of course stimulated housing development, and the first housing developers bought out farmland and laid out several streets with small house lots designed for working-class people in 1871. Houses built between 1890 and 1917 make up the bulk of Parkville‟s existing housing stock.[3]

The post World War II era and the construction of Interstate 84 caused the industrial base of Parkville to evaporate. The more established middle-class families began to move to the suburbs, and were replaced by new immigrants and people moving from other parts of the city. By the mid 1960s the Portuguese community had made Parkville its home, establishing small businesses along Park Street. Today, the neighborhood has a large population of Brazilians, Puerto Ricans, Caribbean and American Blacks.[4]

Real Art Ways, established in 1975 in downtown Hartford and currently housed in the former Underwood Typewriter building on Arbor Street, brings creative energy to the neighborhood with its offerings of contemporary arts exhibits, live art performances, movies, wi-fi lounge, special programs and community involvement. Also in the Arbor Street building are offices, artists' studios and the Hartford Preservation Alliance, which works to preserve Hartford's architecture.

Parkville station is one of four in Hartford on the CTfastrak bus rapid transit line connecting Downtown to New Britain.[5]

Frog Hollow

Frog Hollow stretches along Capitol Avenue directly west of the State Capitol until Laurel Street, and south towards Trinity College. The area takes its name from the marshy conditions in the low land near what is now the corner of Broad and Ward streets.

Most of the area was farmland until 1852 when the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company constructed a factory, beginning the area's transformation into a major industrial area. Although not the first factory to be situated along now-buried Park River, Sharps located there specifically to take advantage of the railroad line that had been constructed along the river in 1838. After the Sharps Rifle Company failed in 1870, the Weed Sewing Machine Company took over its factory and soon surpassed the Colt Armory in nearby Coltsville in size.[6]

Inspired by a British-made, high-wheel bicycle, or velocipede, he saw at the

  • Hartford Neighborhood Data, Hartford Public Library website
  • Neighborhoods of Hartford (maps, photos, and descriptions)
  • http://hartford.omaxfield.com/neighborhoods.html

External links

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  11. ^ Camp, Ted. "Deaf Timelines: History and Heritage", http://www.silentwordministries.org Jan. 2011; Loth, Calder, ed. Virginia Landmarks Register, 4th edition, Univ. of Va. Press, 1999.
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  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Karen O'Maxfield, South End, Neighborhoods of Hartford website, accessed October 9, 2009
  31. ^ Karen O'Maxfield, Barry Square, Neighborhoods of Hartford website, accessed October 9, 2009
  32. ^ Karen O'Maxfield, South West, Neighborhoods of Hartford website, accessed October 9, 2009
  33. ^
return p

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-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


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-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

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function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


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return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

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-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


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-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

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References

The Northeast neighborhood (sometimes known as North End) is the portion of Hartford east of the Blue Hills neighborhood and west of Interstate 91. It is home to the 1944 Hartford Circus Fire Memorial, Keney Park, which is the largest municipal park in New England and Weaver High School, which was also the alma mater of ER actor Eriq La Salle, (TV producer) [All in the Family] (Norman Lear) and (actress/comedian) (Totie Fields).

Northeast

Primarily a residential neighborhood, Blue Hills is located in the city's northwest section, and borders the suburbs of Bloomfield and West Hartford. It is home to approximately 10,000 residents, and is home to several schools as well as University of Hartford. Other well-known institutions include Mount Sinai Hospital and Oak Hill Academy, the latter being a century-old establishment serving people with disabilities. The neighborhood boasts a wide variety of housing styles, varying from large, historic Tudors and colonials along Bloomfield Avenue and Ridgefield Street, to duplexes and modest capes and colonials. Although Blue Hills contains housing projects, it is mostly a working-class, African-American and Caribbean-American enclave. Its main thoroughfares include Granby Street, Blue Hills Avenue (Route 187), Plainfield Street, Bloomfield Avenue (Route 189) and Albany Avenue (Route 44). Connecticut Transit operates several bus routes through the neighborhood, such as the 50 and 52, which run on Blue Hills Avenue, the 56 and 58, which run up on Albany Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue, the 74, which runs through Westbrook Village on its way to Copaco Shopping Center via Granby Street, and the 76, which runs on Cornwall Street towards Bowles Park. Blue Hills Avenue serves as both a main artery and a light commercial district.

Blue Hills

The CT DOT operates regional CT Transit buses out of the North Meadows, near Riverside Park. Riverside Park is part of Riverfront Recapture, a project undertaken by the State of Connecticut and the City of Hartford, aiming to renew interest in the waterfront of the Connecticut River. Included in the park are a high ropes challenge course, a playground, boat launch, and the Riverfront Recapture boathouse, home to numerous private clubs and the crew teams for numerous regional schools, including Watkinson School, East Hartford and Hartford public schools.

Located just north of downtown along the CT River and I-91 the North Meadows is a largely commercial and industrial area that is home to many of the area's car dealerships including dealers for Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Nissan, Infiniti, Jaguar, Toyota and Mazda as well as a brand new CarMax dealership. The North Meadows is also the home of the CT Expo Center which features 88,000 square feet (8,200 m2) of exhibition space, the Meadows Music Theater (formerly the Dodge Music Center), which hosts dozens of big name concerts each year, and Riverside Park. Also in the North Meadows are some of Hartford's "adult" attractions: Multiple shops specializing in pornography and other sexual novelties and a strip club are visible from I-91 north of the I-84 interchange.

North Meadows

By 1912, the Rocky Hill Quarry had become a park, that is today known as the Thomas Hyland Memorial Park. The park provides a playground and sports fields for area families.[33]

In the 1890s, the Rocky Hill Quarry, located on what is now called Rocky Ridge, produced trap rock which was used primarily for road building. Much of the heavy labor was performed by Irish immigrants. In 1876, the first St. Lawrence O'Toole Church was constructed to meet community needs.

Behind the Rocks is a predominantly residential neighborhood at the southwestern corner of Hartford below Parkville, bordering the town of West Hartford. It was named from the rocky outcropping that serves as the western border of the Trinity College campus.

Behind the Rocks

[32]

The most notable landmarks in the neighborhood are the beautiful Hyland Park and Cedar Hill Cemetery. Hyland Park, an old stone quarry site, was acquired by the City of Hartford in 1907 and, with its neighbor Rocky Ridge Park, was opened in 1911. Cedar Hill Cemetery is an exemplary landscape-park style open space. Laid out by landscape architects Jacob Weidenmann and Fredrick Law Olmsted, the chapel, gatehouse and several monuments were designed by George Keller. Several notables are buried at Cedar Hill, among them J.P. Morgan, Samuel Colt, the Galludets, and poet Wallace Stevens. Forster Heights Playground and Park, in the most southern portion of the neighborhood, also borders Cedar Hill Cemetery.

While there are houses on Fairfield Avenue that date from the nineteenth century, the majority of the single and multi-family houses in the South West neighborhood were built between the 1940s-1960s. Recognizable patterns of American vernacular architecture predominate in the South West, including small colonial revival and cape cop designs, and there is a large degree of variability in house and lot size.

The eastern boundary of the neighborhood is Fairfield Avenue, which runs along a natural ridge of land that is 159 feet above the Connecticut River and was once promoted as the "highest elevation in Hartford." The road was considered to be the main thoroughfare to Wethersfield and attracted leisure drivers with its sweeping vistas eastward and westward. In 1874 the Hartford Courant reported, "[Fairfield Avenue] commands from almost every rod of its entire distance a view of the Connecticut valley on the east and the fine stretch of country lying on the west—a most sightly and beautiful landscape in either direction. It will make altogether the longest direct drive with unobstructed outlooks, and the most attractive too, that we have in Hartford, and that is saying a good deal...."

South West is a predominantly residential neighborhood at the southwestern corner of the city, adjoining the towns of Wethersfield, Newington and West Hartford. Cedar Hill Cemetery, which was designed by landscape architect Jacob Weidenmann is located in Southwest.

Southwest

Located at the southeastern corner of the city, the area is home to many industrial and commercial businesses. The neighborhood is home to the Regional Market, a 32-acre (129,000 m²) facility with 185,000 of warehouse space. Brainard Field along I-91 serves small aircraft and offers flight instruction. The Hartford Electric Light Company which started in 1921 is still operational and owned by CT Light and Power. One of the Metropolitan District Water pollution control plants is located in the south meadows. Also, the Mid-Connecticut Resource Recovery Facility, which opened in 1987 and is on 57 acres (231,000 m²), is located in the area.

South Meadows

South of the South Green neighborhood is Barry Square, named for Father Michael Barry, Roman Catholic priest of St. Augustine's Church on Campfield Avenue, built in 1902. Trinity College's campus is in this neighborhood.[31]

Barry Square

Hartford Hospital, the largest hospital in the area, and the adjacent Connecticut Children's Medical Center, which is the only hospital primarily for children, are also located in South Green.

South Green is home to Barnard Park in honor of Henry Barnard, whose home is located on Main Street. Congress Street and Morris Street compose a historic district with many Greek Revival and Italianate homes. Previously it was rumored that many of the homes in this area were slated for demolition in the early 1980s as many were boarded up. Today, Congress Street is a well-kept street complete with cobblestone crosswalks and architecturally harmonious lighting.

South Green

The Hartford portion of 237-acre (0.96 km2) Goodwin Park (85 acres of which are in the town of Wethersfield) is in the South End.[30]

The area's Italian population came out in full force when Italy won the FIFA World Cup in 2006 with thousands marching and driving down Franklin Avenue for hours with Italian flags raised high. In recent years many eastern European ethnic groups have moved into South End neighborhoods, predominantly Bosnians, Albanians and other ethnic groups from the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

There are numerous Italian bakeries and merchants along Franklin Avenue. In the past few decades, there has been migration out of the South End, with many Puerto Rican families moving into the neighborhood but nevertheless there are many local favorites (restaurants, bakeries and stores) that draw people back into the South End.

Maple Avenue, Wethersfield Avenue and Franklin Avenue are the three major roads in the South End, adjacent to the Hartford-Wethersfield town line in the southern part of the city. Franklin Avenue is known as the city's Little Italy. Although many Italians have moved just over the border to Wethersfield, Newington, and Rocky Hill, there is still a major Italian presence in that portion of the city. Eric Mangini, the former Head Coach of the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns grew up on Franklin Avenue.

South End and Little Italy

In spite of these neighborhoods' overwhelmingly negative reputation for its crime, distressed economic state, and dilapidated appearance, there are some positive recent developments. There are isolated pockets of renewal, such as the revitalization of Belden Street (seen below in the gallery).

Today the Upper Albany and Clay-Arsenal are home to an active community of West Indian/Caribbean immigrants that provide the area with a cultural and artistic presence: the West Indian Social Club and Scott's Jamaican Bakery are two notable neighborhood institutions. In an effort to increase home ownership in distressed parts of the neighborhood, some real estate companies have begun to call the Upper Albany and Clay-Arsenal areas as 'Uptown', after Manhattan's well known Harlem neighborhood. The Hartford Housing Authority has razed the Stowe Village projects on Kensington Street and built single family townhouses in its place. Habitat for Humanity and other community organizations have built several homes throughout the neighborhood and the rest of the city.

Once home to a mostly Irish and Jewish population, Upper Albany and Clay-Arsenal today are primarily African American, West Indian/Caribbean and Latino. Following World War II, a series of events occurred that led to a sharp decline. This began with the construction of Interstate 84 which gutted the neighborhood, separating it from nearby downtown. During this time the city's once strong manufacturing base dissolved, creating the start of a mass exodus to ringing suburbs (most notably north to neighboring Bloomfield and Windsor). Former military barracks were converted into housing projects, creating a high concentration of low-income housing. But perhaps the most devastating blow occurred on April 4, 1968: Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a riot ensued that resulted in massive arson, particularly on Albany Avenue. Within a few hours, the North End's major commercial strip was simply gone, and the remaining white population fled, and much of the middle and working class black population left in the following years.

Clay-Arsenal and Upper Albany

Towards the end of the 19th century, an influx of Art Deco building on Charter Oak Avenue contains a full-service restaurant, banquet hall and meeting rooms.[29]

Another Hartford industrialist who made his mark in the neighborhood is Capewell Horse Nail Company factory was built in 1903 at the corner of Charter Oak Avenue and Popieluszko Court. Shuttered by mid-century, it is slated to be turned into apartments. The factory's Romanesque Revival square tower and high pyramid-shaped slate roof is one of the last of its kind in Hartford.[27] Capewell continued to manufacture horsenails and other products at its Bloomfield facility until its closure in 2012.[28]

60 Popieluszko Court, Hartford CT

When Elizabeth Colt died in 1904, she willed the majority of her estate, Armsmear, to the City of Hartford for use as a public park. Today, the 105 acres (42 ha) Colt Park services the community with a number of athletic fields, playgrounds, a swimming pool, playground, skating rink and Dillon Stadium.[26]

Following her son's death, Elizabeth Colt commissioned the Church of the Good Shepherd in 1896 as a monument to his life. Built in High Victorian Gothic style, architectural features include a variety of gun parts, such as bullet molds, gunsights and cylinders. This unusual characteristic earns the building the title of likely being the only church in the world with a gun motif.[25]

After a major fire destroyed the original armory in 1864, Colt's widow had the original armory rebuilt including the original structure's most dramatic feature: the blue onion dome with gold starts, topped by a gold orb and a rampant colt, the original symbol of Colt Manufacturing Company. Visible to commuters on I-91, the Colt Armory stands a monument to Hartford's first "celebrity industrialist," and the once mighty empire he created.[24]

The greatest influence on the development of Sheldon/Charter Oak and South Green was Samuel Colt, inventor of the automatic revolver, and his wife Elizabeth Colt. Although Colt is often considered the father of the Connecticut River Valley industrial revolution, there were in fact a handful of small outfits already in operation by the time the Colt Armory opened in 1848 in the South Meadows area of Sheldon/Charter Oak. Inspired by what he had seen during a trip to London in 1851, Colt embarked upon one of the boldest real estate development campaigns in Hartford's history. His intention to build an industrial community to house his workers adjacent to the armory. While not the largest, the most prominent or the most tightly controlled of America's 19th century company towns, Coltsville was among the country's first - and easily the most advanced of its time. By 1856, it was a city within a city, where workers of many nationalities and religions worked, lived and recreated alongside one another. Colt's complex also included the largest armory in the world, wharf and ferry facilities on the Connecticut River, and a gathering place named Charter Oak Hall for community gathering and leisure.[22] Crowning the hilltop in the northwest corner of the complex was Armsmear, an enormous Italian villa Colt built for himself and his wife in 1857 that was likely by far the most luxurious structure in Hartford by fair at the time.[23]

Church of the Good Shepherd Hartford CT

In the neighborhood, the now-buried Park River connects to the Connecticut River via an underground conduit. In 1633, the Dutch chartered a trading post on the south bank of the river in the present-day Sheldon/Charter Oak, then known as the Little River, to contrast it with the Connecticut, the Great River. The area became known as Dutch Point, and the name of the Dutch fort, "House of Hope," is reflected in the name of Huyshope Avenue.[20] It was here that, in 1636, the first English colonists founded the settlement of Hartford and laid out house lots in the South Plantation. The area was the site of The Charter Oak, an unusually old white oak tree in which, according to legend, colonists hid the Connecticut Royal Charter of 1662 to protect it from confiscation by an English governor-general. Thus the grand, stately tree came to symbolize the power of nature as a defender of freedom throughout Connecticut. In fact, the state adopted the image as the emblem of the Connecticut state quarter. The Charter Oak Monument is located at the corner of Charter Oak Place, a historic street, and Charter Oak Avenue.[21]

The neighborhood is located just south of Downtown Hartford and Charter Oak Avenue, between Wethersfield Avenue and the Connecticut River.[19]

34-36 Charter Oak Place, Hartford CT

Sheldon/Charter Oak

The southern West End and Parkville also serve as the local Gay village.

The University of Connecticut School of Law, Watkinson School and the Hartford Seminary are located in the West End. Prospect Avenue boasts belle epoque and jazz age mansions, including the Governor's Mansion. Grand estates also line Scarborough Street including the former residence of A. Everett 'Chick' Austin (Director of Wadsworth Atheneum from 1927 to 1944).

Elizabeth Park [1] in the West End was created in 1895, when Charles N. Pond gave his estate to the Hartford Parks Commission which created the park and named it in honor of his wife. The park boasts a playground, softball field, and other recreational facilities in addition to views of the downtown skyline. It features the oldest, and one of the largest, municipal rose gardens in the United States. Elizabeth Park's famous rose arches were designed by noted rosarian Theodore Wirth in 1904.

The West End neighborhood, which runs from the Park River, just past the Mark Twain House to the West Hartford border, was mostly farmland until 1870. During the 1900s-1920s many two and three story homes were built, lending a residential, Victorian air to the neighborhood which persists to this day.

West End

In March 2006, the Connecticut Culinary Institute, which was recently renamed the Lincoln Culinary Institute, opened a branch in the former Hastings Hotel and Conference Center next to the world headquarters of Aetna.[17] The Hastings was primarily a business hotel that housed former President Bill Clinton when he visited the city. The hotel closed abruptly in 2003, but has since reopened as the Lincoln Education Center.[18]

Saint Francis Hospital was established in 1897 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chambéry.[15] The 617-bed acute care hospital is located on Woodland Street and is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.[16]

[14] A number of significant religious institutions are located in the neighborhood, including the Asylum Hill Congregational Church (1864) and The Trinity Episcopal Church (1890s). The area is also home to the

Beginning in the 1920s, major insurance companies began moving from downtown to Asylum Hill and would bring major change. The Hartford was the first major corporation to move into the neighborhood, followed by the Rossia Insurance Company (now Northeastern Insurance Company) and Aetna. To make room for corporate headquarters, employee parking and housing, blocks of single family homes were replaced by apartment buildings with small one-bedroom and efficiency apartments. Aetna remains as a major fixture along Farmington Avenue and recently moved more than 3,400 of their Middletown employees to its Hartford campus.[13]

Mark Twain House

In the early 1800s, the area was dominated by the 100-acre (0.40 km2) Imlay farm, which occupied most of the land from present-day Imlay Street west to the north branch of the Park River, and from Farmington Avenue south to the Park River. John Hooker and Francis Gillette purchased the farm in 1853 for the purpose of developing the real estate. They built their own homes and encouraged friends to do the same. As a result, a literary colony took hold that included Isabella Beecher Hooker, the Gillettes, Charles Dudley Warner, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, as well as reformers and activists. The area became known as Nook Farm, taking its name from the bend‚ or “nook‚” in the Park River‚ which bordered the area. The homes were designed by leading architects of the day and some still survive. Most notably, the homes of Samuel Clemens who, under the pseudonym Mark Twain penned some of his most notable works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. These, along with the Katherine Day House are museums open to the public. By the early 1900s Asylum Hill had become an established residential area with spacious Victorian-style homes. [12]

Originally known as 'Lords Hill', the area was primarily farmland and named after one of the city's original settlers. In 1807 the Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons was founded and its first student, Alice Cogswell, was enrolled. She is depicted in a commemorative statue, designed by Frances Wadsworth, that honors Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Mason F. Cogswell and Laurent Clerc, founders of the American School for the Deaf, which was the first of its kind in the country. It remained at its original location for 100 years. Thereafter, the area became known as Asylum Hill.[11]

Asylum Hill is a 615-acre (2.49 km2) centrally located Hartford neighborhood with about 10,500 residents. It rises uphill directly west of Downtown Hartford but is mostly flat until it slopes downward at its western edge along the flood plain of the north branch of the now-buried Park River. Aside from the river, it is bound on its other three sides by railroad tracks and I-84.[10]

Asylum Hill

Asylum Hill

The neighborhood is home to Hartford Superior Court, Hartford Community Court, Family Court, Trinity College, The Learning Corridor, The Lyceum Resource and Conference Center, and Broad Street Juvenile Court.

Park Street has also been called "New England's Spanish Main Street" because of the predominantly Puerto Rican population and merchants. Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez hoped to attract new merchants looking to expand their businesses into Hartford and in 2005, plans were first floated to spend $64 million on a project at the intersection of Park Street and Main Street. Original plans included two luxury condo towers, some retail, and a massive main square -- or Plaza Mayor, as it came to be known. The plan later got smaller in size, and was eventually shelved entirely during the Great Recession.[9]

After his business failed, Pope donated a 75-acre (300,000 m2) parcel park provides recreational facilities for neighborhood families. Today, the park provides recreational facilities for neighborhood families.

The bicycle boom was short-lived, peaking near the turn of the century when more and more consumers craved individual automobile travel, and Pope's company suffered financially from over-production amidst falling demand. In an effort to save his business, Pope opened a Motor Carriage Department and turned out electric carriages, beginning with the "Mark III" in 1897. Pope's venture might have made Hartford the capital of the automobile industry were it not for the ascendency of Henry Ford and a series of pitfalls and patent struggles that outlived Pope himself.[8]

. Pope Manufacturing Company Bicycles proved to be a huge commercial success and production in the Weed factory expanded, with Weed making every part but the tires, and by 1890, demand for bicycles overshadowed the failing sewing machine market. That year, Pope bought the Weed factory, took over as its president, and renamed it the [7]

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